Saturday, March 27, 2010

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Shaffer: Beauty, irony, Gaga
On Truth and Lies

By Matthew Shaffer
Staff Columnist
The Yale Daily News
Published Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“The genius of Gaga” was a good start, but Kathryn Olivarius ’11 doesn’t go far enough. She doesn’t appreciate Gaga like I do.
Gaga changed my life. Before her, I shunned all pop music — any song written after World War I. But Gaga’s music taught me to stop worrying and love modernity. Now I tolerate young people, blue jeans, even dance parties.
Pop culture is awful. Contemporary musical theater ranks among the greatest monstrosities of human history, and persuades me that America’s decline is nigh. People pay hundreds of dollars to hear one-dimensional protagonists screech...

#1 By '10 11:09a.m. on March 24, 2010

Forget Lady Gaga. There is only Janelle Monae.

#2 By SY '11 3:26p.m. on March 24, 2010

Janelle Monae ftw!

#3 By '09 3:58p.m. on March 24, 2010

Seconded. She is amazing.

#4 By '09 3:58p.m. on March 24, 2010

Janelle Monae, I mean

#5 By Fan 6:31p.m. on March 24, 2010

Thank you for sharing your opinion on Gaga. But honestly you see no similarities between Madonna of the 80's and Gaga today ? It is all the same crap that Hollywood has made (sex drugs and R&R).

#6 By Fan 7:03p.m. on March 24, 2010

she also used many of Micheal Jackson's Dance moves !

#7 By '14 7:58p.m. on March 24, 2010

You rock. Your columns rock. Every week. You're great.

#8 By saybrook997 8:35p.m. on March 24, 2010

I don't believe this article is about Lady Gaga, any more than about health care or cap and trade.

This is none of my business, and I have enough of my own stuff, but YDN op-eds are not WSJ types. They scream out what's going on in his or her big, little mind, heart, and soul?

What happened over spring break? Maybe you just are having Nietzsche nihilist fun or a senior thesis crisis or a third-wave "young woman" problem (other than Lady Gaga).

You write: "how to survive our time. In a godless world without beauty, truth or goodness, there is no significance to life, words have no meaning and we’ll all soon be dead. The only path is irony — speaking with a smile because every word is a lie, going through an empty world and finding amusement in performance. We know God is dead and so will we be — but it doesn’t get us down. Because we have Gaga....the only source of consolation in an mad, ugly world. We could use more beauty....But we’re a lost generation...."

Are you OK? We're all in this generation. Jesus Christ!(and I don't often write or say those words in this godless, modern pagan, Nietzsche, empty, ugly, mad, lost world.)

If soul crisis, try Pascal. If soul mate crisis, women are hell on men, and they think it's always the other way. Especially after 30 years when women have tried more change than men have been allowed in the past 3,000 years. Still, not this generation's women's doings, so don't fly to Argentina.

If all this really was irony, never mind. As my great aunt would say, no need to get my bowels in an uproar and kidneys in a downpour, merely over a soulless, mad world in crisis, except for Gaga. Or just let me laugh that you almost let your Nietzsche get out of control.

#9 By '12 10:08p.m. on March 24, 2010

Shaffer's a stud.

#10 By DC 11:12p.m. on March 24, 2010

more interesting than the articles themselves is the arch-conservative's quite evident fascination with hipsters and gaga...

#11 By '10 12:15a.m. on March 25, 2010

This is the best op-ed ever.

#12 By @#8 12:29a.m. on March 25, 2010

i think this is more of a semi-ironic exploration of Gaga's relation to meaningless/soulless postmodernity than necessarily an endorsement of that view.

#13 By Belief Systems 12:35a.m. on March 25, 2010

It takes more courage to behave nobly in a godless world than it does in a world where nobility is rewarded by an invisible score-keeper in the sky.

Nietzsche was nuts. And now he's dead, like his god.

("God is dead; and, Mary is his mother".)

Pascal said, "All of the troubles of mankind are caused by man's inability to sit quietly in his room."

Hedonism, materialism, nihilism and exhilarationism are the luxuries of the young and healthy.

Lady Gaga will be fat and wrinkled in the twinkling of an eye; or a living mummy like Joan Rivers, or Madonna.

What do you want to live FOR?

Or do you simply want to wake up every day and follow your lusts like a dog following scents?


BTW Nihilism is a form of meaning--it is a belief-system.

#14 By @saybrook997 1:22a.m. on March 25, 2010

I assure you that Mr. Shaffer is not having "woman problems." He is a very happy and lucky man.

#15 By y'10 10:26p.m. on March 25, 2010

Matt, you've gone all Richard Rorty on us! I like it.

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