Archive for April 2nd, 2010

Why I’m Sick Of Lady Gaga

It’s hard to believe that only two years ago very few people in America knew who Lady Gaga was, because now nobody can shut the fuck up about her. Her first single, “Just Dance,” was released in April 2008, but it took a long time—nine months—to reach #1. The real Lady Gaga phenomenon didn’t start in earnest until 2009, when she seemingly had a new single on the radio every week (and that’s only a slight exaggeration: In 2009, “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “LoveGame,” “Paparazzi,” and “Bad Romance” all spent time in the Billboard Top 10).

But sheer quantity of radio play doesn’t qualify anyone for “phenomenon” status these days—after all, who still listens to the radio? But Lady Gaga has become culturally significant in a way most pop stars only dream about. People care about her and have an opinion about her in a way they don’t about, say, Beyoncé. Even people who don’t really like pop music find themselves compelled by Lady Gaga. I, for one, feel like I’ve had more conversations about Lady Gaga in the past year than I’ve had about all other musical acts put together. I would even go so far to say that she’s “polarizing,” except that I don’t really feel like there is a sizable anti-Gaga pole. Nevertheless, her fans often have the passion and fervor of zealots needing to defend their messiah from some threatening albeit nonexistent opposition. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: I’m Not a Good Villain

“He wants to be the good guy to everyone. And he can’t. He can’t be the good guy and win this game.”

–Jerri on Coach

“You’re a little man.”

–Boston Rob to Coach

The two main storylines of last night’s episode of Survivor were evident from the moment Jeff Probst said, “Previously on Survivor…”. That opening summary clearly established a Colby Redemption Episode after he was saved by James’s injury last week* and that this would be the week the struggle in the Villains’ camp between Boston Rob and Russell would finally come to a head. Colby’s redemption occurred quickly and unimpressively, as he helped lead the Heroes past the Villains in a Reward Challenge hybrid of basketball and water polo. He was also tangentially a part of their victory over the Villains in the Immunity Challenge—a relay race to collect puzzle pieces before solving the puzzle. Courtney wasted an early Villains’ lead, and this time the Heroes didn’t cede the advantage during the puzzle portion of the challenge. Seeing Boston Rob not come through on the puzzle was like watching Mariano Rivera blow a save; it was weird.

*Seriously, the tone of the “Previously on” was basically, “Colby has sucked so far. Like, really, REALLY sucked. But he’s still here!” Continue reading