The Splendid Rot of Fame

07Oct09

“And fame a thing devoid of judgement…” – Marcus Aurelius

“Pop ate my heart [...] like a beautiful monster” – Lady Gaga

In one of her Warholesque short films used on her most recent tour, Lady Gaga mentions that after being eviscerated (and the organs consumed) by the monster known as Pop what remains is not an emptiness but a freedom and a desire for the fame.  The immediate image one draws up is a Schreber-like insanity where ones insides are filled with bright rays but not of the sun but of a purified desire, not be to be famous (being itself is too cumbersome) but to want fame as an object.

Lady Gaga’s approach to pop clearly recognizes the double short circuit of fame – the short circuit of the meaningless and the meaningfull and the short circuit between the intentional and the accidental.  This two procedures are carried out by LG in her simple act of going crazy before she actually did – where the popular psychological explanation of the odd behaviors of celebrities (Spears’ shaved head, MJ’s everything, and any other eccentricity) is often that fame got to them, LG simply smashes the two together – the pursuit of fame itself is maddening and always already mad.  Gaga’s performance at the most recent VMAs is telling – as she bled out in one performance and in another appeared as a vaguely Burtonesque red queen.

In an interview about the event she said:

“DG:Do you think it will be one of those defining moments people will remember at the VMAs?

LG: I know it will. I sort of have this philosophy about things: there’s never a reason to do something unless it’s going to be memorable, unless it’s going to change things, unless it’s going to inspire a movement. With the song and with the performance, I hope to say something very grave about fame and the price of it.

DG:Something grave? What?

LG:You’ll have to see.

DG:What are you going to wear?

LG:I would say that the fashion for the performance is a representation of the most stoic and memorable martyrs of fame in history. It’s intended to be an iconic image that represents people. I think after watching the performance and maybe studying it after you watch it on YouTube, you’ll see the references and the symbols come through.”

Clearly she is being facetious but the degree to which she is becomes the question.  Several responses to her outfits got her called the bride of Frankenstein and ghoulish.  This reaction is a success – where  Marcus Aurelius continually qualified the pursuit of fame with the finality of oblivion, LG again mashes the two together- fame becomes a self necrotizing force.

The deathly monstrousness of fame becomes inseparable from the necrotics of capital illustrating that the deathly descriptions of the capitalistic present are not rhetorically weighty.  The Invisible Committee’s The Coming Insurrection utilizes the image of necrotic capital through out (social decomposition, corpses, the corpse on our backs).

The invisible committe calls for the destruction of the individual as the I is empty, it is ;only a form stamped on us’, that we must not be only the embodiment of productiv selves (29-31).  That we merely swing from a larval subject (a target of advertising) to the good worker.  But the fame is something harder to kill because its denziens are already dead.  This is the something grave, the grave spectacle.  Following Badiou, classical revolutionary politics is gone (is dead), politics must now deal with the madness of the undead.

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4 Responses to “The Splendid Rot of Fame”

  1. So I take it you salute Gaga for her recognition (and embracing) of some of the affects fame has on an individual, while panning her for her pursuit of it (though she seems to have a clearer eye to gauge it, than some)?


  1. 1 Lady Gaga and The Coming Insurrection « PHILOSOPHY IN A TIME OF ERROR
  2. 2 The guiding f(l)ame: Lady Gaga at the drive-in « Drugs in Milk
  3. 3 Lady Gaga o la espléndida corrupción de la fama « PENSAMIENTO DEL VACÍO

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