Freaks and Geeks, part one: Freaks

29 Jun

In honour of a weekend spent watching one of the greatest shows ever created, and cancelled, Im gonna link a few things I’ve been wondering about together under it’s heading.

I had the misfortune to catch a bit of the monster’s ball concert recorded by lady gaga for HBO (Oh HBO…how did you fall so far from the wire) recently, and her wince-inducing monologues caught my attention. I’ll get to the content of it later, but the first thing that got me was the delivery which was, to put it mildly, cringeworthy. Sorry Gaganauts, but this won’t be kind.

Obviously she was partly sticking to her image; that of a stone cold goddess who doesn’t really care what people think, because she’s doing her own thing and loving it. Fair enough, that could account for some of the woodenness. Unfortunately, after the third or fourth badly executed dramatic pause in her soliloquoy, I started feeling awkward. You know when someone is really putting their heart into something, you just do. The content of her carefully crafted speeches were worthy of some heart being put in- well, the content stood up to a few minutes of basic logic anyway- but to me it just fell flat.

Take this one. Even though it’s a video ( you can’t get that personal-contact level of understanding with videos), you still just know he believes what he’s saying. It shines through, relentlessly.

Now compare that to this one:

(Quick edit: WOW, watching the two vids again, it strikes me how divisive lady gaga’s speech is compared to Henry’s)

Again, she’s got that whole cold as ice/madonna-like/fashion icon/strong person thing going on, which I’m sure must account for some of the lack of any discernible emotion in the speech, but to be honest if I hear someone in person making an inspirational speech I don’t equate being loud or shouting with rousing inspiration. (you could say that she doesn’t want to be seen as one of those weeping, feel-good, people gushing over how we can all get along, something I’m down with, but the Henry Rollins clip above shows that you can walk the line between cold hearted honesty and uplifting emotion damn well)

As a side note, I find it a little funny that she tells the crowd to forget all the people who told them they couldn’t be something in their life. It’s a useful tool,  for a quick fix I suppose, but you can get a lot farther by acknowledging those things and either working on them or using them as a spur. Then again, emphasising a groups persecuted nature is a classic strategy for collecting them together under a single banner- something I thought about touching on, but figure I don’t want that can of worms opened just yet: It’d distract from my main point below…although I’d love to tear lagy gaga’s logic apart)

(Sorry; I should say now for those of you not in the know, that in another speech on the tour she speaks about how they’ve locked the doors and left all the ‘Freaks’ outside, presumably the people who don’t understand or agree with her fans and their lifestyles, which is why I’ve titled this post Freaks)

Which brings me to the reveal. “Born this way”. That was gnawing at my mind for a good while before I realised what annoyed me so much about it. I’m not going anywhere near the debate of whether someone is born of certain sexual preferences, personality traits, prejudices, needs, wants, desires etc… or anything else like that. NO sir-ree. I’m nowhere near knowledgable enough on the subjects of genetics to go wading into that one.

Simply saying “I was born this way” is a complete cop out. As if you never did anything other than ‘be’. I’m not gonna dance round the subject (although I did do that a little up above, apologies), but she’s obviously talking to her gay fanbase. You were just born this way? Really?!

No, you weren’t. You went through countless hours, days, weeks and months of wrestling with yourself before admitting the truth and embracing it. You completed a mental marathon the likes of which many people in the world would never experience.

You spent even more time worrying about the effect that revelation would have on your family and friends. Before tackling the issue you worried constantly about their reactions and the honest light it would shine on your relationships.

You might even have spent gallons of tears, both happy and sad, when the subject was broached and discussed with those people. You became grateful for the people who supported you, appreciated their presence in your life and maybe recognised a layer of them you never knew they had. For the ones who reacted negatively, well…you dealt with it, somehow.

You weren’t just ‘born this way’. You worked hard, went through countless times both good and bad, and came out a better person for it. You were forced to question yourself, the world around you and your relation to it before finally deciding whether to open yourself up and embrace it, or close yourself off and forget it. For me, that’s a much better rallying call than simply saying “I was born this way”.

You went through a lot to become that person, and it’s made you all the better for it. Please don’t cop out by just saying “I was born this way”…it sets a terrible example for everyone else.

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6 Responses to “Freaks and Geeks, part one: Freaks”

  1. mewithmycamera June 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    well said , well written. I think your speech is the best of the three.

    • orionscoat June 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Happy days; thanks a lot!

      All the best

  2. CDQue June 30, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    Great post! I don’t like Lady Gaga’s music or outfits, but I find her message for her fans to be uplifting. The fact that she says, “I was born this way” seems more like a tactic to rally that niche market of fans whom feel that way. I have seen this before with the “Girl Power” (Spice Girls) and “Good girl” (Britney Spears, pre-rehab) movements.

    These sentiments are great coming from a place of sincerity, but Lady Gaga and her counterparts just feel contrived for the sole purpose of gathering more fans in that segment or niche.

    Well Said.

    • orionscoat June 30, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Cheers! well said yourself

      I agree her message is uplifting to her fans, but to me it’s just a quick fix…and I don’t like those haha.

      All the best

  3. Deeone June 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Awesome post! I probably will be one of the few that is a Lady Gaga fan… although you bring up a very good point about being “Born this Way”, I have never thought about it in that sense… which makes totally good sense. You’re right, that a lot has actually taken place when a person comes to terms with or embraces their sexual identity, all of which that happened long after being born. At any rate very well written piece, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Cheers to you mate!

    • orionscoat June 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

      Thanks a lot man; your input and feedback is well appreciated as always!

      All the best

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