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On Lady Gaga's New Music Video - JUDAS

Sarianae

Infinite Dreamer
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Location
Storybrooke, Maine
I had originally been intending to post this under entertainment, however considering the topics I am bringing to the table, I have opted to instead place it here. If anyone thinks it should be moved, let me know.

I am posting this thread to bring up certain issues that have sprouted on the subject of Lady Gaga's new Music Video entitled Judas.
If you have not seen it, I have posted it below for you to watch and form your own opinions:

*NOTE: This IS a Lady Gaga music video. Expect what you would normally expect from her to be present in this video.
I would say PG-13, But use your own judgement.

[video=youtube;wagn8Wrmzuc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wagn8Wrmzuc[/video]

Lady Gaga has always been one to stir up shock and controversy, but she might have outdone herself on this one, treading as she is on important religious grounds.

Now, allow me to step out of my shoes for a moment to relay to you the perspective of the offended Christian populace:
According to them, the case would rest that she is taking an important biblical scene and degrading it into a pop culture music video meant merely to entertain. Further than that, she is forsaking Jesus for Judas, invoking cries of sacrilege and blasphemy out of perhaps understandably offended Christians within their community.

Yet, I think it's worth noting that there are multiple means by which it can be interpreted. Be it meant in the literal sense, invoke of Christian concerns on the issue is obvious and easily justifiable. However, consider the possibility that the entire video is meant to be interpreted as an allegory.

For example, I can see Judas being representative of corruption and wrongdoing in general, with Jesus being the embodiment of virtue. Now while the message of attraction to sin and wickedness is still not one to line up with christian morals and values, it removes it from the religious context from whence the song and video was placed, taking out half the offense of which can be taken from it. Re-interpreted with the religious context removed, it can be seen as a simple situation where one is torn between good an evil, knowing one has a duty to serve the good, yet admitting a fatal attraction to darkness. By this interpretation, I don't find it any more offensive than it may be in however many other instances the "I'm drawn to the darkness in me" concept has appeared, because quite frankly, it's not new and has been a key storytelling concept and plot-pusher in fiction and media for a long time in general.

To mention another interpretation of the allegory though, Judas could be representative of any villain in general, and Jesus could be representative of the corresponding hero. Still, this interpretation would not be much different from the case presented above. I can easily see it as a female protagonist in some way tied to the hero (perhaps a sister, perhaps the girlfriend) who yet can't help but be attracted to the villain, or the "bad boy." This is nothing new either, and like the previous concept mentioned, has appeared in countless books, movies and mediums of storytelling in general already. If you take offense from such a concept, then to take issue with it's presence in this music video is understandable. However if you have not had a problem with it before, then by intepreting Gaga's music video as just another metaphorical expression of it, there would be no reason to begin taking offense with it now.

Still, even if one were to interpret the video as an allegory, the situation would remain that she chose a crucial religious scene to depict this allegory despite the fact that doing so would very likely outrage a great part of the Christian community. Would it really have been so difficult for her to have instead chosen a means of portrayal less potentially offensive? It may have been done many times before in other forms of media, yet she really seems to be asking for it by very specifically involving the Bible. Though to be clear, here's what I think about that: this is Lady Gaga. I believe she wanted to choose a powerful scene that would serve to make her own music video stand out all the more emphatically; If she decided that using an important biblical scene would accomplish this end, she would not be one to shy away from using it by whatever means she may see fit.

Now then, my question would be, do you have a problem with this? Do you think she has overstepped her bounds and done something she should not have?

As for me, her choice to do this does not personally offend because I am someone who can easily acknowledge an artist's right to exercise freedom of expression in music. I am able to take in music from a removed perspective regardless of whether I may agree or disagree personally, because I am not forced to take it in on a personal level. Additionally, I do tend to have a high tolerance and respect for free will and thought.

However, many people do not and would passionately disagree with what she has done.
Do you? What is your take on the matter? Your interpretation?

I whole-heartedly invite you to discuss your opinions below, whatever they may be.
 
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Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
I don't think there is any problem with it. Artistic expression should never be censored. And religious censor is particularly corrupt. Christians should stop getting so upset whenever something even mildly offends them. Rather not get into this here, but it's not like they haven't gotten horribly offensive with everyone else and believed themselves completely justified in it.
Music is art, nothing should be "forbidden" from being expressed. It's the idea that is desired to be expressed through the art. Stories in the bible could be used to express ideas or messages in any musical work. Itis entirely acceptable to me and it's a pretty stupid thing, in my opinion, to get offended about.
 

arkvoodle

Diabolical
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Sep 20, 2008
Location
Somewhere
I don't think there is any problem with it. Artistic expression should never be censored. And religious censor is particularly corrupt. Christians should stop getting so upset whenever something even mildly offends them. Rather not get into this here, but it's not like they haven't gotten horribly offensive with everyone else and believed themselves completely justified in it.
Music is art, nothing should be "forbidden" from being expressed. It's the idea that is desired to be expressed through the art. Stories in the bible could be used to express ideas or messages in any musical work. Itis entirely acceptable to me and it's a pretty stupid thing, in my opinion, to get offended about.
Basically what Matt said.

Also, Madonna did the same back in 2002/2003 with one of her music videos that angered the catholic church, but it seems that nowadays, it's very easy to offend entire groups of people with simple things. People need to liven up instead of setting fire to everything they don't like. What happened to the days when it was just a few words that were offensive, and everything else was ignored? Soon, everyday speech will be censored. One day, the word "Hello" will be censored because it contains the word "Hell".

To stop myself from rambling, i'm just going to end off with- let it slip by. It's a music video. Not an attack.
 

Ariel

Think for yourself.
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Location
Sydney, Australia
The case rests that she is taking an important biblical scene and degrading it into a pop culture music video meant merely to entertain. Further than that, she is forsaking Jesus for Judas, invoking cries of sacrilege and blasphemy out of understandably offended Christians.
Degrading it? She's contemporising it. Lady Gaga is making this biblical story relevant to society today. The story is thousands of years old but the themes (sin and virtue, betrayal) are timeless. Art, and more specifically, social commentary, holds a mirror up to society and scrutinizes our values and way of life. If it wasn't for the artists that do this sort of stuff then many cultural revolutions could not have taken place and society would grows complacent with how it is.

Lady Gaga is refashioning this story, as much of the bible is refashioned from paganism (I know that this sentence is controversial, but I stand by it.) I don't think it matters that she's taken a story from a holy place and "degraded" it into a music video. The message carries through and she should be congratulated by the fundamentalists that condemn her because she is elevating their scriptures's awareness into pop culture.

There's also a bit of subtext here. Even though she is channeling the biblical story through a music video, she is also making a commentary on what society deems untouchable (the Bible). And when the pissed off fundamentalists do throw a furore over the fact that their sacred text is being juxtaposed alongside not-even-raunchy scenes it proves Lady Gaga's point, in that there shouldn't be anything society cannot question and deconstruct because it will hold society back.

Any criticism directed at the aesthetic merits of the music video is fair game but I believe there is absolutely no leg to stand on regarding whether this is blasphemous or not.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
I'm a Athelist, I don't give a damn. lol
Nah, I'm kidding, but I am serious, I am a Atheist.
I would just say let Lady Gaga do what she want's to do. Its just a song, and almost evvery religious person I know likes this song. It's not bad, it's not even a sign of what she could do to "take over the world". Lady Gaga is just another arist who is making another hit single with making this song. (MORE MONEY!!!) I don't really care what she does, as long as she know's what she is doing. Don't get so over dramatic over what a song could do. Just ignore it if it bothers you that badly.
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
I'm a Christian and I hardly care at all. In fact, if this turns Christians away, I think it's a good thing, because her music has hardly been conducive to a healthy Christian life in the past (there's nothing wrong with listening to it, mind you, but I don't think Christians should take her messages seriously). I don't see why this should be any more offensive to Christians than Gaga's other videos about getting drunk and having random sex.

I think the OP's analysis is probably correct. On the one hand, I do believe she's just trying to find new ways to shock people. The next step is to make an explicitly pornographic music video, but until then, her career rides on her being able to up the ante constantly and piss off as many people as possible. On the other hand, I don't even think the message here is that everyone should support Judas. From what I could understand of the lyrics, she's not taking a stance on the issue at all. What she's said about the song is pretty innocuous, and I'm willing to take her at her word. I see little point in writing explicitly anti-Christian lyrics and espousing a different view when interviewed about it. At the same time, I bet she was banking on this generating controversy, so there is a bit of that.

Sometimes Christians overreact, but I think it's lessened in recent years. There was an uproar about metal back in the 80's. Take a song from one of my favorite bands, The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden. Steve Harris wrote this song based on a nightmare he had. If the song's promoting anything, it's staying away from Satanism. In reality, though, the band members were just kind of goofing around and thought it would make for an awesome metal song (which it did--it's probably their most popular). It's pretty surprising that some groups didn't just read the lyrics to familiarize themselves with what they were really saying. By acting the way they did, a lot of Christians did nothing but make themselves look bad. Fun fact: Nicko McBrain, the drummer for Iron Maiden, converted to Christianity a few years back. I'm sure those morons who hounded the band for its alleged Satanism didn't help. Black Sabbath has also been accused of Satanism, and they put explicitly Christian lyrics in some of their songs. You'd have to believe everything you hear to really think they favor Satanism.

Not only is this much less blasphemous than a lot of what kids are listening to these days, it's also much less offensive to humanity as a whole or Christian values specifically than some of Gaga's other songs. Hard to believe that controversies erupt over these kinds of things.

As things stand, all that offends me about this song is the music.
 

Justeazy

Todo is the pfuf!
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Lady Gaga does things specifically for the controversy. When CNN.com posts a story saying "Lady Gaga's new blah blah blah [LINK GOES HERE] blah blah blah" she gets hits. Lots of hits. And because of the name associated with it, she makes money. There is really no other reason she does so many deliberately controversial things.

I believe that anyone getting offended by this is fine, even if not for the "religious" aspect of it, there are lots of things that can offend someone and everyone is entitled to their opinion, including getting offended by something so petty. Fine, you're offended, turn the video off and move on. If you start overreacting, telling everyone that she is the spawn of the Devil and that her and all her work should be burned... yeah, just go ahead and check yourself into a psyche ward right now.

But as far as Matt saying (basically) "any artistic expression should remain uncensored", I disagree. There is a limit to everything. Pornography is artistic expression. So is pyromancy. You can even go so far as to say murdering is the same because it's how someone expresses themselves. Are you saying I shouldn't be stopped from a rampage because it's how I'd express myself; to hit baby strollers in my car?
No, any and all forms of "artistic expression" should be censored, though the vast majority of such should remain untouched, and then the majority of what should be censored should only be partially censored to a select audience. But censoring should be nonetheless.
 

425

Hero of…. #s, I guess
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Location
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Justeazy said:
But as far as Matt saying (basically) "any artistic expression should remain uncensored", I disagree. There is a limit to everything. Pornography is artistic expression. So is pyromancy. You can even go so far as to say murdering is the same because it's how someone expresses themselves. Are you saying I shouldn't be stopped from a rampage because it's how I'd express myself; to hit baby strollers in my car?
No. No no no no no. Artistic expression means art; i.e., painting, sculpture, music, poem, novel, movie. There is product of artistic expression. Murder may be expression, but it is not artistic. Not just that I'm saying that from a anti-murderous point of view, either, but that there's no product of the art. There is no art, it's just an action.

And as for pornography, yes, that should be uncensored. If you don't like it, don't watch/look at it. That's my strategy in life. And I'm not sure why you included pyromancy, which is divination by fire. I have no idea why you'd ban that anyway?

Anyway, now that I've been on my off topic rant, I will go to the original topic.

I haven't seen Judas, but Lady Gaga scares me, so I really don't want to; but as far as I know she sings about falling in love with Judas? I don't think this is an issue for me as an atheist, but to me, if it offends you, ignore it, don't take it away from everyone else. The era of blasphemy laws and burning heretics at the stake is over. Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press...
 

Justeazy

Todo is the pfuf!
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Haha, sorry, didn't mean pyromancy. Typing too fast again. >_< I meant pyromania. Like setting a forest on fire. Can be qualified as art if the person's goal is to create that "smokey, ashey look". So should I go burning down the forests of America just because I think a charred tree looks better than a green one(true; though not the point).
An example of how murder can be art: Jame Gumb (Buffalo Bill) flays people alive and makes their skin into his wardrobe. By your definition, it's art because there is a product: a custom, unique piece of apparel. Does that mean he was just an expressive artist instead of a psychopathic murderer? And although that is from a work of fiction it is very well-known and similar things have actually happened.

Likewise, I never said that pornography should be restricted or banned. I myself do not like it, so I do not use it/watch it/whatever. But if I took my laptop down to the corner and blasted hardcore porn at anyone who walked by, men, woman, and children, would that be right? For one, children will look, not necessarilly because they want to but rather because they're curious and... bam! Another is that certain (extreme) religions prohibit looking at something of the sort, regardless of it was accidental or the intentions of the person, it can have consequences for them. Should freedom of expression override freedom of religion?
Above all, should I be allowed to shove something in your face if it's how I'm expressing myself, regardless of your own taste for such an item? Shouldn't you be allowed to choose what you are and are not exposed to instead of being forced to endure whatever I shove in front of you? (Before you say you can just close your eyes, what if that'll cause me to trip down some stairs? What if it's an offensive smell, or sound?) Should freedom of expression overrule, most importantly, freedom of self?

Allow me to elaborate on what I said before. Except in extreme cases (see the murder example above), the creation of any form of art and/or expression should not be censored. However, the DISTRIBUTION of said items should be, to a degree. Like I said before, it "should only be partially censored to a select audience". By "partially censored" I meant censor the distribution of it, and "select audience" meaning to those offended by it. Otherwise, there's nothing to stop me from sending you a virus to steal all your information and crash your computer because I think the end result, the blue screen, is a pretty shade of blue.
 

425

Hero of…. #s, I guess
Joined
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Location
Skyloft
"Our constitution guarantees us the right to do anything as long as it is not harmful" -Fmr. Sen. Barry Goldwater

This is the point I was going for, Justeazy.

What I fear and hate is any kind of censorship at all, aside from censoring things that cause direct, provable harm to another person. Because the next step is the government banning things that blaspheme Christianity, then, things that oppose the government.

Censorship is the most important battle we'll fight in the next 20 years, with the internet and all. Choose your side carefully.
 
"Our constitution guarantees us the right to do anything as long as it is not harmful" -Fmr. Sen. Barry Goldwater

This is the point I was going for, Justeazy.

What I fear and hate is any kind of censorship at all, aside from censoring things that cause direct, provable harm to another person. Because the next step is the government banning things that blaspheme Christianity, then, things that oppose the government.

Censorship is the most important battle we'll fight in the next 20 years, with the internet and all. Choose your side carefully.
I am agree, I am very anti-censorship.
 

Justeazy

Todo is the pfuf!
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
"Our constitution guarantees us the right to do anything as long as it is not harmful" -Fmr. Sen. Barry Goldwater
To an extent, I was saying the same thing.
The legal definition of harmful is a very, VERY loose one. There's physical harm, and emotional, and mental, and spiritual, and probably more that I don't care about. And there's direct and indirect harm. And there's things that can potentially harm. And there's intentional and unintentional harm. Who is to be the judge in saying what exactly is deemed "harmful" or not?

My position is that anything can be harmful given the right context and opinions on the matter. I believe censorship, except in extreme cases, should be applied so as to make it that anyone can have access to any material, but noone has to be exposed to anything they do not wish to be exposed to. But any and all material itself should remain in it's original state.

I absolutely agree that things like Christian blasphemy should be uncensored. But where does this "harmful" line begin? Like, putting a billboard up outside a church that reads "God doesn't exist." is perfectly acceptable? Putting the same billboard up that reads "God doesn't exist. MURDER ALL CHRISTIANS!" is fine? How about that billboard with a picture (not drawing, but a real picture) of a man killing someone who is holding a crucifix? When does censorship go from hiding the truth (George Orwell's 1984 comes to mind) to protecting the citizens?

And as far as choosing my side, the topic of censorship is far too complex to have simple "pro-" and "con-" censorship sides. I have stated my position. There will be extreme pro-censorship opinions, extreme con-censorship positions, and possibly countless others in between.

EDIT:
Back on topic, as far as the video goes, as-is there is nothing wrong with it because anyone offended (read: possibly emotionally harmed) by it can simply turn it off. People demanding it should be taken down because it doesn't conform to their ideals are idiots and wrong to demand such. But if you took that video to the very people who are offended by it and forced them to endure it (read: intentionally emotionally harmed them) then that person is wrong to do such.
 
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Joined
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Location
Netherlands
It's her way of doing it.

You can debate if this way is needed. Is it provocative because of the provocation or because of actually trying to adress something?

Whichever one it is, I stand with artistic freedom. If some orthodox christian is offended by it, that doesn't give him or her the right to put his own believes above the law that ensures these freedoms. Don't like it? Don't watch it!
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
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Location
Vegas
If we want to continue the censorship talk, there is a thread for it here. Since we were kind of veering into another topic here.

Yeah, I do agree that Lady Gaga always seems to be out for attention. That's how this business can work. All you need to do is shock people, and then they'll watch your stuff to check it out. It's quite common. Even if it is crap, if it grabs attention it still makes money. In fact... I'd even say the more it offends people, the more money it'd make. I doubt they were unaware that it would offend some Christians. They probably knew that it would and went through with it anyway because they didn't care if they did.
 
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This video came up in a discussion I had with some friends (who are Christian) and the general consensus (among about 4 of us) was that this video was offensive and they considered it to be "sacrilegious". As far as my personal opinion goes, I do not find the video anymore offensive than any of Lady Gaga's other songs/videos-- in some way, shape or form all of her songs are offensive and to echo Hanyou, this one may be less offensive than some of her other ones. I believe that some people are oversensitive when it boils down to what is considered offensive.

On the topic of censorship, I can't really give a definite "yes" or "no", as someone else already said here, "as long as it's not harmful", what's considered harmful involves many, many gray areas; mental, emotional, physical harm, ect, ect, ect. I've personally found that just about anything could be considered "emotionally harmful" to some people. For example, I work and am friends with people that immensely dislike swearing, is it wrong for them to lay down rules of "no cursing" when we hang out? Sure, the Constitution gives us freedom of speech, but what if something as simple and trivial as vulgarity is mentally or emotionally "harmful" to someone?

I probably derailed this a bit...sorry.
 

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