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Lady Gaga and Money-Making

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Eiuol
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This parody nails the essence of Lady Gaga. As far as her brand of sensationalism, you can have an artistic statement being sensational because it is new and creative, or you can have the cheap and tawdry sensationalism that tabloids and yellow press aim for-- shock, vulgarity and an unhealthy desire to portray a base and degraded nature. Lady Gaga's sensationalism belongs to the yellow press' desire to shock. If you listen to the lyrics of her "Bad Romance", you won't have to go very far to be appalled at how un-intellectual they are. They are almost the utterances of a pre-literate savage.

On the other hand, if she was intentionally satirical I would call her clever.

That doesn't seem to be the case though.

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That requires a level of sophistication she lacks.

Furthermore, an objectivist asked here why is it wrong to have her sexuality on display: The question is this, what exactly is she displaying? As objectivists you know precisely of what sexuality is an expression, and to what ends it is used. Do you see Lady Gaga being an embodiment of romantic love and sexuality? Hardly. Her personification is actually the opposite, with a heavy dose of anti-intellectualism thrown into the mix. If anything, Gaga's 'artistic statement' (and here I am being very generous in calling what she does that) is essentially the cult of hedonism and the cultivation of image over substance. Who is lady Gaga without the blatant vulgarity and her plagiarized costumes? When examined without her persona, her 'artistic identity' stripped from these gimmicks leaves a body of work that is indistinguishable from the majority of mediocre poppers out there. By popular opus alone, Monique Serf (

), Juliette Noureddine (
) and Mika (
)'s works display a more coherent and original artistic personality, and far more positive bodies of work than Gaga's self-glorified hedonism.
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Not that anyone would have an individual view with consideration for phrases like "to whom" and "for what purpose" like other values.

So you are in disagreement that sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually? Rand's position was that sex must not be anything other than a response to values. I made my above statement with the assumption that this was common knowledge. If you disagree, then please explain where you diverge from this, and how Gaga's statement is anything but the antithesis of romantic love and sexuality.

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So you are in disagreement that sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually? Rand's position was that sex must not be anything other than a response to values.

Yes, I am in disagreement that it must be that way, and I am aware of Rand's position. I disagree with it because I think that I have personally observed a larger degree of individuality in people who still (by all appearances) were rationally happy than Objectivism allows for. I am saddled with this notion that to a certain extent I must abide by my observations of reality over someone elses views. I don't generally discuss this because it goes against the commonly held Objectivist belief.

If you disagree, then please explain where you diverge from this, and how Gaga's statement is anything but the antithesis of romantic love and sexuality.

I don't think that I was trying to align her "statement" with the Objectivist idea of romantic love and sexuality. Rather, I was aligning it with the Objectivist idea of values, which are contextual to the individual and the purpose.

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"I have personally observed a larger degree of individuality in people who still (by all appearances) were rationally happier than Objectivism allows."

That's an interesting turn of phrase. I have observed many mystical christians who, by all appearances, were rationally happier than 'Objectivism allows'-- but that's because they were refuting reality and clinging to a feel-good set of non-standards that served as an escapist balm. Anyone is apparently happy if you would like to equivocate the unconsciousness of avoidance or inconsistency with happiness.

If I went by appearances alone, the hollowed-eyed mystics who throw themselves away to the pursuits of a religion are 'happier' than people who see the world, judge it and must deal with its pleasant and unpleasant sides.

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That's an interesting turn of phrase. I have observed many mystical christians who, by all appearances, were rationally happier than 'Objectivism allows'-- but that's because they were refuting reality and clinging to a feel-good set of non-standards that served as an escapist balm. Anyone is apparently happy if you would like to equivocate the unconsciousness of avoidance or inconsistency with happiness.

When you say "turn of phrase", it seems to suggest something less than intellectual honesty on my part, like I'm playing with words. Perhaps that was not your intention. Addtionally, the rest of your quoted statement appears to ignore that many times our observational evidence is legitimate and about the only thing we have to evaluate.

I haven't seen it established that the Objectivist view of sexuality is the only view that corelates to reality. Another person's view of sexuality is not necessarily evading reality simply because it differs from your view.

Additionally, many times the only evidence we have to go on with respect to other people and their mental states is the evidence we observe about their lives. You can certainly speculate that if they lived their lives more in line with how you think they should live their lives they might achieve a greater level of happiness. If you would just rather take Rand's word for it and ignore any evidence you may have observed to the contrary, that's your choice as well. Then again, I can't speak any more to your observations than you can to mine. Perhaps your observations and evaluations differ from mine. I'm merely saying that I'm not convinced that Rand's somewhat narrow view of sexuality is the correct view in accordance to reality.

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This could rapidly devolve into a conversation I hear frequently near closing time at the bar "what chick would you have sex with even though you know you'd end up catching something"?

Haha!

I've discussed that enough already so I probably won't stay in that long. Plus, since my view veers off from the Objectivist view, I'd be skirting the rules (if not breaking them) to "promote" a different view too strongly.

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If you would just rather take Rand's word for it and ignore any evidence you may have observed to the contrary, that's your choice as well. Then again, I can't speak any more to your observations than you can to mine. Perhaps your observations and evaluations differ from mine.

I think there is a big difference between having slightly looser standards and "gaga" level. I have seen the effects of treating sex this extremely casually. I have never herd of a case in which those effects were positive. I know people like this in my life and they all sad cases (especially for women - I can't speak for men as much).

I don't see it as possible to live that way and not engage in evasion.

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I haven't seen it established that the Objectivist view of sexuality is the only view that corelates to reality.

The kind of "validation" that was provided is no different than that for honesty. Similarly, some argue that a lot of people seem happy more than Objectivism would allow when they are able to obtain things or get away with things by not being fully honest or not honest on occasion, and that living with full honesty is in fact making one live with less, or more difficult life - for the sake of principle.

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Furthermore, an objectivist asked here why is it wrong to have her sexuality on display: The question is this, what exactly is she displaying?

Can you explain what you mean by "having sexuality on display"? I can't really respond to the post until I know what you mean.

Edited by Eiuol
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The kind of "validation" that was provided is no different than that for honesty.

And? That establishes nothing as to the accuracy of this claim of what sex "should be like" for everyone.

And the accuracy of an argument for one topic does not validate or invalidate it for an entirely different topic with an entirely different set of facts involved.

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And? That establishes nothing as to the accuracy of this claim of what sex "should be like" for everyone.

And the accuracy of an argument for one topic does not validate or invalidate it for an entirely different topic with an entirely different set of facts involved.

My point was that what you provided as counter evidence is of the same kind to those arguments against honesty and carry the same amount of weight. What people in general population may find acceptable psychologically in terms of their approach to self is not evidence for how a rational person ought to live.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Sophia,

The main difference is that I do not expect other people to make their judgement based on my 'counter evidence'. This is different because it appears others expect me to take Rands 'evidence' and discard my observations, evaluations and knowledge. It also sounds a lot like you are saying Rands position is not based on any observations and subsequent evaluations of reality - her best guess in other words. Even if I disagree with her conclusion I strongly suspect she did formulate her opinion on sex based on her observations and evaluations of reality.

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Interesting turn.

I think I fall somewhere between RB's "permissive" attitude and what I'll call the "orthodoxy" of some of the others here.

If we were to take Rand's words completely literally that sex must be a response to your

highest values that would complicate things a lot. Well, for one. What if you're a straight man and the people you know that represent your highest values are men? Wouldn't it be acceptable to have a sexual relationship with a woman with whom they share at least some values? How long must they be celebate?

Lets take AS- both D'Anconia and Reardon lost their "highest value" when Dagny left them sexually for Galt. Obviously to ever have sex again they will be settling for somewhat lesser of a value.

Same with any woman in the gulch that if with a man of their own instead of Galt.

So can we agree that while values are a part of sex this has varying contexts?

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If we were to take Rand's words completely literally that sex must be a response to your highest values that would complicate things a lot.
What words of Rand are we talking about? I'm curious what words people are considering. Using the Objectivism-CD, I searched for "sex" near "highest".

I could not find any published material that has the word "sex" near the word "highest". All I found were lesser (i.e. unpublished sources that cannot be treated as having the same degree of thoughtful editing and the same degree of awareness of larger contexts.) I'm guessing there may also be some quotes in the impromtu "Answers" Rand gave. None of the ones I found support the notion that Rand thought sex must only follow from highest values, and never otherwise:

...a man's happiness (as represented by sex, its highest expression)...

Dagny answers that it should mean that she is sleeping with Rearden—sex as admiration, as an answer to one's highest values.

So the mere fact that man needs it does not make him a slave. Now, of course, his means of satisfaction are not as simple as in the matter of food. But still, he is in control of them. The thing that seems to terrify your hero is the fact that his satisfaction depends upon another human being, upon some woman. There is nothing so dreadful in that. Not if he found the right woman. It can appear terrible to him—only until he does find her. But if he doesn't—well, as he matures and grasps the subject, he would learn that he can find a second-best substitute. Let's say, not a wife, but an attractive mistress. It would not be sex at its best and highest—not the perfect union of the spiritual and the physical—but it would not be terrifying or degrading or enslaving. That typically adolescent feeling comes, I think, only from physical impatience—a strong physical desire that drives the man to women he despises, for lack of anything better, while his mind naturally objects. Why should his mind object if he found a woman he did not despise?

In none of these quotes does Rand say that sex must only be a response to ones highest values and never otherwise. Clearly Rand made the case that sex is good, and made the case against platonic love. In this sense we could say that if two people are really in love romantically, she would say that sex must be a part of it (exceptional contexts excepted). While Rand is saying that sex ought to follow when hero meets heroine, it does not follow that sex must only be a response to meeting some ideal hero/heroine.

I'm not denying that Rand might have implied what folks are saying. However, I'm asking for some references so that people can be clear that there is no misreading going on.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Rand (Journals - Ch-13, Notes While Writing 1947-1952) said:

"Dagny answers that it should mean that she is sleeping with Rearden—sex as admiration, as an answer to one's highest values."

Sorry, in reading your response and rereading my post I can see how my point was unclear. The above quote was what I was referencing and my post was concerning itself with how Objectivists choose to view or interpret that quote and ones like it - often, I think- a bit too sternly or puritanically.

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Sorry, in reading your response and rereading my post I can see how my point was unclear. The above quote was what I was referencing and my post was concerning itself with how Objectivists choose to view or interpret that quote and ones like it - often, I think- a bit too sternly or puritanically.
Yes, I realize that and that is why I asked for a reference. Someone says that Rand had a certain view, and others repeat it and in the end it just gets taken for granted.

I'd agree that Rand had a concept of promiscuity (i.e. there is some degree of casualness toward sex and a "sex is purely physical" attitude). However, consider a situation like this: a women meets a stranger and there is something about him that she finds compelling (if things progress, this is a feeling she may look back at and classify later as "love at first sight"). Would Rand insist that this woman should throughly vet the man's character (barring issues of safety) before she sleeps with him? If so, how does explain the meeting of Kira and Leo in "We the Living"?

I'd like to see people make the best possible case for Rand's supposedly prudish views.

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I love Lady Gaga. She is ambitious, successful, hard-working, detail oriented, professional, intelligent, creative, and very in touch with the world today. Maybe in touch isn't the correct phrase, but I believe she has a great understanding of the psychology of a great portion of our society, as evidenced by her incredibly fast rise to fame.

She is also completely fake, and I love it. To me, it doesn't really matter what an artist thinks, what their views really are. I don't care about her personal life, her philosophy, what she eats, how she treats a cold, what kind of genitalia she has etc. The bulk of what matters to me is that when I hear her music, I feel good. Simple as that.

On top of that, though, I can't help but be completely amused that there are people who really think she is genuine. I find it astonishing that anyone in this world believes anyone else is genuine...many of her fans REALLY believe it. It is her complete ingenuity that I like. I guess I'm a sick puppy, but I am jealous that she gets to be another person.

I just finished reading "The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga" (by Maureen Callahan?) today. I would highly recommend it. Reading that you really get a better backstory and a better idea of who "Lady Gaga" is and where she came from. It's thoroughly entertaining.

Anyway, i know for sure I will have more to say about the subject, as Gaga seems to be my current obsession, but I have lost my train of thought.

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It also sounds a lot like you are saying Rands position is not based on any observations and subsequent evaluations of reality - her best guess in other words.

I am not saying or implying that. Reasonably excluding some observations does not imply that the conclusion was not based on any observations.

-------------------

Going back to Lady Gaga...

What I mean by "gaga" level of casual is a total disregard for the emotional aspect of sex (and glorification of such approach because it is "progressive").

Also, Lady Gaga has made statements such as: "I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they’re going to take my creativity from me through my vagina."

She also said: I’ve looked every man that I’ve ever dated in the eye and every woman I’ve ever been friends with and there will never be something that I put before my fans. Really? Masses of strangers are more important to her than friends and lovers? Not surprisingly she also admitted that she is perpetually lonely.

This is not a healthy approach to sexuality or healthy psychology. I think her music has a nice beat and I do enjoy it when it pops on the radio but that is where it ends for me. As a person she is dysfunctional.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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In none of these quotes does Rand say that sex must only be a response to ones highest values and never otherwise. Clearly Rand made the case that sex is good, and made the case against platonic love. In this sense we could say that if two people are really in love romantically, she would say that sex must be a part of it (exceptional contexts excepted). While Rand is saying that sex ought to follow when hero meets heroine, it does not follow that sex must only be a response to meeting some ideal hero/heroine.

I'm not denying that Rand might have implied what folks are saying. However, I'm asking for some references so that people can be clear that there is no misreading going on.

Sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually. A sexual relationship is proper only on the ground of the highest values one can find in a human being. Sex must not be anything other than a response to values. And that is why I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important . . . .

[sex should] involve . . . a very serious relationship. Whether that relationship should or should not become a marriage is a question which depends on the circumstances and the context of the two persons’ lives. I consider marriage a very important institution, but it is important when and if two people have found the person with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives—a question of which no man or woman can be automatically certain. When one is certain that one’s choice is final, then marriage is, of course, a desirable state. But this does not mean that any relationship based on less than total certainty is improper. I think the question of an affair or a marriage depends on the knowledge and the position of the two persons involved and should be left up to them. Either is moral, provided only that both parties take the relationship seriously and that it is based on values.

-“Playboy’s Interview with Ayn Rand,” March 1964.

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Let's call a spade a spade here: You're applying rationalization in order to justify your admiration for a slattern and somehow present this as a healthy view of sexuality.

A cheap, classless woman who uses shock and sex as her calling cards because her musical gifts are nothing spectacular and -as it has been pointed out- her eccentric persona consists of a grand number of plagiarized ideas. If this is who you wish to hold up as a representation of your values, sia, I prefer to admire artists who make good money and are successful whilst maintaining a modicum of class and decorum that respects the art they are performing - for the Gesamtkunstwerk- as opposed to (as the song in Chicago says) Girls who'll touch your privates for a deuce. No class, no sprezzatura.

Edited by kainscalia
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