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The reification of Lady GaGa: or can a pop star who embraces commerce still buck the system?

I have no reason to do or say anything unless it comes from my soul. I work very hard. I don’t party very much. You don’t see me falling out of nightclubs and buying Range Rovers. Social justice and music are the two paramount things in my life and I can’t put it more plainly.” p.30 ES 17-5-2011 (part of a 5 page special on/by Gaga)

Gaga in the news

Gaga in the news – Guardian 13-07-2011

To what extent can you really be working primarily for social justice through music when you are THIS commercial? What are the limits of recuperation? What are the inherent censorships within the market place? Is she totally kidding herself? Or is this just the ‘progressive’ end of liberal global capitalism acting out?

Well I’d say anything that threatens the market place would be closed down. Gaga probably couldn’t make class liberation her  main focus… in spite of giving herself a upper class title. Sexuality based liberation tends to head towards liberal market-friendly opening up? For one thing ‘The Pink Pound’ is a very active market agent. The legal framework she operates within is the western model conducive to opening markets (even, as ever, by the promotion of modes of free speech and liberty) rather than a real interest in ending oppression.ie she couldn’t promote anything what was illegal in western law. Event if the idea was simply an incitement to vigorously protest.

Capitals limit to our thought and action has been called reification. ‘Georg Lukacs thought that reification, although it runs deep, has a limit. This limit can be seen as the potential of rational argument to be self-reflexive and transcend its occupational use by oppressive agencies’.

As Liz Hoggard says in another part of the ES section about Gaga’s new album in the context of her campaigning: “Born his Way is an anthem to freaks and outsiders everywhere”.  I can’t help thinking she’s a great role model. And hey! I really want to hear the album! (Have I been suckered!?)

and now Gaga takes on China! Sign the petititon at: Artists Speak Out!

Later:  A similar discussion could be had of Ill Manors by Plan B

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2012/mar/15/plan-b-ill-manors

There is a lack of structural analysis – PB says
“Society needs to take some responsibility for the cause of these riots…”Why are there so many kids in this country that don’t feel they have a future, or care about having a criminal record?”

http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/riots-grime-perspective/

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