The Ever-Elusive Lady: Gaga’s “Alejandro”

To me, Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” video is like a good surrealist painting; I like it, but I just don’t quite get it. And I know everybody and their mama has written about Gaga and her video and what it could all mean. But here are my takeaway questions:

1)    What is with the dancing Moes? Is Gaga a Stooges fan? If so, more power to her; those guys are hilarious.

2)    Is Gaga making a fashion statement with her platinum blond chili bowl? (I hope not. I wouldn’t ever want a resurgence of that cut; it looked bad enough on me as a child.)

3)    Should the original platinum pop princess of overt sexuality and controversial images, aka Madonna, be pissed at the blatant rip-off or pleased at the homage?

But in all seriousness, the viewer is assaulted with several images throughout the course of the video. A totaltarian state with a dictator/queen. A casket and a skewered heart. Some snow and religious symbolism. People rolling around in beds. Crucifixes everywhere (even one over Gaga’s crotch). A dance sequence in a black pantsuit. A group dance sequence that debuts a stellar machine gun bra that puts Katy Perry’s whip cream can bra to shame.

Just what are you trying to say with all of your metaphors, Gaga? What are you commenting on? War? Religion? Sex? Love? Gender? I can’t quite make it out. Mostly, I think the assault of images, some of them for shock value, leaves the viewer only muddled and with a vague sense of what “Alejandro” is all about. As for the Madge comparisons? There are similarities to be sure (just check out Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video for controversial Christian imagery), but whether it is an homage or an inferior attempt at Madonna, well, that’s all in the eye of the beholder (and probably depends on how big a fan of each one is). For my part, I could probably watch this 100 times and never fully get it, but I’ll enjoy it for what it is: another freaky fun stop on the Gaga rollercoaster.

–by Lindsay Ray

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