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Mon Nov 24 19:54:13 SAST 2014

Hands off the Mother Monster

Nikita Ramkissoon | 30 November, 2012 08:12
Lady Gaga

The whole of Johannesburg has gone Gaga.

Hardly any work is being done. People are talking about their outfits. Bad Romance blares from speakers in offices, cars and homes. Some have taken the day off to be first in line.

Sparkle, shine, big hair and outlandish makeup.

It’s Lady Gaga time.

Even though I don’t really like Lady Gaga’s music, she’s one of the best role models of our time and not even I with my somewhat music elitism can deny this.

Aside from the fact that her music is catchy as all hell and you can’t help but Just Dance.

I’ve mentioned this before with my column, and the massive respect I have for her foundation and activism overflows.

Looking at what this concert means to South Africa, I reckon this is a landmark in the country’s theatrical history.

Even with her diva tendencies – no photographers allowed, no interviews and no local press – she’s speaking to the people like no other artist has in recent years.

She’s given people something to talk about – good and bad. And those anti-Gaga dogmatists are really riding up my panties.

Most notable is the group South Africa: No to Lady Gaga and satanists, which I personally find hilarious, seeing as though they don’t really have much of an argument to go on and are so bloody narrow-minded, it’s become a wonderful game to poke fun at them. All they’re doing is calling Gaga a Satanist and not really explaining why. They even delete comments from people who raise good questions.

When asked why, one respondent said: “Because she’s the Goddamn Devil!”

People who love her are arguing, while others troll for the group being so stupid.

Even ones who aren’t particularly partial to Gaga are coming across as positive about her tour, defending her and slamming the group’s narrow-minded views.

She’s getting tongues wagging about beliefs, social issues and is pretty much setting the bigots apart from the rest of the world.

Kind of like how Ed Hardy made it easy for us to spot douchebags, Lady Gaga’s South African tour is giving us an idea of who to engage with and who not to engage with.

It’s also giving us a lesson on Trolling 101, but that’s just by the way.

There are many groups promoting Lady Gaga, with people affirming that she is a spokesperson for our generation and some are upset with the way she’s being received.

According to one of the pro-Gaga groups, The South African Council of Churches is marching in Johannesburg on Friday ahead of the Born This Way Ball at Soccer City.

“Do they not have anything else better to do? Seriously?” says one member, while a respondent said: “South Africa belongs to Jesus!”

The positive comments include people of different races, cultures and sexual orientation affirming their pride in themselves.

One girl says: “Gaga taught me to be brave. I’d never have come out if she hadn’t given me the courage.”

Many more messages like this show that Lady Gaga and her Born This Way Foundation has given people who are otherwise not accepted in society a place to be safe, to be accepted and to just be.

Gaga, who admits to have been bullied and being lonely, says that everyone deserves a chance, and has even gone so far as to say that the Pope’s views do not reflect the views of all Christians.

I am glad to see the response has been mostly positive, and the few haters are gonna hate, but they don’t really have a leg to stand on, and they’re outnumbered by the Little Monsters.

Even as someone who is just going for the spectacle, I am going to the concert as an declaration that I am against any sort of bigotry – be it religious or ideological.

It’s nobody’s business if I am gay or straight. It’s nobody’s business whether I’m small and can’t play rugby. It’s nobody’s business that I’m overweight or underweight. It’s nobody’s business what I choose to do with my life. But it is everybody’s business when the different, the queer, the ‘unacceptable’ and the outcasts become victims due to extremist idiots who have nothing better to do with their lives than hate everyone who isn’t like them.

I ask those people, are you really that insecure in your beliefs that a pop singer can threaten them?

If you don't like Lady Gaga, don't go to the show. Don’t listen to her music. Don’t buy her albums. Nobody's forcing you to do it. Nobody’s entering your personal space telling you how to live your life. But you are invading others’ space and telling them how to live theirs.

Just because someone is not like you, it doesn’t make them the enemy.

So run along, little sheep. I may not be a fan of Lady Gaga, but I love the Mother Monster.

To quote the Lady herself: “If you're a really good human being, you can try to find something beautiful in every single person, no matter what.”

And that’s what it’s about.

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