Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hey, Ain't That Racist? Lady GaGa Does Al Jolson ... Leftist Establishment is Down With That!

I've admired Lady GaGa quite a bit. She's extremely hot, in an unordinary way. But she's crossed a line of decency with her new blackface gig, on the cover of the fall issue of V Magazine:

Semi-nude images from the photo-shoot are here.

When entertainers in the early 20th century donned blackface, these artistic representations were soon condemned as racist stereotypes. Al Jolson's images are perhaps most famous; his scenes as a blackface entertainer in The Jazz Singer (1927) are widely acknowledged as patently racist today:

Recall Jane Hamsher, in a 2006 essay at Huffington Post, argued that Senator Joseph Lieberman had been "an integral part of the GOP's bully machine for the past six years ..." Hamsher illustrated the post with this awful blackface of Lieberman below, which was promptly removed amid the understandable outcry (complete with a feigned apology from "Hammering" Jane):

So what's up with Lady GaGa? Have we come full-circle and Birth of a Nation iconography is back as hot glam-fashion in the Hollywood-New York media-cultural complex?

The V Magazine piece argues that GaGa "pushes the outer limits of the avant-garde ..." And one
celebrity gossip page quipped of GaGa's getup, "She wants to know if anyone still thinks that joke’s funny. ‘Cause I sure as hell do!"

gossip page jokes about GaGa's pubic hair (symbolically represented in the photographs), and one commenter finally asks, "Why is she in blackface? Is that what the kids consider cool these days. I'm just asking ..." But the thread gets its share of racial humor: "LOVE her pearly whites!!!!"

No word on the blackface gig from Perez Hilton, Lady GaGa's biggest Hollywood fan-boy (and fat-boy tag-along GaGa groupie). Of course, Hilton's cool with Kanye West's racist power grab at the video music awards last week, and he puts down rumors that GaGa's tour with Kanye was dumped: "
Not Cancelled! Kanye/GaGa Tour Still Happening!" It turns out that GaGa's Al Jolson resurrection and Kanye's race-baiting don't rate up there with Carrie Prejean's opinion that marriage is for men and women. Nope, that's bigotry!! Remember Perez Hilton's total disbelief, with illustrations, when Ms. Prejean actually exercized her rights: "Carrie Prejean IS Suing The Miss California Organization!":

That's pretty much the leftist double-standard in action.

Now to be clear, as I said, I like Lady GaGa. I genuinely appreciate her oeuvre, and of course I think she's a sexual knockout.

But hey, aren't we having this big debate over racism in America? We're hearing all about the "racists" who're attacking President Obama from the likes of
Jimmy Carter and Maureen Dowd. You know, remember how Joe Wilson's racist for suggesting that Obama's a liar (never mind that Obama's really a liar)? All the lefties are up in arms! Jim Crow is back!

But, ah, isn't Lady GaGa's Al Jolson schtick kinda Jim Crow-ish, you think?

Better not tell the MSM. They might attack me as, well, racist!


Right Truth said...

I thought I read somewhere that she was a he. I never heard of her until I saw that article.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth

AmPowerBlog said...

Debbie: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is "Lady GaGa." Never heard otherwise, but don't like the blackface thing ...

CGHill said...

There exists out there on the net a brief video clip wherein Lady G is wearing an outfit so short and so tight that it's allegedly possible to see the twig, if not necessarily the berries.

Having seen this clip, and willingly conceding her talent for self-promotion, I'm guessing that she'd donned prosthetic wangage, just to gauge its effect.

Unknown said...

You call that blackface? I'd say it's an ultra tan look.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

My gut tells me that she was not being racist just another attention getting act. But I'll talk to my classes this week and let them decide since they are about 50% Hispanic and about 24% Black. Should be an interesting discussion.

SadEnding said...

Your comments and citing of the UK Guardian article which is childishly ill-informed about the history of show business, does great disserive to the figure, talent and legacy of Al Jolson.

Al Jolson's use of blackface was not synonymous with its use in "Blackface minstrelsy." Most people do not recognize a difference but there is a great deal of difference. This is not the place for an essay on the subject however.

Suffice it to say that in Jolson's lifetime the use of blackface was like using a mask--it was devoid of negative meaning, of even racial meaning. It had become a convention of theater. Although he portrayed a "black man," in his Broadway shows, no one, not one critic, person, black or white ever uttered a word of objection nor did anyone find it remotely offensive. "Ah but they were all racists," you will chide. Nonsense. Black performers were keenly aware of all that was going on politically regardint their place in society and were quick to denounce that which they found offense.(See the premiere of "The Klansmen," the play, not the Griffith film.) Jolson was a beloved figure among members of the black community as tributes to him show.

Your narrowness and knee-jerk reaction to the image of Jolson in blackface is simplistic even childish, and shows a complete lack of understanding.

But, this is America.

Serr8d said...

In re: CGHill's mentioned video, a link.

Seems harmless enough.

Oh, and what's a post mentioning aberrant blackface without referencing Steve Gilliard's?

Bobby L said...

you have got to be kidding me. She isnt blacked up.
Its called bronze. Its a fashion magazine not a political one.

Come on, I know this is over a year a go, but this is insane.

Its just fake tan, or bronzer.