As some of you already know, I’m not big on watching the news because I’m not interested in constantly hearing about all the negative shit out there. But today I woke up early for my physio session and decided to turn on the tube before I left. At that hour, there’s nothing on but news and traffic reports. I was intrigued to learn that the University of South Carolina will be offering a course on Lady Gaga’s rise to fame starting in January 2011. Let’s all pause for a moment to absorb this before I continue.
Let me preface what I’m about to write by saying that I don’t dislike Lady Gaga. While her musical style isn’t necessarily in line with mine, I’ll admit to singing along to Poker Face, and her wardrobe is always entertaining to say the least. I have long wished for a bra that spews fireworks so that I can use it as a weapon while on the train, but alas, La Senza doesn’t appear to stock this bra. Anyway, in my opinion, Lady Gaga is the female equivalent of what Elton John was back in the day. While I think this course will be interesting, I have to wonder if Lady Gaga is worthy of a university level course. I can think of a number of famous people and artists that don’t have a course centered around them, but who could, given the various contributions they’ve made to our society: Bono, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela. Sure, Lady Gaga may be considered a social icon, but she’s not the only eccentric artist who admits to being bi, who has a large following or who has met the Queen. Besides having a massive Facebook and Twitter following, what else has she done to merit a course all about her and her rise to fame?
The course overview which can be found here, says the class will introduce students to a ‘sociological analysis of selected social issues related to the work of Lady Gaga.’ According to the BBC, Professor Deflem was quoted as saying:
“We’re going to look at Lady Gaga as a social event,” Prof Deflem told the USC student newspaper, the Daily Gamecock.
“So it’s not the person, and it’s not the music. It’s more this thing out there in society that has 10 million followers on Facebook and six million on Twitter. I mean, that’s a social phenomenon.”
What the hell does he mean it’s not the ‘person’ or the ‘music?’ At her core, isn’t this what Lady Gaga is all about? Without this, would there be a course about her rise to fame? That’s like teaching a class on Facebook but saying it’s not about the social networking factor.
What do you think? Would you take this class if it was offered at your local university? Why or why not?