Haus of Gaga

I have a penchant for writing academic essays on popular culture. Here is an abstract from one I wrote on Lady Gaga at the start of the year.

HAUS OF GAGA: Exploring the paradigm of Lady Gaga’s Telephone music video through the postmodern condition and the possible end of postmodernism itself.

“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into representation.” — Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle.

Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ outlines almost all of the essential features of postmodernism thus creating a cultural product that is quite possibly in the truest of postmodern forms. However this creates the debate that a product so aligned to postmodern theory could ultimately lead to its decay and demise due to its overuse. Lyotard’s theory is outlined succinctly through the plot of ‘Telephone’ through the fact that there is no plot but merely disjunctive sequences of event and copious amounts of product placement thus perverting any allusion to a grand narrative structure. The stylistic appropriation of Tarantino-esque film techniques furthers the postmodern argument that was put forth by Baudrillard, in that all culture is a form of simulacrum from which the original meaning is displaced. This entropic breakdown of cultural signs then leads one to think that due to the extreme postmodern saturation to which ‘Telephone’ encompasses, cultural products are left to follow in rigid uniformity. Is ‘Telephone’ the archetype for all cultural products to follow or is this signalling the end of postmodern culture?

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