First a disclaimer: Lady Gaga, like pop music, is great when she isn't taking herself too seriously. However, in the four minutes below, she takes herself extremely seriously.
Here is a list of the particularly ridiculous things in this extended scene from the intro to HBO's broadcast of Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour: Live at Madison Square Garden (Saturday, May 7, 9/8c):
- The black-and-white, through-the-mirror shot is begging for yet another round of Madonna-rip-off accusations. If you ever play truth or dare with Lady Gaga and she says, "Truth," ask her if she was purposely copying Truth or Dare's aesthetic in this one.
- "I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school, and I just gotta pick my s--t up and I have to tell myself I'm a superstar every morning so I can get through this day and be for my fans what they need for me to be." Is the implication that superstars are somehow better than loser kids in high school? That is not egalitarian! Also, no one needs Lady Gaga to be anything (it's not like her music is actual monster food), but they'd probably like her to be a little less implicitly condescending.
- "People are trying to destroy me." I'm sure it's nothing a sparks-shooting bra can't take care of.
- "You will never destroy the kingdom that is my fans." Minor point: while both nouns, people are not places. Major point: all this talk of the fans, fans, fans is just a way to humanize obsessing about fame. Because when Gaga talks about her fans, she's really just discussing her popularity. At least as positing herself as king, this statement comes relatively close to dropping the usual veil of altruism.
- Annnd, the veil's back up with, "It's not about being a winner for me anymore. It's about being a winner for them." Pop music is not activism, but if she really wants to turn her job into charity work and donate every single one of her proceeds, there's probably a gaggle of kids in McQueen knockoffs, jewel-encrusted sunglasses and Ziggy Stardust face paint that will gladly take her up on it.
- "Dear Lord...Thank you for all the amazing, screaming fans that are here tonight." But she hasn't even seen them yet. How could she be sure they're amazing? Oh right, because they're there for her.
Watch the extremely serious foolery below: