Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lady Gaga's Philosophy

This picture is taken from here

"...I don't judge other artist. And I don't care about what anybody else is doing. I care about work in the world and I appreciate other people's music. And I love music, and I love culture. But when it comes to judgment and criticism, that's something that's sacred in my house of creative people. If we criticize, it's very specific and it's brief, and it's only a note to improve our own work. I DON'T focus on another people, I'm like, 100% focus on being innovative, and as original and soulful..." *

You might not expect those words from a 24 year-old girl who sings Poker Face, Paparazzi, Love Game, or Beautiful, Dirty, Rich. Moreover, this girl, Lady Gaga, always wears things that are commonly perceived as "weird things" and was somehow portrayed as a hermaprodhite. However, I was not surprised at all when I found her saying all those wise words in the series of interview that I watched tonight.

I am a believer of the notion that "music tells a lot about the artist who creates it". Thus when I started to listen to, and watch Lady Gaga, I knew that she is really a special person. As a person who seriously appreciating art, an amateur artist myself, who used to work in entertainment and broadcast industry, I have a sense that she is a great person with a great talent, extraordinary visions, professionalism and personality. I am serious about getting to know a person that I believe to be great. So tonight, I made my way to know her better through the interviews with Lady Gaga in YouTube.

The thing about an interview is, it so much depends on the angle chosen by the interviewer. Many in YouTube are the interviews I considered as "bad", because the interviewers were shallow, unknowledgeable, and insensitive about the art, creativity, personality. Not only that, since the beginning of the talk, many of them seemed to underestimate Lady Gaga, asking ridiculous question, and unprepared to receive deep, smart and philosophical answers from this girl in blonde wig and fake eyelashes. CNN interview was among the disappointing one. The interviewer, who wasa pretty-faced presenter, totally lost in Gaga's answers. She couldn't follow, and she lost her words and concentration. Disappointing. Especially because she belongs to CNN, the news channel that claims to be "quoted everywhere"! I think I was also disappointed because I overestimated CNN - and that, by the way, was a good example of how stereotyping operated in my mind and deceived me from the reality. I take that as the weakness of my part.
Anyway, if one would like to be a good journalist, he or she should learn as much as possible about a person or a case, and have open-minded point of views about any cases - including when interviewing a girl who likes to show her skin off, wearing wigs, heavy make up and sings Poker Face! I guess that CNN Cutie forgot the basic philosophy of "don't judge the book from its cover" - or don't judge people from what other gossip media said. It is always useful to appreciate everyone who is being interviewed.

It's clear, from her works, that Lady Gaga is an artist, as well as an original personality (and it must be difficult to be original when you were born after some, if not many, great pop cult figures made their way to fame). Someone must be very creative to preserve originality. I really like it when she said, "yes, I'm bossy, but I'm also smart", and when she explained how she started: "I began with a keyboard in a 400 square feet apartment, an old turn table, and a BIG DREAM". The kind of people like Lady Gaga is gifted to see and to portray her world and the world at large beyond what normal people can see, portray and express.

I know that some people frown upon me or laugh at me for what I see, and for what I believe from "seems-to-be-ridiculous" part of pop culture. I remember how in a press conference, when I was a finalist for a national TV newscaster talent search, the emcee introduced me as the finalist who idolized Madonna, and almost all the journalists in that room laughed at me. None asked me why I idolized Madonna but they took it for granted, that a candidate of news presenter for a prestigious TV channel should not choose this contoversial blondie as her idol. A girl I know laughed, and made face at me when I expressed how much I like American Next Top Model in Oxygen channel. She thought that every girl involving in modelling are stupid, and that the show is also stupid. She didn't ask me why I liked it, but she made face - as if I was a dumb if I know many details of the show (and she seemed to forget that we are both in the US because we were qualified for the very same scholarship).

But hey, how many people in the world can have such talents like Madonna? How many people can win some Grammys, producing good music, write children books, becoming the producer for herself, in charge of her own brand, arranging great concepts for the live performance, and recently, helps the people in Malawi? (I still partially disagree to her adoption moves though, but I do appreciate her works there). And as for Tyra Banks, how many women, and top models in in the world can have a capacity to become a mentor for so many young, inexperienced girls to be models with good attitudes, a producer of a successful TV program, a fashion photographer, a talkshow anchor, and being a beautiful girl at the same time?

See. Stereotyping assasinated people's ability to see the world as a home with so many windows that offer different views from inside and out. It limits people's capacity to see the whole pictures before saying - "hey, it's the truth!" - while after all, most of the time, in daily life, your notion of truth is relative merely to what your (very limited) senses can perceive.

The world, as we know, has different faces. The faces can be true, yet they can also be deceiving. They can be playful, they can be embarassing. Yet most of the news that I heard about the famous people, especially those in the pop culture said nothing about those sides. They just care about how weird they dress up, how they're suspected to be a bisex or hermaphrodite, or how they break up and make up. I think those who are just able to see the world from that narrow window are unlucky. Unlucky to be so narrow-minded, that they are not even willing to see the other sides of the story before judging others - and appreciate the originality - even many said that it was only the product of the commercialized pop industry. If the way to fame is that easy, why only few people can make huge hits? It is true, they are supported by great marketing team. But without the respective artists' creativity, million dollars worth of marketing approaches would be wasted. I appreciate creativity, originality, and dedication in various fields.

Tonight, from 5 clips of interview with Lady Gaga, I was reminded again about the important wisdom of success. Those are:
  • To focus on our direction, we shouldn't listen to everyone but only to the people that we respect,
  • We're not supposed to judge others for what they do (and what they don't),
  • When we criticize someone's works, it's better to be brief and directed to the improvement of our OWN works,
  • We should always appreciate others' creativity and opinion,
  • If we would like to produce a masterpiece, we should not f*ck up with even any single tiny detail.
  • We're not supposed to leave those who have lifted us up - merely in order to be accepted by the rest of the market, and,
  • We'd better 100% focus on being innovative, original and SOULFUL...

    Now I ask you: before you say that someone is bad, have you really learned who he/she really is? As long as I recall, a real great person would never underestimate others. And that's how they usually grow up to become one. The following is some part of the interview, from which I quoted the words that I wrote at the beginning of this article:


  1. nice to know this blog! Your English is sooo good :) I must learn a lot from you.
    100% focus on being innovative, original and soulful, that's the best quote I ever heard.

  2. Asri, you are great with this point of view. I also think lady GaGa is a great artist. Good article!
    Hi from Romania!

  3. Madonna and Lady GaGa are talented in "marketing" themselves, not talented in arts, please get that straight. As long as a pop stardom is in love with him/herslf, and convince their fans by saying "don't view me as a human being" quoted by Lady GaGa, portray themselves like fantasy characters, they pretty much can do anything, free pass on every outrageous behavior. They are the genius of pop industry marketing. But all their fans bought into their crap, because their fans can only fulfill fantasy through those superficial, shallow idols. Yeah, Lady GaGa is wearing her outfit to bed, of course she can afford doing that, and counting millions of income in her mansions. I don't see any difference between worshiping your idol and religion, when fans and believers become so "forgiving" on any craps they are being sold on.

  4. a lot of those philosophies are very broad/general/vauge. They can be applied to any lifestyle. (I have trouble arguing whether any lifestyle should be accepted or not, because that floats into those who literally wear down their bodies and those that make an comparatively easy living).

    I think a fair argument to make, although maybe easily disregarded, is that there are so many people in this world that don't have the chance to live this sort of life style. Life isn't what she's singing about; life is made by people such as immigrant farmers who work for low wages, work low recognition, and to be ill-treated by the society around them. I don't think she represents equality and fairness to the world. She seems to have a good knowledge of popular music history, but I think she can easily be seen as something separate from what the world really is.

    Maybe this is a problem most artists face, but then again maybe not. Art can easily acknowledge the working world (agriculture, cooking, industry, social relations, war, etc...) However, to me it seems Lady Gaga is simply living the dream as an extremely famous pop star.