The Week In NY: Gagging Over Gaga

There are many things I like about Lady Gaga: her tireless support for human rights; her work ethic as a performer; the true musicianship often concealed by the relentless pounding of the club hits that propelled her to stardom. But the saturation brought about by the release of her latest CD, “Born This Way,” has been excessive even by the standards of a worldwide pop culture that has hoisted her to the top of every poll of Global Pop Icons. Everywhere I turned this past week on television — from MTV to PBS to an outdoor ABC performance in Central Park — Gaga was there. Every talk show I consulted late at night to put me to sleep had Gaga instead of the usual gaggle of Betty White-like soporifics. Even otherwise sane and literate cultural observers (cf Stephen Fry in the FT) are relinquishing their good sense to write paeans to Miss Stefani. A friend visiting me from L.A. (the director J. B. Ghuman, Jr., whose first feature “Spork” should be the top priority of New Yorkers looking for a movie without special effects or Bradley Cooper) told me that when he went pub-and-club crawling this weekend in New York he absolutely could not find a single place that did not blast a Gaga song within 15 minutes of his entering. What’s the point of living in a supposedly cosmopolitan city — not to mention a world with 7 billion separate souls in it — if the only thing in it is Lady Gaga?

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