Sunday, 6 February 2011

Lady Gaga Born This Way: "Racist, Simplistic, Condescending Garbage"

"As an Hispanic liberal who has been writing essays supporting gay rights for twelve years, I agree with the pro-gay sentiments of this song. But just because a song has life-affirming lyrics it doesn't necessarily means it's a great work of art. Lady Gaga`s new single has no subtlety or nuance, it sounds like something that a beauty queen who yearns for world peace would write.
"Are Latinos supposed to be grateful that a white superstar, born of privilege, included a racist shout out to our community? Not all Latino ladies are 'cholas' in the barrio, some of them are teachers, writers, engineers and nurses and doctors...
"Lady Gaga should apologize to Hispanics, Christina Aguilera, Carl Bean and pop music fans for her execrable song, and she should immediately pull her song from the market."

Robert Paul Reyes tells it like it tis, via The SOP.
Lady Gaga is clearly A Good Thing - cause she clearly moves and inspires a lot of young gay boys - but the lyrics to Born This Way are barely literate "I'd like to buy the gays a Coke" trite tripe.
And besides no-one knows if we are "born this way".
Is this the best you can do?


  1. "Don't be a drag - just be a queen."

    Dorothy Parker, step aside!

  2. "Give yourself prudence
    And love your friends
    Subway kid, rejoice your truth"

    No idea. Anyone?

  3. Heaven forbid any of us actually listen to the thing before passing judgement!

  4. Hi,

    The lyrics have been published - click on the links above - they are dreadful.

    I commented on the lyrics, not the music.


  5. Sorry, on reflection that x in the last post may look patronising - wasn't meant to be.

  6. I'm looking forward to hearing the song and also think she's a positive influence and an interesting "phenomenon" and I was quite fond of her first album.
    But given the fact the build-up to this song actually being heard has been interminable (with Elton John saying it's going to be the greatest "gay anthem" ever) and it turns out the lyrics are terrible, you can't really blame someone for lightly mocking them.
    We shouldn't just accept something that's crap just because it's gay or pro-gay.

    "Gay is not enough, it used to be, but it's not anymore. It's a good start, but I think we have to be strong. There is such a thing as bad gay movies, there are some embarrassing things about gay culture, just like there were some embarrassing things in early black culture. I think we just have to never use being gay as an excuse for anything." - John Waters

  7. I liked Telephone a lot, but think the rest of her music is distinctly "meh".
    Just sounds like the most wincesome Hi Nrg nonsense I've been unliking in gay clubs for the last too many years...

  8. Didn't find the "x" patronising so no worries!

    If Born This Way is half as catch as Bad Romance - I don't care what she's singing about!

    Further, after years of main-stream acts psuedo flying the fag for the gays - that GaGa would come out and just support us but saying it plainly in a song without metaphors or a fleeting music video reference is no bad thing in my book.

  9. @ "Further, after years of main-stream acts psuedo flying the fag for the gays - that GaGa would come out and just support us but saying it plainly in a song without metaphors or a fleeting music video reference is no bad thing in my book."

    Good call.


  10. It's only a pop song and I've obviously had too much to think, but to me the interesting thing about Gaga was her whole reinvention of herself. She's strikingly small and plain when you see her "out of character", but through the force of her creativity and with the help of the people she's surrounded herself with she turned herself into a highly improbable star. In other words, what's so great about Gaga is what she's done with herself despite the way she was born.
    The notion that we can all be our own creation is hardly new in pop obviously but it's difficult to think of a popstar who's done it so well for a good few decades.
    I think it's largely that element that appeals to her gay fanbase, so it's a little ironic that her "gay anthem" goes against that.

    Also, that whole "I was born this way" and "I don't have a choice in the matter" rationale for being gay is slightly frustrating because it suggests if we had any choice in the matter we would choose to be straight.
    That's why "I am what I am" is such a resonant statement/lyric - it makes no such excuses and is utterly unapologetic. The fact that Elton John thinks this will become the greatest gay anthem then is a little worrying.
    If she set out specifically to write a gay anthem it would have been far more interesting and powerful had she expressed in the lyrics the same ownership over sexuality that she's exercised so brilliantly through her image.

    Anyway, still looking forward to hearing it. Let's hope the music is good.

  11. @ "That's why "I am what I am" is such a resonant statement/lyric - it makes no such excuses and is utterly unapologetic."

    Ha ha - I love that song too - it's such a great fuck you!


  12. Grrreat star - awful music.

  13. a "chola" is simply a latin american or spanish girl who is mixed race...usually used when mixed with american indian blood. so your criticism is like saying....not all the girls there are white...some of them are also lawyers, dentists, etc....

    the fact that you are perpetuating the term as it has been negatively appropriated by some is the problem.

  14. This coming from a blog entitled "fagburn"? Not all hispanics are... whatever word you used that I can't pronounce, and not all homosexuals are "fags".

    The song is fair (lyrics aside) but I still feel her best work is ahead of her. She's talented, and has the chops to write some serious tunes. She will grow out of this youthful provocative dance stage.

  15. I like what you had to say. I do wonder about whether homosexuality is truly based on biological determinism...and Lady Gaga is just bad music (to put it lightly).

  16. We can't really be certain what lady gaga is referring to with the term Chola until she responds. But it can be stated that she's an outspoken and open minded activist. Probably the last person who would intentionally demean or degrade anyone. Also, Americans and Latinos need to relaize that the term Chola also refers to the Tamil Dynasty in India which ruled for over ten centuries.

    My family is from India, I speak a little Tamil, and I'm gay. If she is referring to that, I'd proud to be listed (twice) in her lyrics!

    I adore the Love that Gaga spreads. We need more love, and less division. Peace.

    more info:

  17. I agree with the previous commenter. In India, being gay/lesbian/bisexual is looked heavily down upon-- maybe Gaga is trying to hint at this. In terms of her overall message in the song, this would make more sense no?

    In addition, considering that the song is about acceptance, you have to ask yourself why would she use such a derogatory term?? It just doesn't make sense.