Lady Gaga

Sleeping with the Enema: Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Lady Gaga Bad Romance

Our innocence is immediately shattered two seconds into the video, when we are presented with all of these oddly-clad people gathered in formation at one end of a white room. For those who know movie history, think Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” crossed with any movie that Ken Russell ever directed. (For those who don’t know their movie trivia, think “recreational drugs”.) No one looks very happy, and we seem to have a lot of uncomfortable bondage gear going on, but this doesn’t stop them from posing artfully for the latest defiant cover of Vanity Fair.

We zoom in on Gaga, who has naturally been placed in the center of this tableau of people who have probably been banned at least once on Facebook. She’s not looking at us, because she doesn’t have to, instead staring off to the side whilst sporting cryptic glasses that completely block her vision. (This is what rich people do, buy things that serve no purpose, just because they can and we can’t.) The camera closes in on one of her hands, with her fingers sporting a weird chicken-wire nail polish that you aren’t going to find at Walgreen’s. She pushes a button on what looks like a wireless modem at NASA, and then all hell breaks loose.

We are suddenly in a room full of these odd pod things (tanning beds? incubators for the Gaga army that is about to take over the world?) scattered about, while brief images of alcohol bottles flash on the screen. It’s too dark in this room for my comfort level, and there seems to be a Gestapo-esque searchlight seeking out uprisings that must be quelched. Then a helpful title appears explaining that this is the “Bath Haus of Gaga”. Really? I never even want to go there and I’ve only seen ten seconds of it. Please take me off your mailing list. Thanks.

But before I can add the “Haus” to my spam filter, the pods suddenly open and some surprising things crawl out. They appear to be somewhat humanoid, in that remote way that Tea Party members also appear to be humanoid, even though their life choices clearly indicate that they are not. These crawlers are sheathed in white latex, including their faces, and the tops of their heads have white spiky things, as if Bart Simpson has been dipped in a marshmallow vat. The crawlers, despite being unable to see due to the unexplained plastic coating, immediately hop up and start doing a line dance, with Lady once again assuming the focal point in the center of this shin-dig. (Well, I’m assuming it’s her, because we sure as hell don’t spend any time on the other pod people.)

Then we zip over to another random room, where someone has helpfully placed a bathtub, within which Lady is exhibiting an Annie Lennox-on-acid hairdo and proving that she is very limber by basically throwing her leg over her head. But before we can ask what return-on-investment she might be seeking by doing such, we cut to another room in this apparently cavernous Haus. We now have Lady dressed in black and singing to herself in a mirror, wearing a black spiky hat that sort of matches the headgear of the dancing pod people. Does this mean she’s a bad pod person? Or is she late for a funeral, a tragic death that occurred when one of the tanning pods became disconnected during intergalactic travel?

I guess it doesn’t matter, because now we have a montage cutting between the three scenarios: the line-dancing white pod people, the Lady wallowing around in the bathtub, and the Lady that just wants to look at herself in the mirror (and possibly tend to the needs of her lady garden, based on what her barely off-camera hand is doing). This montage goes on for a while, longer than the political careers of Republican candidates who don’t immediately agree to sell their souls.

Side Note: That quick shot where Bathtub Lady is looking off to the side and then rolls her head forward and does the thing with her eyes? It’s freaky but fun, which basically sums up Lady Gaga’s entire career arc, and it’s my favorite bit in this video crammed full of images designed to impress you with the fact that Lady Gaga’s life is obviously way more exciting than your own.

Just as we kick into the chorus (I guess it’s the chorus; it’s hard to tell with Lady Gaga songs) two rude women break into the Hygiene Annex and try to drag Bathing Lady out of the ginormous bathtub. (She just wants to be clean, people, let her scrub the dirtiness away if she wants to do so. We’ve all been there, don’t judge.) Gaga puts up a fight, but eventually the bitter duo wrest Gaga away from the soothing waters of her own self-involvement. To show their displeasure with her uncooperative attitude, the Gulag Girls rip Lady’s blouse off in a Cinemax-worthy moment of pointless plot.

(Yes, Bathtub Gaga was bathing whilst clothed. Just accept and go on, as there’s really no point in questioning reality once the dancing white pod-people slithered out of the Easy Bake ovens and we didn’t change the channel.) To show her displeasure with the matrons’ rudeness and the rending of her garment, Lady then thrusts her breasts at the interlopers in a moment of mammary insurrection, making this an official catfight. The matrons then up the ante by forcing Bathtub Lady to drink some mysterious clear liquid that she probably would have imbibed on her own if there hadn’t been all this bullying behavior.

Next up, we have another version of Lady Gaga, this one surprisingly free of avant-garde outfits and confusing accessories. This Gaga seems to be channeling Belinda Carlisle during that phase when she broke free from the Go-Gos and the drug-ingesting, wandering about on a windswept beach and looking for love in all the wrong sandy places. She’s acting all emo and emotionally-fragile. Is this Vulnerable Gaga? Does such a thing exist?

While Belinda Gaga braves windburn and possible grit in her cracks, we get yet another version of Lady Gaga, or maybe this is one we’ve already seen. (It’s getting very confusing; I’m still mystified by Grieving Gaga at the Self-Pleasure Mirror.) This Gaga is sporting some baggy outerwear covered in graffiti, indicating that unsupervised inner-city juveniles may have broken into the Bath Haus at some point, tagging things with malicious intent. (This is not an indictment of all inner-city youth, as stereotypes are bad, but it is an indictment of lazy parents who allow their children to obtain paint-propellants and then look the other way when those children sneak out at night.)

Whatever the case, some rude go-go booted women rip off Gaga’s social-outcry garment in a manner that suggests the booted women did not go to the proper schools. Once the raincoat is sent asunder, we see that this version of Gaga is sporting skimpy beaded thingies that really don’t do much to obscure her baseline anatomy. (I’ve seen better coverage issued by people selling auto insurance out of the back of a taco stand.) The rude, manners-deficient booted women snatch up Lady and her indiscreet snatch and haul her into a room filled with men who appear to have had plastic surgery that somehow involved metal plates being used instead of, well, plastic.

For no apparent reason whatsoever, Barely-Beaded Gaga and her unrequited cohorts suddenly start line-dancing for the Metal Men. (They were in a catfight two seconds ago, but a whiff of testosterone in the room causes all of them to have an interest in synchronized choreography?) While this mess is going on, we get shots of another Gaga, or maybe an extra, don’t know, who is nude and looking really undernourished. I think she’s trying to get clean, since she appears to be having an emotional moment in a public shower stall at either a health club or a high-school gym (we’ve all been there, right?), but I don’t really see any water. Whatever she’s doing, she’s very skinny, and she might possibly have a tail that people generally shouldn’t have.

Beaded Gaga and the Gaga-Ettes continue to line dance for the Metal Men, eventually ending up on their knees crawling toward said men while Gaga sings “I want your love.” That’s great for the self-esteem, crawling up to a standoffish group of males, begging for their affection. Do these women realize they can actually vote these days? Or is Gaga making a political statement about the possible future if we don’t stop letting rich, white, amoral men run our country? (Despite the obvious ease with which Gaga shares her physical wares with the world, she’s got far more depth and comprehension than 99% of the automatons who tune into Fox News on a daily basis, paralytic drool running down their chins.)

Oh wait, it turns out that these men are actually bidding to “win” Lady Gaga, as we can now see by the voting results on convenient laptops off to one side. (At first, I thought Lady Gaga was just obnoxiously showing her sky-rocketing profits. I had to rewind.) One of the guys apparently wins, but first the women have to do another line dance. Not sure why. Maybe it’s protocol, a bit of contractual procedure included in the “Bath Haus” brochure for folks who purchase the Platinum Package.

It’s a long line dance. While this is going on, we get jump scenes of Lady Gaga in lots of other outfits. (The wardrobe expenses on this video must have been enormous.) We have Gaga in black bra and panties, standing still in a frozen spray of ice cubes while the camera circles around her. (A perceptive take on the sterility of certain men?) There’s Gaga in some type of metal gear where I think she’s explaining the solar system. (Sorry, Pluto, you don’t matter anymore. Here’s the business card for a really good galaxy therapist.)

And then we have Gaga in this golden outfit that is totally out there, with a hairdo that looks like she has a loaf of bread shoved up in that mess and making her look like Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola’s version of “Dracula”. My guess is that most of the fashion budget went right there, although it’s entirely possible that Gaga already owned this ensemble, something she picked up at a flea market in another dimension where couture is vaguely reptilian and purposeless.

Eventually we get to the soul-challenging part of our story where Gaga has to go… sleep? trade outfits?… with the guy who bought her. And we start jump-cutting all over the place. We revisit almost all of the Gagas in their various incarnations, and there’s a new batch of line dancers, this time dressed in skimpy red Ace bandages but just as flexible as the other teams. (Gaga is right there in the midst of the Crimson Brigade, natch, completely unafraid to frolic about energetically despite the merest wisp of material barely concealing her nocturnal portal.)

As Purchased Gaga approaches the bed where the winner/misogynist is waiting, she apparently uses her mystical powers to set the bed on fire. Wouldn’t you? (I hope Metal Guy bought the maintenance plan for this product, because I don‘t think the regular warranty is going to cover destruction of high-end bedding. It would be a shame if low-level employees at this establishment are fired because the hotel owners now have to fund a messy civil lawsuit.) The jump-cutting to all the Gagas intensifies, but mostly focuses on the red line dancers where Ace Bandage Gaga has picked up yet another hairdo somewhere along the way.

Final scene has one of the Gagas (I have no idea at this point) lounging in the scorched bed. Her purchaser is now just smoking bones, but Gaga seems to be fine, other than the disturbing impression that her breasts appear to be short-circuiting. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) The camera slowly pans backwards while a snippet of classical music plays, yet another tribute to film-making, and another reminder that Lady Gaga is all about The Art.

Lesson learned? Take a bath at home. You’ll be glad you did. There’s no need to bathe in a public setting, because it will just lead to singing, dancing, clone replication, and death by fire.

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 12/03/09, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.)

 

Nuns and Guns: Lady Gaga – “Alejandro”

Lady Gaga Alejandro

 

  Preliminary bit wherein I absolve myself of any blame for what’s about to follow: We’re talking Lady Gaga, here, not Charlotte Church, so things in this video get a bit eye-opening. It’s also a very long video, so Lady Gaga can throw in lots of artsy stuff that may not make sense but is certainly interesting. So, if you’re not a fan of The Lady or can’t sit still for longer than four minutes you might want to skip this one and go check the lint in the dryer.

  Still with me? Great. Here we go…

We start out with a giant “GAGA” logo, because she may not want us to call her name, but she damn sure wants us to remember it. Then we immediately cut to a very tired military-type man who is wearing little more than fishnet stockings as he lounges on some dreary patio. Yes, it took Lady Gaga exactly two seconds to get twisted.

Then the camera starts panning around, and we learn that there are lots of tired military people sitting around at what might be a bar, where no one knows your name and everyone is on medication. This could be because there aren’t any drinks on the table and the music hasn’t started yet. Who knows. We still have over 8 minutes of video for the producers to explain all this.

Cut to some shadowy figures standing on what looks like a ramp that probably leads to an underground laboratory where anti-social scientists named Hans conduct experiments involving plutonium and death. These figures are apparently practicing a dance routine where the theme appears to be stomping while carrying odd symbols and looking angry.

Oh good, they turned the lights up a bit and we can see that the dancers are wearing jock straps that appear to be vaguely Sumo-wrestling in nature. (So far they haven’t spent a lot of money on the costume budget for this production.) The dancers all have the same bowl-cut hairdo for some reason, probably because Lady Gaga was going for that “we might be poor but we have rhythm” look. The dancers march their way down the ramp so that Hans can begin dissecting them.

Finally, we have a close-up of Gaga herself, sporting a hairstyle that has been inspired by the handles on wicker baskets. She’s looking through some very funky binoculars, trying to determine where the sad music is coming from that has started to play. This is followed by someone carrying what looks like a human heart on a black satin pillow, and then a shot of Lady Gaga messing around with her mouth. Maybe she’s got some spinach caught in her teeth.

Quick scene, possibly back at the boring bar where they still aren’t serving any drinks. It’s snowing outside, and people are sad, or at least lethargic, so somebody probably died. Then we’re out in the snow, and yep, there’s been a death. People are carrying a casket, while Lady leads the way, lugging that heart on a pillow while violins play. Did Ingmar Bergman direct this?

We switch to a man wearing leather panties and holding a gun in his crotch. It’s a pretty gun. He’s also wearing a strange helmet that doesn’t seem to fit, and there are very large holes in the wall behind him, which is letting in some of the snow. Perhaps he should call Maintenance.

Gaga again, with a severe blonde hairdo that is not kind to her facial bone structure. She appears to be wearing a modified veil, so perhaps she is familiar with the person in the casket. (Maybe they took an aerobics class together one time?) But this doesn’t explain why she’s acting like Eva Peron on some balcony, back when the Argentinians still liked her, and before they made that Broadway show and then the movie where we finally learned that Madonna can actually act as well as get pregnant via a personal trainer.

We head back to Wicker Basket Gaga, still screwing around with the pointless binoculars while she smokes a cigarette, watching the jock-strap dancers through a conveniently large but still gloomy window. The dancers apparently learned some new moves while underground, so their stomping about is less crude, but we still don’t know what happened to the rest of their clothes.

Oh look, Lady Gaga is able to flip just one lens of the binoculars away from her tragically-pale face so we can watch her not emote while she sings. That’s why she wanted those things. She doesn’t need to see anything, she just wanted a cool accessory that she can manipulate to the beat of the song. So she does that for a while as the dancers continue showing off their improved choreography, including the ability to arch their backs so that their crotches bulge even more.

And those dancers have some stamina, because they frolic around for quite some time. They seem to be really fond of doing this group-hug thing where they spin in a circle while war-like scenes flash on a screen that some crew person has helpfully erected in the back of the soundstage. Then the dancers pair off and things get a little heated, with some grunting and such, and for a moment I don’t care if Alejandro ever shows up.

Now we have Lady Gaga in a red-leather nun’s habit, lying on a bed and being overly affectionate with her rosary. This very personal time is inter-cut with scenes taking place in some type of institutional barracks, where people are either having naughty relations or emotional breakdowns while they writhe on metal cots. Whips and high heels are major design elements, along with some line dancing where Gaga joins the Jock-Ettes for some synchronized footwork. (And who spread the kitty litter all over the floor?)

This goes on for a while as well (hey, they’ve still got 4 minutes to kill), with lots more simulated and symbolic sexual slap and tickle, where it’s clear that gender and manners are completely unimportant. (They definitely won’t be showing clips of this part on the morning talk shows. Well, maybe on the FX channel.)

Things finally cool off a bit, with the Jock-Ettes doing some comparatively mundane hand movements, lying on their backs while Lady Gaga stands in the middle, wearing something Greta Garbo would wear just before she took her own life in a tragic 1930’s movie.

Scratch that. We get a closer look at the outfit, and Greta would never go near this, even after she became a recluse and started drinking. This close-up comes courtesy of the Bowl-Cut Boys, as they lift a spread-eagled Lady Gaga over their heads, and we learn that there’s an inverted red cross in Gaga’s business section. The boys continually thrust Gaga at the overheard camera to Make. Sure. We. Can. SEE IT. This wholesome scene is followed by one where Gaga crams her beloved rosary into her mouth.

At this point, I’m sure the switchboard at the Vatican is very busy. I’m assuming that Lady Gaga won’t be getting a contract with Pepsi.

Back to the spread-eagled Gaga in case you missed anything the first time. Yep, that cross is still waving at us from Gaga’s undulating undercarriage. Hey there, how ya doin?

Suddenly we have Lady Gaga in another outfit, this one with shades of Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret”, minus Joel Grey or any of the startling eye shadow. She does a few solo dance steps, and then the Jock-Ettes are back, parading down the stage in pairs, wearing leather jackets while Lady does some more dance steps that make it clear she’s hoping for a remake of “Saturday Night Fever”.

Then Gaga and the Jock-Ettes switch over to the laboratory ramp, where Lady has decided to one-up Madonna by wearing a bustier made out of machine guns. She’s very proud of this piece of couture, fondling the gun barrels as she shimmies. Meanwhile, the Jock-Ettes twirl, leap and touch their faces dramatically. How they can still have so much energy is beyond me, after that massive orgy mass they just celebrated a few scenes ago. They must be drinking that fancy new vitamin water that Jennifer Aniston wants me to buy. (Updating shopping list, click and save.)

Now we’re jump-cutting all over hell, with brief bits of everything we’ve seen, mixed in with new material that fully expresses Lady Gaga’s art. (Or at least underscores the possibility that someone on the production team didn’t refill his prescriptions.) The metal cots are still filled with angsty couples, the Jock-Ettes are still flinging Gaga through the air, and the amorous nun is still lying on her bed, belching contentedly after eating the rosary.

Wait a minute. We are suddenly getting shots of some non-bowl-cut guy standing around, looking forlorn but still trendy in his leather outfit. Is that Alejandro? Dude, where have you been? That bitch has been calling your name for the last half hour.

We are treated to more jump-cutting and sexual hi-jinks involving uncomfortable positions. This time through there’s new business with the Jock-Ettes shoving Sacrilege Gaga all over some Goth playground. (I guess they found out she had a better dressing room.) To reinforce her A-List status, Lady Gaga straddles one of them, and then rips off her top. The chorus boys do such a dismal job of pretending to be interested in her wares that the director quickly orders them to go back to dancing in minimalist attire and looking pretty.

Final shot has Gun-Crotch Boy and Nun-Jandro on a bed, with wires coming down making them look like marionettes. Oh? So is Lady Gaga saying that she didn’t have all this sex of her own free will, that other people were making her do it? (I didn’t know she was a Republican Senator. Hmm.) The camera zooms in on the face of Nun Gaga and the film begins to melt, making Senator Gaga briefly look like something that took possession of little Linda Blair and made her pee on the carpet during an otherwise festive dinner party.

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 06/25/10, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.

 

There’s Something in the Water: Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”

Lady Gaga Poker Face

 

In the opening scenes, Lady Gaga is dripping wet, climbing out of somebody’s swimming pool. She is wearing odd headgear, some contraption that you can’t get at your local mall, and the assumption is that she was thrown out of a passing alien spaceship because she’s wearing too much eyeliner. (Excessive grooming products can hinder optimal space travel.) There are twin attack-dogs reviewing her movements, but they don’t approach her because she doesn’t appear to have any treats for them, and even if she did, they would be soggy by now, because girlfriend is water-logged.

Then Lady Gaga prances around in her black leather outfit, doing hand movements that signify she either has a rash or is practicing for an infomercial involving cleaning products. Amazingly, her eyeliner does not run, despite the coming-out-of-the-pool thing. She does a lot of naughty hip-thrusting for no apparent reason. It’s probably in her contract that she has to do such, or maybe she just has no control over her loins.

Oh wait, now she’s sporting a blue outfit for the chorus of the song. She clutches her head a lot, while tons of backup dancers appear out of nowhere, and they all gyrate, but Lady Gaga doesn’t have a hair out of place. Somebody needs to cut a bonus check for the stylist, because he hit that, yes she did. You really aren’t anybody unless you can control your own hair. Or have enough money to pay someone to control it for you.

Now there are hundreds of people running about, with once-again black-clad Gaga pretending to play poker and throwing cards everywhere (rude!), then everybody is in their night-night clothes but still humping the air and acting like poker is an aphrodisiac. Personally, I’ve never been that invested in something as small as a playing card or any situation where you have to lie about what you might have in your hands, but maybe I have different goals.

Then we head into another round of the chorus, and Gaga is back in her blue outfit, meaning the poor thing is probably worn out with all the wardrobe changes. (Still, she’s obviously making more money than me, so not much of a sympathy angle on this end.) Then somebody powers up a fog machine, so we can have a nice 80s-era bit of pizazz, even though it has nothing to do with what’s happening in front of the camera.

Oh look, now there are two images of Gaga gyrating and getting moist over a royal flush. Wow, not only is card-playing apparently sexy, but it can cause instantaneous cloning. I had never considered this possibility. (Kudos to the director for partaking in the proper amount of recreational drugs to advance his artistry in just the right attention-getting manner.) I’m sure that Diana Ross will have one of her servants contact him, should she decide that the world cannot survive unless she has a comeback tour.

Now Gaga’s wearing some freaky glasses that somehow channel the MTV feed. Way cool. But then she gets bored with the fancy spectacles and ditches them pretty quickly, much like the MTV audience has done for the last few decades, once management started forgetting that music videos is what originally made them blue-chip on Wall Street. You want your MTV? Keep it.

Wait, now Gaga’s wearing the blue outfit again even though it’s not time for the chorus. What the hell? Did somebody run out of film footage and started to wing it? And why does she keep using her hand to make a circle thing around her eye? Is this her signature move? I suppose it might mean something to her personally, but it pales in comparison to, I don’t know, Michael Jackson’s moonwalk or Eric Clapton doing anything with a guitar.

Before we have a chance to raise our hand and question the wardrobe malfunction, Gaga runs into another room where she proceeds to flirt with some bed-head semi-stud who looks rather stoned. We now have several jump cuts between Gaga, the stoner, the hundreds of gyrating people in the house who apparently can’t find a decent disco, and some startlingly-intimate shots of Gaga basically French-kissing one of the dogs. I suppose the director was going for “artsy foreign cinema” with this angle, but all I got out of it was “the film editor tried to cover up the fact that the director misunderstood artsy foreign cinema”. Let’s just hope that no animals were harmed during the filming of this sequence.

Despite the lack of cohesiveness, Gaga marches on like a trooper, firmly convinced that her insistent willpower alone will make this video a success. This means that we get a lot of close-ups of her various body parts, mainly to show everyone that she enjoys gothic manicures, and that her hair has remained in place, despite the humidity from the pool and the hordes of lost disco dancers racing around the property. (There’s a slight hint that someone may have drowned in the swimming pool during all this debauchery, but we don’t dwell on it because we really don’t know these people personally.)

We have some filler footage with Gaga doing even more odd hand movements, still really invested in doing the circle thing around her eye even though it’s not particularly attractive, and more shots of her frolicking around in outfits that can’t possibly be comfortable, wedged so tightly that a yeast infection is surely on the horizon. And what’s up with the obvious white wig, honey? You paraded it around for most of the video, and I tried to love it, but it’s just not happening for me. It looks like something worn by the child actors in the “Village of the Damned” movie, and a lot of people died in that flick. Is that really the legacy you’re trying to leave behind here?

We end the video with Gaga possibly having at least a minimal orgasm, and/or letting us know that her favorite sports team did something positive. Not sure. Whatever the case, she and her fake hair look completely satisfied, confident that her work is done here and she can now head to the wrap party, ready to be worshipped and handed cocktails.

P.S. What the hell was that metal thing on your cheek during the entire video? Text me.

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 07/18/09, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.