Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lady GaGa Video For Telephone Has Everyone Pushing The Envelope

The music video for Telephone which features Lady GaGa and Beyonce really pushed the limits in a music video in a way they probably haven't been pushed since Madonna and her most controversial ones. Part of this stems from the fact that MTV is not out there playing videos any longer so they have mostly become banal and boring. Well, someone who is not boring to begin with is Erykah Badu. She has always pushed the edge and tried to take things as far as possible, but I have a feeling that seeing Telephone probably decided she needed to push things even further. Last Wednesday she shot a music video in Dallas next to where JFK was shot and killed. During the video, Erykah stops at the site, takes off her clothes and then you hear a shot before she falls to the ground naked. Controversial? Umm, definitely. Take a look.

28 comments:

RocketQueen said...

Brave is what that is.

Unknown said...

Matt & Kim are fab

MontanaMarriott said...

I saw this earlier and Ms. Badu blows it away

captivagrl said...

like it.

Unknown said...

awesome

Shmooey said...

I'm sure she has a philosophical and/or symbolic rationale for this.

But one day, when the sexual imagery and nudity overload has reached absolute saturation point and everyone is rendered desensitized by it, people will have to start cutting themselves open and let their guts hang out to be able to "push the boundaries".

Anonymous said...

I like it! Those folks had to know what she was going to do. With kids and all there. I love what she says in the end.

NUDITY IS NOT PORNOGRAPHY. Porn is much much more than plain ole nudity.

von said...

I really liked it and found the nudity to be almost secondary. I really wanted to know where she was going and what was going to happen. She walked with such purpose, it seemed almost defiant. Great song too.

karen said...

Is this how women in the 21st century will be trying to make a point? By stripping? And what was so incredibly mind-blowing about Gaga's video? What the fuck is with that woman that everyone is kissing her ass? As if she does things no one has ever done before? It's just like in that fairy tale 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. People in general - and very unfortunately many women in particular - think that getting naked and/or dressing like a whore is so incredibly empowering to women because it shows that women are in charge of their sexuality and aren't afraid to show it (yadda, yadda, yadda...) when in reality they're still only catering to a man's sexual desire and are still nothing more than an object boys and men fap to. The only difference might be that now you're doing it publically, deliberately, voluntarily and without or with less shame. That's all. Empowering this is not! It's just the same old sexism only with a slightly longer leash.

Marna Palmer said...

Gotta disagree with you Mina. I don't like Lady Gaga because she dresses in an overtly sexual way, I like her because she does whatever she damn well pleases! Was the costume made of Kermits SEXY? No. Was it weird and unique and fun? Sure. And THAT'S what I like about Gaga. She lives life on her terms. Yes, she does get outlandish and takes things to extremes but if that makes her happy and she's not hurting anyone, who am I to judge? I am 27 and "look up" to Gaga in a way of "that girl can do what she wants nad have confidence and still feel good about herself, why shouldn't I do the same thing?" And why is that a bad thing?

Shmooey said...

@Mina: "People in general - and very unfortunately many women in particular - think that getting naked and/or dressing like a whore is so incredibly empowering to women because it shows that women are in charge of their sexuality and aren't afraid to show it [...] when in reality they're still only catering to a man's sexual desire and are still nothing more than an object boys and men fap to. The only difference might be that now you're doing it publically, deliberately, voluntarily and without or with less shame [...] It's just the same old sexism only with a slightly longer leash."

Absolutely agree.
They're still doing the same thing, only now it's not because they are pandering to the patriarchy - it's because they are strong, independent women who OWN their sexuality.
Exact same behaviour, just a different explanation and attitude to go with it.

Do You Come with the Car? said...

I truly don't understand why people in this country get so up in arms about nudity. It isn't as if Badu is making an exploitative porn video here. Didn't Alanis Morisette do a video like this (without the getting shot part) about a decade ago? It's boobs. It's a butt. Get over it.

karen said...

It's not only about her almost being naked on stage/in her videos or that stupid Telephone video (which to me looks like a typical hiphop/rap video with many scantily clad girls in it only that it's with Gaga and not 50 Cent or whomever) it's that she's doing things other artist have done before (f. e. Madonna, Roisin Murphy) and people behave like they've never seen something like that ever. It's just ridiculous.
And why can she do what she wants? I don't know what you mean by that? She's just doing the same things Madonna did. Only 25 years too late when those provocations were actually really provocative. I also don't know if she really feels good about herself.
If you want to look up to her then do it but I'm really annoyed by getting this woman shoved down my throat anywhere/anytime when there's nothing new, exciting or inventive about her.

karen said...

@Do you come with a car: I hope that there will come a time when people say: It's a dick. It's a nutsack. Get over it.

Emobacca said...

She has an amazing ass

Shmooey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shmooey said...

@Do You Come with the Car?:

I'm here in the UK, and grew up in mainland Europe where nudity was abundant on TV and print and there was absolutely nothing subversive about it. Absolutely no hang ups about the human body.

Anyone ever picked up German teen magazine BRAVO? They had a section where pubescent teens would pose naked and discuss their sexual development.
When I was a kid I used to watch a talk show where the female assistants were topless.
Commercials for toiletries regularly featured naked people.

I can tell you, there is a BIG difference between nudity that is presented a NATURAL, and nudity that is used to get attention, to seem edgy, dangerous, controversial.
I find the latter exploitative and unhealthy. It uses the naked body, which is something that is natural and pure, to shock and provoke. It turns it into a commodity to be traded on.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone ever picked up German teen magazine BRAVO? They had a section where pubescent teens would pose naked and discuss their sexual development."

For pedophiles to enjoy also?

"When I was a kid I used to watch a talk show where the female assistants were topless."

This is edgy right? Why would female assistants need to be topless? I see shock value here? No?

BTW, Badu is in a jogging suit? I don't see any hooker wear there.

Shmooey said...

@Melody:

BRAVO magazine: For anybody who bought the magazine, pedophiles or otherwise. It was teens (a boy and a girl) talking about how their bodies were developing).

From Wikipedia: "The magazine is controversial abroad for its That's Me! section, which often features sex interviews and full frontal nude photos of teen models down to age 16, which while legal in Germany, can cause problems with international child pornography laws. The magazine often works around these laws by having the models hold the camera's shutter button themselves, thereby showing explicit consent."


Topless talk-show assistants: Yes (the middle-aged men's idea of edgy, anyway). I found it crass, even at that young age.

karen said...

BTW, Badu is in a jogging suit? I don't see any hooker wear there.

I clearly didn't mean her with that comment if you were referring to it. But still, is that really all you can make a point with today as a woman? By getting naked? Quite sad!

I think it wouldn't be that bad if it was only a few women taking off their clothes - if they're getting really naked or a still wearing lingerie for magazine photo shoots - it's just that nowadays women don't seem to manage to keep their clothes on anymore. There is hardly an actress who hasn't done the typical sexy lingerie shoot for FHM, GQ, Maxim etc. etc.
As a woman I've had it up to here. Just like Shmooey said with that teen magazine BRAVO! I've been so overexposed to female nudity here in Germany since I was a kid or women in their underwear trying to come off as incredibly independent and empowered I just can't take it anymore.

I don't have a problem with nudity per se, but I'm wondering why it always has to be female nudity?
Where's my sexuality? I'm not a lesbian! Where are the empowered naked men?

Maja With a J said...

As a person who grew up with MTV, I am excited to see good music videos again. That's why I kind of like Lady GaGa - I don't think her music is spectacular in any way but she has built this persona around herself that reminds me of what I think pop culture should be. Over the top, fueled by escapism. I love music videos that are - if well done - little movies. You don't see them often anymore because MTV only shows trashy reality TV. This video reminded me of Massive Attacks "Unfinished Sympathy". Really simple but somehow you can't stop watching.

As far as the nudity goes, I think there is a big difference been overtly sexual nudity and "just a naked woman". I didn't find this offensive or even sexual at all. I am really offended by videos where really young girls ar slithering around, looking seductively in the camera, sucking on ther fingers and grinding on things - that is supposed to be sexual and it's mostly irritating and gross.

RocketQueen said...

What Harriet said.
I like Gaga for all those same reasons, plus DAMN she makes some good dance tracks, and I likes to shake my booty sometimes. She's no one-hit wonder, she's been writing behind the scenes for years, and she keeps me interested with her zaniness.
To that extent, yes, I guess she's a little like Madonna, but Madonna is now worn out and BUSTED. Gaga FTW.

Queen Beatnik said...

Did anyone else notice the guy in the red jacket at 2:00 run over and grab the Burberry trench coat she threw off? Oh, and he also grabbed her shoes. He must know quality merchandise, or else he had orders from Erykah to pick them up because no woman would willingly cast off a Burberry coat and shoes. She probably bought them at Neiman Marcus a few blocks away.

chihuahuense said...

I think Eryka is effin awesome and her music has inspired insightful commentary on sexuality, empowerment and liberty. Successful? Yes, no matter what your opinion is. Just what music is supposed to do...arouse personal feeling within the listener. A tribute to her artistry and much more than I can say for 95% of those shitwaffles (thanx, was it RQ that coined that word? I use it all the time) that are shoved down our throat by clear channel.

PS One of the most heartbreaking moments in music ever for me was when Eryka was playing a Riverstages (or was it Dancin in the District?) when I lived in Nashville years ago and ppl started yelling the "n" word and she cut her set short. So fucked up.

J said...

How can you logically compare this video to Telephone? Telephone? That was glitzed-up, over-sexed, brain-deteriorating smut. What message do you get from Telephone? Two of the most vapid recording artists EVER. They are cotton candy.

The mere implication that Gaga is on par with Madonna or Badu is CRASS. Gaga is a drugged out charletain. An OBVIOUS Madge knockoff. There isn't even a shock value there. She just recycles M, down to the cone bra, and people rave like its their first time seeing it, wtf? She/he is hardly that interesting or great of a singer. Cut the crap.

Erykah Badu & Kelis were "out there" when it wasn't fashionable, so how now, pray tell, are they Gaga copiers? Amazing.

This video is about liberation. Erykah Badu has also voiced her social opinions via her music. She is truly unique as there is no mold before her OR AFTER. Individualism at its finest.

Gaga who?

Billboard does not necessarily define GOOD music.

RocketQueen said...

Meh. Opinions are like assholes, right? Everyone has one.

Tara said...

I'm still not quite sure why Madonna is so revered. She can't sing well and definitely can't act. Is it the fact that she pushed the envelope at the right time or something? All I remember her really being about is sex, sex, sex, which isn't really unusual. The one thing I will definitely give her props for is being an AMAZING business woman. Chick definitely has an uncanny sense about when to reinvent herself. Either that or her business partners/managers/handlers do.

The Telephone video was blah. I liked all the colors, but other than that it didn't blow me away. There was nothing really controversial about it, IMO. She has coke cans in her hair and kisses a chick, oh well. Haven't we already seen that?

Anyway, that's just my $0.02. I'm sure people could say the same thing about the music that I enjoy.

J said...

Tara

In Madonna's era things were not as overt as they are now. Like A Virgin was considered risque then(can u believe that, lol?)

So yes, when she did them, they were avant garde

Now we've seen it all, heard it all

I hate that we're @ this point where everything is saturated, thats why artists like Badu are refreshing IMO(cuz u know everyone's got one like assholes hence the purpose of blogs, right?)

Madonna was/is an innovator although I stand in agreement with you on her singing/acting skills

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