Conventional wisdom says that all gay men (of a certain age) love Madonna. But to us queer contrarians, Madge has offered many years of addictive fun snickering at her flimsy image changes, atrocious dance skills, and reedy, studio-sweetened voice. Yes, I admire her business savvy. But Martha Stewart’s a master of marketing, too, and who wants to dance to her cinnamon nutloaf recipe? As the great Fran Lebowitz once observed, Madonna albums should come with a nutritional warning label that reads: “Talent Free.”
It’s still very early in her career, but 24 year old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta aka Lady Gaga is shaping up to be the imaginative and talented powerhouse that Madonna thinks she sees in her gym mirror. Gaga owes a lot to Madonna, I suppose, but then Madonna owes a helluva lot to new wave siren Debbie Harry and that debt has largely been forgotten if not forgiven. (Hey, Kabbalah Queen – why didn’t you inherit Harry’s sly sense of humor, too?).
Besides possessing a strong theatrical voice and a shark-like instinct for writing cynical love songs, Gaga has a trashy, blood-soaked sense of high concept camp that is its own worldview. (Call her the love child of Freddie Mercury and Gene Simmons). If you haven’t already seen the much-hyped, nine-minute, lesbo-licious video for her new single “Telephone,” dig in. Fun fact: Quentin Tarantino let her borrow the escape car from his “Kill Bill” movies. Also, Gaga recently announced she’s coming to the American Airlines Center in Dallas on July 22. Here’s a gay icon I can bow down to.