November 7, 2012

The Dao of Gaga. ~ Anni Sheriffe

Source: janarguitar.com via Vida on Pinterest


Leap to Gaga-dom

Ok, so the elections were on and people got all riled up—that is to be expected!

But one thing I have noticed, that attracts an equally energetic response in a liberal crowd, akin to saying, “I absolutely love that handsome Mitt Romney and want to buy him a puppy!” is saying something like, “O yeah, I kind of like Lady Gaga…she’s okay.”

This is not everyone but most people express vehement disgust, pent up rage, kicking, spitting and so on. Some people have interpreted her message as positive and empowering—but most I meet have expressed strong dislike at someone who is one of my new favorite musicians.

So please, in the interest of a peaceful world, let’s try to see each other’s point of view.

First, the obvious point: Superstar Gaga seems to be on the superficial trend wave reserved for people like Mary-Kate Olsen and Justin Bieber, appealing to our darkest nature and encouraging generally depraved behavior; if you honestly dislike all kinds of “depraved” behavior, then there is probably no point in reading further.

Gaga, the 26 year old Italian blonde from New York City has stunned the world; when we wake up from the stupor, will we find ourselves lost and afraid, or will she have awakened us to a higher, more interesting mind frame?

It’s a big leap people, I know—but I have made the leap into Gaga-dom and things have never been the same.

This is because, despite the obvious argument that she is “sexualizing” herself and setting a terrible example for our young ladies out there, let’s be frank—these ladies don’t exactly live in 1951. Kids grow up more quickly than before and I seriously doubt that Gaga’s songs are pushing many innocent nice ladies out there into slut-hood, alcoholism and weird fashion (noooo!!!!).

Granted, if had an adolescent son or daughter, I would probably choose another album for their Christmas present—that doesn’t some kind of adult-safe entertainment should not be allowed.

Listening to her songs, I actually feel empowered, being someone who never fit into main stream American culture. Although she may appear to be a MTV bubble gum superstar, it is important to realize that is a superficial assessment; just because someone makes it big, doesn’t mean they are unworthy of our love and appreciation, for how they express their own creativity.

Gaga is an empowered female, who owns her sexuality and personality. This is not some Sex in the City trip; let’s face it, Gaga would skin and eat Carrie alive in seconds with her stiletto.

That’s why she is powerful…and why she scares people too, as many geniuses tend to do.

A message of empowering women through the power of the mind is wonderful, too; I absolutely love the message from India Arie, who tells girls they are special and brilliant, even if they don’t look like “a super model coke bottle.” Absolutely true—yet Gaga does not reflect Hollywood prescribed’s beauty either.

The thing is, it is good for women and men to use their mind but the body is also a part of our experience. While people may hold against her how she flaunts her body, it’s important to remember the body has its own wisdom, which is not inferior to that of the mind—and for some people, is but one of the main ingredients in a yummy batch of wisdom.

Knowing how to own your own body without shame is a good thing, because then others can’t objectify you, no matter what you do.

Gaga is truly appealing to the side of us that feels rejected by the main stream—the  freak in us that has been repressed by social norms. “Let your freak flag fly” is a message that many have identified with, as a reaction against repression of our natural creativity, including Gaga’s biggest fan base, the gay community.

Yet her message is universal; some of her lyrics that embody this message are in her most celebrated song, Born this Way:

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are, she said, ’cause He [God] made you perfect, babe. So hold your head up babe and you’ll go far…Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set.” 

This song really made a lot of freaky people’s freaky day, including a lot of people in the gay community, who adore her for this reason. These lyrics are also among her more profound, in the song Marry the Night

“I’m not gonna give up on my life…I’m a soldier to my own emptiness, I’m a winner.”

While she is edgy, the message of being a warrior to your own truth, is one by which many are inspired and energized.

Her love of fashion is something I can’t get enough of; fashion is a skillful way of communicating and while some may call it all superficial, this cuts off us off from the sublime feminine forms of expression.

The key with all things, in my book, is to see past the façade and into the deeper level, no matter how strong the façade. While I never thought the singer who coined the term “disco stick” would become a fond favorite, the message is not just on the surface. Penetrate to the ultimate meaning in any situation and you can see anyone’s intention.

Gaga’s message seems to be maturing with her age—a recent interview in Vogue magazine noticed that she is much less scattered than in years past and seems to be handling the pressures of stardom well.

Hopefully, this trend continues, because as the record shows, the path of fame is not as easy as we imagine in our rockstar fantasies.

I’m looking at Gaga’s and I like what I see. People are going to drink and do it, that you can always count on. But, if you can just imagine Gaga drinking (and, well..), she’s the one who keeps it together and not being a complete idiot at the party or capitulating to any man.

No man owns her energy but that doesn’t mean she can’t love him and want him. She owns herself.

If people are going to be depraved (which they probably are) they might as well do it well.

Do it Gaga-well and you’re set.


Anni Sheriffe is a non-superstitious astrologer who is based in Boulder. She has been studying the zodiac archetypes for over ten years now and has learned from experience how the signs express in people. As a life-long Buddhist, who is grateful to Theravada, Zen and Vajrayana traditions, she likes to use meditative insight to unravel astrology. She lived in Seoul, South Korea for three years teaching English and writing and editing articles for the Korea Times, which is ironic as she can’t spell to save her life. Somehow it has worked out alright, thanks to spell check. Her sun is in Gemini and moon is in Pisces. Check out her website.


Editor: Edith Lazenby

Like elephant Culture on Facebook




Read 3 Comments and Reply

Read 3 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Elephant journal  |  Contribution: 1,375,690