I can’t believe I’ve gotten so far on this blog already! A couple more years and I’ll get all the way through my list and have to start over. When I started on A I wasn’t really expecting to make it all the way to H. But now I have, and it’s gonna be a good one. Let’s kick it off with Lady Gaga, live in Paris. My Lady is illustrating all the things I love about her and all the things that frustrate me. One the one hand there’s her go-for-broke sincerity. There’s her voice, an instrument that can’t be denied. There’s the way she’s not the least bit abashed to look absolutely ridiculous. She may be absurd but she doesn’t care, and that’s how she pulls it off. There’s something almost childlike in her gleeful enthusiasm for dressing up and singing out her thoughts. On the other hand, there’s her songwriting. She’s taken one of the silliest songs she’s ever written and turned it into a ten minute piano ballad, the better to showcase the high school journal banality of her lyrics. And truly, her lyrics are beyond retarded. Those words could have been written by a disgruntled eighth grader. Gaga either doesn’t realize that, or she’s playing an enormous dada joke on the world. She seems convinced she’s written her generation’s Get Up, Stand Up. She hasn’t but, on the sheer strength of her conviction, her silly song really is an anthem, at least for anyone who feels stymied in their quest for a valid identity. The freedom to dye one’s hair or not may be what’s commonly called ‘white girl problems’ and would elicit a condescending pat on the head from Bob Marley, but ‘white girl problems’ are important to us white girls, and self-expression is important to everyone. Even Marley would, if he were here today, agree that what one puts on one’s head can be a vital signal of who you are and where you stand in the world. Come to think of it, he may have written as many songs about his hair as Lady Gaga writes about hers. Now if only she could find someone to help her with those pesky lyrics.