Pop star Lady Gaga wasn't in the Senate chamber Saturday, but she was among the celebrities virtually taking part in the historic vote to repeal the 17-year policy known as "don't ask, don't tell." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Saturday sent Lady Gaga a message on Twitter: #DADT on it's way to becoming history. Later he tweeted: @ ladygaga We did it! #DADT is a thing of the past. After the Senate voted 65-31 to give final congressional approval to end the ban on openly gay troops, Lady Gaga tweeted: Can't hold back the tears+pride. We did it! A triumph for equality after 17 YEARS. – MSNBC
Dominant Social Theme: The social concern of Lady Gaga and others.
Free-Market Analysis: We have written about Lady Gaga before, pointing out that she seemed to us to use a disturbing amount of Illuminati symbols in her music. Her videos especially, are full of sadistic symbolism and violent sex; the longer she continues, the more she becomes exploitative rather than artful. Perhaps to balance this artistic preoccupation, Lady Gaga has become somewhat outspoken on certain social issues.
She has personally stopped fights at her concerts, proclaiming them to be a kind of violence-free zone – and has thus evinced a pacifistic streak. Not so long ago, Lady Gaga and her fellow travelers took on the cause of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" that was just over-turned in Congress – see article excerpt above. Now Lady Gaga is not apparently gay herself – she has a boyfriend – but she identifies with gay people, she says.
Lady Gaga is apparently sincere about her hatred of homophobia. In an interview with Fuse's On the Record, she is quoted as saying: "I feel even just in the music industry that there's very public misogynistic and homophobic behavior. When I hear one of the most famous rappers in the world say something homophobic on the radio, I want people to yell at him. I don't have to say who because they know who they are. It's not just hip-hop, it's everywhere. It's wrong. I'm not trying to create and generate more hatred in the world…I just want to generate awareness. It's always wrong to hate but it's never wrong to love."
We're not sure how that affects DADT, but certainly homosexuality has a long and ancient tradition in the military; Alexander the Great fought side by side with his childhood friend and male lover Hephaestion. The great Greek warrior Achilles had a similar relationship with Patroclus. But this tradition does not seem part of Lady Gaga's frame of reference. She and her fellow celebrities see DADT in a thorough a thoroughly modern lens, as a "civil rights" issue. Here are some other tweets following the Senate vote, according to the article:
Ellen DeGeneres, openly gay talk show host, tweeted, "Thank you Senators for pushing us one step closer towards full equality."
Kelly Osbourne, reality TV star, posted, "Today is an amazing day I could not have woken up to better news. The senate repealed #DADT this is a huge step towards equality for all."
Neil Patrick Harris, who stars in "How I Met Your Mother" and recently started managing parenting duties with partner David Burtka, tweeted, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell REPEALED! So proud of Congress for making the right decision. Now all soldiers can serve with integrity. A great day."
Audra McDonald of ABC's "Private Practice" tweeted hours after Senate passage, "Couldn't tweet my joy cuz kid was playing her piano recital but now I can…(Sing along) DING DONG DADT IS DEAD
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays a gay family member in ABC's "Modern Family": "Stepping closer to Equality! Good Job America!!!! Don't Ask Don't Tell closer to being on the 'Remember-how-crazy-it-was-when…' list!"
Boris Kodjoe, costar of NBC's "Undercovers" tweeted, "About time! The repeal of #DADT is finally official. Live and let live. Auf geht's!" Well done!," after first retweeting President Barack Obama's tweet: "By ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," no longer will patriotic Americans be asked to live a lie in order to serve."
Comedian Sandra Bernhard tweeted, "we did it! go tell it on the mountain, your gay and strong and loyal and sexy and can kick anybodies ass you want, goodbye dadt!"
Today's socially aware stance is evidently focused on gay people self-identifying militarily, among other issues. And obviously this causes a lot of pain to people who are not able to be honest about their sexual identity. Yet is this the important issue that one could contend with? In both Iraq and Afghanistan and increasingly in Pakistan, the West's increasingly unjustifiable wars have slaughtered tens of thousands of innocents – women and children and male noncombatants – as part of what is known as "collateral damage."
Depleted uranium has been deposited throughout the food chain in the Middle East and the result will be above average cancers and birth defects for generations to come. Meanwhile American soldiers are dying regularly, and the ones that are wounded often lose limbs or come home with devastating head injuries – their youth sacrificed to wars that still cannot be explained. Most or all of the above celebrities tend to be gay themselves, and thus may take DADT personally. Given what is occurring, we think it is fair to ask whether the concentration on sexuality itself is less important than the reality of these wars.
Perhaps it is unfair to compare ending DADT to stopping the overseas fighting; and Lady Gaga (and others) certainly seem sincere in their concern regarding homophobia. But this most popular of all modern pop stars has been positioned as the voice of her generation, active and concerned about things beyond her personal desires. Within this context, we cannot help but be a little disappointed she has chosen to aim her popularity, first of all, at sexual civil rights rather than ending America's decade long "war on terror."