Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” is Preaching to the Choir That isn’t Allowed in Church
Lady Gaga’s newest epic pop anthem “Born This Way” has exploded all over the face of American pop culture. The song has received heaps of attention not just for its catchy beats and whatever other random music adjectives you’d like to add, but also for its message. To quote one of the verses from “Born This Way”:
No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
“Born This Way” has been billed as an anthem for all the disaffected people of the world. However the current civil rights climate in the U.S. would lead one to assume that gay rights are the central issue of the song’s message. Between Lady Gaga’s avid campaigning for the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to the hotly debated issue of gay marriage, there’s no doubt she was inspired to write this song by the gay population’s struggle for equality.
I happen to agree with Ms. Gaga. I’m very happy “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed, and hope that one day soon gay and lesbian couples can marry (so they’ll be as miserable as the rest of us LOLOLOLOLROFLLLLLLLSLHKWIOHGVOIHWEFIAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! /shoots self in face). I also agree that homosexuality is something that people are born with, hence the title of the song. I agree with everything “Born This Way” is saying. In short, it’s okay to be gay! (and by that I mean JUST okay, it really didn’t do that much for me personally).
I do have one problem with the song however. Although it is correct on all accounts, the message that “it’s okay to be gay” is diminished by the fact the song itself is the gayest thing I’ve ever heard. What I mean is that although it serves to strengthen the morale of gays and their supporters, it does nothing to win over the ignorant and unconvinced. The fact that the message is correct is inconsequential since the message is delivered in a fashion that will only illicit resistance from opponents of gay rights.
I commend Lady Gaga for her message, but she can only do so much. Essentially she is preaching to the choir. What we need are songs in the spirit of “Born This Way” written by artists whose audiences may not be the biggest proponent of gay rights, for whatever reason. Can someone get Lil Wayne to lay down a track sampling “Born This Way” where he raps about how being gay is no big deal? Weezy needs to let his audience know that a person deserves respect no matter who licks their lollipop.
The best solution to this problem would be a Tupac style post mortem release from Johnny Cash championing gay rights. Instead of “A Boy Named Sue” it’d be “A Boy Who Acts Like Sue…and That’s Cool.” I would pay untold amounts of money to hear that song. The first time it played on the radio the U.S. would set the world record for most simultaneous pickup truck crashes. We’d probably be breaking our own record, but still.
Jam bands need to get in the act as well. They could suggest a quid quo pro in which their hippy fans promise to show up at the polls for once if gay voters return the favor by helping legalize weed. I’d suggest a jam band write a song about this but the message would be lost somewhere in the countless twenty minute instrumental intervals. They’d be better off just mentioning it in between sets.
The movement is growing, and sooner rather than later gay Americans will have the same rights as straight Americans. It can’t get here fast enough, because then we can move on to the issues that actually deserve a debate, like legalizing pot. In the meantime Gaga needs to refocus her energy from writing songs that all her listeners agree with to finding artists who can win over new supporters. Either that or find a producer good enough to create that aforementioned Johnny Cash song strictly from old recordings. Hell the technology probably exists.