Lady Gaga and the symbols

Posted by I'm the penguin | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lady Gaga is now queen of the showbiz, and her right hand, her golden army are the gays. She's devoted to them, and in exchange they are a loyal legion of consumers and hardcore defenders of her and her art. This rising group needed a spokesperson and a flag that could be swung in pride, because this Gaga lady is mentioning all the time how much she is for the gays, and having such a tremendous media power, she is obviously heard. And so a thought crawled into my mind the other day, would it be so bad if Lady Gaga was found to be a homophobe at the end of the day?

Isn't she as a symbol way more important and powerful than she will ever be as a person by itself? Up until today, that symbol has been built to amaze and leave the entire business speechless, but what I think is more important, she has risen awareness and defends a vulnerable minority. Would all that be ruined if it was found that Lady Gaga, the person, not the symbol, was homophobic at the end, and only playing along to get consumers and win a market?

Yes it would.
But why should it?
All we ever care about truly are symbols, so why are we so hypocrite, as a society to actually give a damn about what happens to the bearers of those symbols, or in reality for that matter?

Truth is that we inhabit a social world, where interactions and status are currency, meaning is the code by which we live, and language is the foundation of all types of modern construction. So, in this type of place, symbols are everything. It doesn't matter what would instinct say, what would literal interpretation tell you, what matters is what you see trough the lens of society, its symbols and knowledge, whatever these are.

And so, in a way we're all hypocritical, saying reality counts for something, when in fact a symbol is what truly matters. When we look at people like John Lennon in pictures, or old buildings like the Giza pyramids, what gives them importance is not that they exist per se. John was a man, the Giza pyramids were a tomb. Nothing else. But then they do stuff that probably will never have a direct effect on us, but they are recognized by everyone and assure their place in humanity's memory for some hundreds of years. They become icons, symbols we give a huge load of importance, and so they become basic common knowledge.

Nothing of considerable relevance is any other thing than a symbol, something we can all digest, chew, and spit or swallow, either way they have to become abstract.

But then there's that part where despite the symbols, in spite of our believes, something as relatively small as a news blast with evidence of Lady Gaga being homophobic would be enough to destroy that huge tower of confidence and devotion formed by the huge symbol built.

And if you ask me, that's kind of wrong.

Hell, for all I care she could be a red neck-WBC Christian fundamentalist-war supporting-homophobic-50 year old man, (with a big talent for fitting in tight clothes, dancing and major plastic surgery) and it wouldn't make a difference. What matters is the symbol she is, and what she does with that. Sure, you can tell me her music is all that matters, but that would be lying to yourself.

Icons and symbols are what we see, the people behind them are only the holders of that image, but when it becomes big enough, it no longer belongs only to them; but it acquires life of its own. And then, it will be all that will remain.

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