Does What You Listen To Make You Who You Are?

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Is Lady Gaga A Bad Influence?

Mike Adams, a writer at an obscure healthy living website (more on this guy later), set his sights on [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm] earlier today – in order to boost his hit count, naturally – trashing [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm] and her fans, making ridiculous claims like “I have no doubt there is a strong correlation between Gaga fans and unwanted teen pregnancies” and “She is a destructive influence on our nation’s youth, and her own fans act out the very same dysfunctional, divergent thought themes that Gaga promotes through her music and contrived persona.”

Now, we’re not here to defend [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm]. We think she can probably take care of herself. Needless to say – and in fairness to Mike Adams, the self-proclaimed “Health Ranger,” he did stipulate this, too – Gaga has every right in the world to wear a dress made out of meat while singing about “disco sticks,” just as we have the right to listen or not listen (Free expression for her and free association for us, respectively).

But the second part … well, the second part reminded us of High Fidelity.

Remember High Fidelity? The John Cusack movie (based on the amazing Nick Hornby novel) about a record store owner and music snob? Cusack says at one point in the film, “what really matters is what you like, not what you are like.”

Remember how, over the course of the movie, he’s proven wrong? How he gets back together with the woman who’s taste in music he can’t understand?

Grouping people together based on what they like is almost always a wonderful way to misrepresent a large segment of people. This is particularly true of an artist like [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm], who attracts fans from everywhere. They play her songs in glitzy Hollywood clubs and at hipster-run mash-up dance nights. They play her songs at gyms and at proms.

So, when a guy writing for a healthy living website says something like “her own fans act out the very same dysfunctional, divergent thought themes that Gaga promotes through her music and contrived persona,” especially without providing any evidence other than references to hate email he’s received, he’s guilty of the same thing his parents said when they talked of how [lastfm]Elvis Presley[/lastfm]’s hip gyrations would be the end of civilization as we know it.

When Mike Adams claims that many [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm] fans “are functionally illiterate and most likely incapable of engaging in thoughtful analysis of any text passage,” he seems to be doing nothing more than taking out the pain of being called out for such supremely lazy thinking.

As for the themes in Lady Gaga’s music and art, which ones does he object to? The idea of unity? Of treating everyone equally? Of course not. He’s worried about the sex:

…just like every parent of every child born since Elvis.

Sorry, “Health Ranger,” but you’re nothing but an updated concern troll, saying the same thing youth culture has heard at every turn since the 1950s. Stick to peddling natural herbal cures with no proven medical benefits.

  • Do you think being a fan of Lady Gaga makes you functionally illiterate?

[NOTE: Site name redacted. Sorry, man, but you don’t deserve the traffic.]

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