Throwdown: Camille vs. Gaga (Round One)


It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon; you’re perusing the world news online, nibbling the last of the apricot ginger scones from Susina and downing the last of the morning’s champagne. On such a lovely day, what could possibly have prepared you for this new nightmare? Camille Paglia, America’s foremost cultural critic, has launched a full-scale attack on Lady Gaga. On September 12, of all days! Here’s just one quote that made me choke on my scone and snort champagne out of my nose:

“How could a figure so calculated and artificial, so clinical and strangely antiseptic, so stripped of genuine eroticism have become the icon of her generation? Can it be that Gaga represents the exhausted end of the sexual revolution? In Gaga’s manic miming of persona after persona, over-conceptualised and claustrophobic, we may have reached the limit of an era…”
-Camille Paglia, on Lady Gaga

Holy crap! What did Gaga ever do to you, Camille? She continues:

“She constantly touts her symbiotic bond with her fans, the ‘little monsters’, who she inspires to ‘love themselves’ as if they are damaged goods in need of her therapeutic repair. ‘You’re a superstar, no matter who you are!’ She earnestly tells them from the stage, while their cash ends up in her pockets. She told a magazine with messianic fervour: ‘I love my fans more than any artist who has ever lived.’ She claims to have changed the lives of the disabled, thrilled by her jewelled parody crutches in the Paparazzi video.”

You can read the bulk of the article at You have to be a subscriber to read all of it, but I’m sure it will become available in the coming days. I’m curious to see if Obama, Clinton, Palin, Beck, Jolie and the Pope weigh in on this shocking and blatant grab for publicity on the part of Ms. Paglia. Gaga’s legion of “little monsters” will undoubtedly retaliate for such blasphemy. But what’s a society based on free speech to do? If we get Ms. Paglia to recant, are we just giving in to the demands of extremists? But if we allow her to exercise her rights, unabated, are we prepared for the global ramifications?

With relations with the Haus of Gaga always so close to the breaking point, can we tolerate such an intolerant critic? Or silence her for the greater good?

I shall pray for an answer.