Lady Gaga and Doing it My Way – Well, doing it Her Way

I saw Lady Gaga interviewed on telly the other night, and was quite amazed at how down to earth she was.  She was just gorgeous.  Unpretentious, no power games.  One of the things she said which resonated with me was that you can’t do what other people want you to do when you want to follow a dream.  You have to follow your heart.

She wasn’t aggressive about it, or even egotistical, just matter of fact, it was refreshing.  I’d say she knows what she’s talking about.  She drew a strong boundary between who she is privately and her creative persona.  Just showbiz, that’s all.

Her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta and she was born on March 28 1986 to a  Catholic Italian American couple who came from lower class families and worked for everything, something Lady Gaga is proud of.  She started playing piano at the age of 4 and wrote her first piano ballad at 13.  By age 14 she was performing at open mic nights.  This was a girl with a destiny and with fantastic entitlement.

Her memory of school is that she felt insecure because she was mocked for being too provocative and eccentric, so she toned herself down.  But she love acting, and was a disciplined, studious, dedicated student.  When asked about her spiritedness, she attributed it laughingly to the fact that she’s left handed.

When she was 17, she enrolled at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied music and wrote papers on art, religion, social issues and politics.  Plus an 80-page thesis on pop artists Spencer Tunick and Damien Hirst.   By the second semester she wanted to leave, to focus on her own career.  Her father agreed to pay her rent for a year on condition that if she failed she re-enrol.

She has said she found the cheapest apartment she could “and ate shit until somebody would listen” [Vanessa Grigoriadis, “Growing Up Gaga” New York, New York Media Holdings] (Source: Wiki)

Well, that was a smart choice.  Finding this out about her has changed my idea of her completely.  A lot of what she does doesn’t appeal to me, but I really love how she claims her space – and her freedom from fear.  Also, she seems to be a generous-spirited woman who’s smart and on top of her world.  She’s aware of social issues, is a philanthropist, has won plenty of awards, and is sincerely grateful for the support of her fans.

At one point the Catholic League attacked her for blasphemy – but all they succeeded in doing was to make her the first artist to get 1 billion viral YouTube views.  Mae West was also slammed by the group.   Hmmm, so that’s how you get fame.

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Valentine’s Day Celebration with Love, Coffee and Chocolate

“I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss.   I’ve always found time to teach them. ”  Mae West.

“I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”  Meryl Streep

“I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being queen of this country.”  Princess Diana

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones

What a great day, Valentine’s day, everybody thinking about love.  Love of freedom, Love of women, men, children, love of chocolate…  Me I’ve been thinking about all the different things people have said about love – in between thinking about my love of chocolate, that is, and then thinking I’d better get me some.  Dark chocolate.  Mmmm.  It’s very good for your health, also.  It was probably just as good for my health to walk down to the shop past the beach to buy said chocolate.   And then, I had my cup of coffee when I got up this morning.  What a healthy person I am!  Add a good dollop of love from friends and you can understand why I’ve been in seventh heaven today.

So what do other people think about love?  Michelle Obama said “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’ Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good… You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.” [ Michael Y. Park. “Michelle Obama’s Secrets to Finding a Great Guy.” People.com. 10/28/2009.]

Obviously she’s got something right, Andrew Romano said of the Presidential couple “… I think it’s the Obamas’ willingness to act in public much how they act in private—open, informal, flirtatious— that has incited most of the swooning. At the Youth Ball, I noticed the president do something that’s impossible to imagine any of his predecessors doing: resting his head, eyes closed, on Michelle’s shoulder.”  [“Our Model Marriage.” Newsweek 2/23/2009.]

Einstein said “you cannot love a car the way you love a horse”.  Nicely put.  Not sure what he thought about men and women, though…  Or chocolate, for that matter.

I watched some of the BAFTA pre-awards the other night, and everybody went gaga for this decade’s British film icon-babe Colin Firth.  I wonder what he thinks about love?  I don’t know, I couldn’t find anything he’s said about it, so I chose this one instead “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.”

On that note, I’ll have another chocolate.