Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My great-aunt gave regularly to a televangelist who was later exposed as a greedy fraud. She was very upset about this, so I said that her giving was all about what kind of person she was. What he did with her gift was between him and his god. It had nothing to do with her generous heart.

I believe that what we get from people we admire has little to do with that person and more to do with us. By that I mean in most cases we do not know our designated celebrity personally, rather, we respond to something in them that we also recognize in ourselves. It is in the bringing out of these hidden qualities that we become more truly ourselves.

Which brings me to Lady Gaga. I don't know Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and I doubt that I ever will. As a public persona, she might live to a Mick Jaggerish old age, flame out like Janis, or even pull a Britney. But that does not matter to me. In her Baba Wawa interview, she spoke about feeling like a freak, an outsider. Then the struggle to be free from that often self-imposed fear and creating a space of ones' own. And she has done that in the most flamboyant style.

When you feel like an outsider, like you don't fit into any of society's imposed categories, you can be hard on yourself. You know no one who shares your interests, your passions, so you learn to keep silent about them. Until someone like Gaga comes along, it never crosses your mind to create your own space, to be yourself, whatever you are, without fear of the judgement of your peers, and most harshly, the judgement of your own inner voices. Some people do get this much the better for them. But for the rest of us, a Gaga speaks like a voice from heaven.

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