The Subtle Subversiveness of Lady Gaga

On Monday night, word broke that Lady Gaga — the most popular pop artist in America, and possibly the most overall popular American person — paid a visit to none other than Julian Assange. When I first saw this development announced on Twitter, I was taken aback, but not necessarily surprised; ever since her meteoric rise to fame in 2009, Gaga has subtly and ingeniously challenged the existing order of things. Whether in the realm of music, politics, or religion, her meticulously-crafted persona is quite radical — especially by the standards of mainstream pop.

Back in the early days of Gaga’s stardom, she was mostly churning out throwaway bubblegum songs, doubtless at the behest of profit-obsessed record company executives. But Gaga is like a sexy chameleon; she can adapt masterfully to any situation, always with a wink. As she crooned in “Government Hooker,” likely the best dance track of 2011:

I could be girl, unless you want to be man

I could be sex, unless you want to hold hands

I could be anything, I could be everything

I could be mom, unless you want to be dad

Enter yesterday’s rendezvous with Assange! This was Gaga at her most subversive to date. Yes, a few weeks ago she smoked a joint onstage in Amsterdam, but that’s small beans compared to consorting with Assange — a man widely reviled by the power elite, and whom the U.S. Government is currently investigating on charges of Espionage. Vice President Joe Biden has declared him a “high-tech terrorist,” and a number of prominent American political figures have even called for his assassination. For anyone else, visiting with the elusive hactivist/publisher might be a risky proposition. Not so for Gaga. In 2012, she possesses such massive leverage — not to mention massive raw talent – that she can basically do whatever the heck she wants. And no corporate hack would dare object.

I wonder what they chatted about? Perhaps Assange relayed a message that she’ll communicate to the Commander-in-Chief next time the two find themselves in the same room at a top-dollar fundraiser. Gaga would be a perfect messenger. The story goes that Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst serving in Iraq, was so morally repulsed by various crimes he uncovered that he decided he’d burn the whole “secret” data archive onto a Lady Gaga CD, and then leak to Assange. (The aforementioned account is still only alleged). As a result came what is colloquially referred to as “Cable-gate,” in which a seemingly infinite trove of U.S. diplomatic cables were published. Manning has been imprisoned by the U.S. Government for over 900 days — despite not having been convicted of any crime.

Manning had long struggled with his sexual orientation. At the time, he was subject to the Military’s notorious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, a cause of psychological distress. Gaga, ever wise, has made liberation on this front a central theme of her music and public persona — on DADT in particular, but also more broadly. In doing so, she provides great solace and hope to untold young people. I first became fully aware of Gaga in the fall of 2009, when she gave a keynote address at the National Equality March on Washington D.C. — a surprisingly radical affair, organized by socialists and others of similarly non-mainstream disposition. I thought maybe she’d come and sing or something. Nope, she just wanted to give a speech. And it was pretty good. She also looked really cool.

We should take what happened yesterday seriously. Gaga is the number one most-followed person on Twitter; she’s the number one most-downloaded artist of all time. Her influence is beyond enormous. If she takes up cause with Assange, as the meeting suggests, then she could have a profound political impact. With the U.S. and U.K. governments on his tail, he needs all the support he can get.

But there are many other reasons to stop worrying and love the Gaga. Suffused throughout her (excellent) album Born this Way are seditious biblical allusions and allegories. She intones in “Judas”:

When he comes to me, I am ready

I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs

Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain

Even after three times, he betrays me

This sacrilegious number earned her the condemnation of the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue — always a mark of good art. In the deliciously dark “Bloody Mary,” she wails:

I won’t cry for you

I won’t crucify the things you do

I won’t cry for you, see

When you’re gone I’ll still be Bloody Mary

While Gaga outwardly identifies as some kind of Christian, I suspect that is just part of her larger act. She can be anything to any audience — a pious believer, a blasphemous wench, a soulful cabaret lady, a cheesy popstar. When Staten Island borough president James Molinaro, speaking at an “anti-drug” awareness event of some kind, had the gall to call her a “slut,” I doubt she minded. (In fact, I bet she very much enjoyed it.)

Lazy observers often equate Gaga with Madonna. Enough of that, I command! The more appropriate analogs are Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, and perhaps even Frank Sinatra. (Tony Bennett has speculated that Gaga, with whom he once sung a fabulous duet, is the “next Picasso.”) I’ve thought this was true for some time now, and that her talents are vastly undersold by snarking observers. But after the Assange encounter, I will henceforth tolerate no anti-Gaga rhetoric! We are very lucky to have her.

About michaeltracey

Journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Follow me on Twitter at @mtracey.

  • Starlite

    Awesome. :)  I <3 her

  • Patterrssonn

    Looks like I’ve finally found common ground with the “what does this have to do with atheism” crowd. And is an act still subversive if its indistinguishable from opportunism.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

       Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I missed something, but skimming through this (long) blog post I kept wondering when I would get to something more clearly related to religion, atheism, faith, etc.

      The minimal mention of her being christian doesn’t warrant a whole post on a topic that is more of a mix between pop-star and politics, rather than religion or atheism.

  • Bkmiller

    Patterrssonn:  I’m a  snobby black metal/experimental music fan who has ZERO interest in Lady Gaga as a musician (I’m sorry.  Cool lyrics aside it is dance floor/arena stage pablum), but even I can recognize the importance of pop culture in spreading subversive ideas.  She is very important in spreading doubt about social and cultural orthodoxy. 

    • http://twitter.com/mtracey Michael Tracey

      You should check out some of her non-dance tracks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhEMxle0yEY

    • Patterrssonn

      That’s all well and good, I just don’t get how visiting Julian Assange is subversive. Especially if she doesn’t address the issue that he’s seeking asylum for sexual assault charges. I could see some relevance to this site if she visited Pussy Riot,even a certain amt of risk, but Assange?

      Essentially why is a post on an atheist blog devoted to celebrating a wealthy pop star’s PR event?

      • Yoosh

        Assange is more risk – Wikileaks has been classified and referred to as the enemy of US so she is supporting an enemy of the state. Pussy Riot is not.

        • Patterrssonn

          Then we should expect Lady Gaga’s imminent arrest.

        • Brian Macker

          I don’t agree with your analysis. I doubt her behavior is technically illegal.

    • Brian Macker

      Sometimes that doubt is unwarranted, and when you follow pop culture you come up against the unfortunate consequences of bad behavior. All in all I think she has a positive message though.

  • Tainda

    No thanks

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

    Bearing in mind, of course, that what Julian Assange is currently trying to subvert is the proper proceeding of a rape case.

    • Coyotenose

       I don’t know whether he committed the crime or not, but he was coerced into subverting said process by a very obvious abuse of it that was designed to put him away forever as revenge rather than justice. Yes, let’s not forget that he actually might have committed rape. The timing, though, reeks of “setup”.

      • Brian Macker

        He conspired to, and succeed in the theft of classified US military documents unrelated to any purported crime. Justice would have him spending some time in jail for that.

        • Pseudonym

          Only in the same sense the New York Times “conspired to” steal the Pentagon Papers. It’s a sad day when a supposed democracy tries to throw the press in jail for assisting whistleblowers.

          • Brian Macker

            So what newspaper was Manning employed by? Do you know how an analogy works? Even had you mapped things correctly I very much doubt Manning went to the National Defense Secretary first like Daniel Elsberg. The PP had everything to do with information the public needed to know about the lies of the prior Democrat administrations, and was considered of no military significance. General Griswold under the Nixon administration said that the papers were “massively overclassified” and had “trace of a threat to the national security”. Still Elsberg was brought to trial for leaking classified documents (not for being a traitor because your analogy breaks down in that this was information the American public was lied to about and show unconstitutional behavior on the parts of past Democrat presidents). Elsberg got off on technicalities because the prosecution screwed up some wiretaps and other issues. Although he might have one anyway. I’m not sure of the law regarding disclosure of documents relating to actual government malfeasance.

            Of course the news stations, with lies of omission, made it look like this was a Republican scandal. Just like with lies of omission made it sound like the US air force napalmed that famous little girl in the picture. There’s a big difference between US planes and US built planes and they omitted the “built”.

            • Pseudonym

              So what newspaper was Manning employed by?

              Daniel Ellsberg was not employed by a newspaper.

        • mobathome

          Don’t feed the troll.

          • Brian Macker

            I’ m an atheist, using my real name, and arguing an actual position, unlike you concern troll.

        • Foster

          Um, he didn’t steal anything.  He published a document that the government allowed to be leaked that revealed them to be doing immoral things.  The Australian government tried to find something to pin on him and couldn’t, nor has the US government charged him with breaking any law.  It’s quite obviously a case of powerful people attempting to exact vengeance–and not even upon the thief, but upon the thief’s publisher.

    • viddy_well

      “Assange’s lawyers, along with Ecuadorean officials, have repeatedly told Sweden and Britain that Assange would immediately travel to Stockholm to face these allegations if some type of satisfactory assurance against extradition to the US could be given.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/24/new-statesman-error-assange-swedish-extradition

      • GribbletheMunchkin

        Thats simply not something that Sweden could ever say though. Imagine that shortly after they agreed, the states asked for extradition on new charges for something far nastier, say feeding classified data to Iran or something like that. Sweden would then be in an impossible situation. No, Assange has made a request he knows cannot be fulfilled but that allows him to turn around and say “see, see! they want to ship me off!”.
        Ignored is the fact that should the US wish to get him, extraditing him from the UK would have been easier than from Sweden (essentially if the UK sends him to Sweden, the States would have to put through extradition from Sweden AND the UK, where as if he is in the UK, the only need to pester the UK.
        Assange has been accused of rape. He needs to go to Sweden and have his day in court. He must either clear his name if innocent or be sentenced if guilty. There are no other honest ways to deal with this.

        • Brian Macker

          The obvious but very well said.

    • http://twitter.com/lowbatteries Steven Simmons

      Seems like the argument can be made that the US is the one interfering with the proper course of justice.

      • Brian Macker

        Really? How?

  • Nordog6561

    Like Bill Clinton, Assange proves that if one is sufficiently left wing then accusations of rape are to be ignored.

    • Coyotenose

      Considering that his running and hiding was because it was extremely obvious that the U.S. government was abusing the system in order to lock him up indefinitely as they love to do nowadays, and intersecting that your longstanding habit of ignoring facts, you’re being a lying twit again.

      You were cool with the Republican Congress illegally interfering in a court case in order to “get” Clinton, so your whines are, at the VERY best, merely hypocritical.

      And no, that isn’t a guess. Your ilk are always fine with abusing and twisting the legal process as long as you think it hurts Lefties.

      • Nordog6561

        You do realize don’t you that the extradition he is avoiding pertains to charges of rape?  I’m not making that up.  It is not a lie.

        As far as your charge of what I’m cool with, I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I do know that whatever it is you have no way of knowing whether or not I’m cool with it.

        Basically, you read my post and your utter and abject bigotry made your head explode and you started typing feverishly.

        Stop the H8; Start with yourself.

      • Nordog6561

        Let me rephrase:

        If you are sufficiently liberal, and you’re also trying to avoid criminal charges for crimes supported by liberals, then rape charges are to be ignored.

      • Brian Macker

        What the he’ll are you talking about. Clinton was a married man sexually harassing an intern, and several others, including an alleged forcible rape. The guy perjured himself on the stand. Getting Clinton involved carrying out justice.

        That’s ignoring the quite stupid rules put forth by liberals. You write the rules then stop complaining when they are enforced. These are leftwing women using leftwing standards of rape against Assange, and to think it is a US government abuse is ridiculous.

      • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

        “it was extremely obvious that the U.S. government was abusing the system”

        The US is not involved; the extradition process is between Sweden and the UK. There is no conceivable reason to believe that he’d be at any greater risk from the US in Sweden, than he would in the UK. The UK government rather prides itself on being the USes closest ally, it has form for extraditing people to the US on very dodgy grounds, and it has the same disregard for human rights in ‘terrorist’ cases that the US does. Sweden is not a worse place to be if Julian Assange were trying to avoid the US, only if he were trying to avoid the rape case.

    • Brian Macker

      You forgot Roman Polanski which was an actual anal rape of an girl against her stated wishes by an old man while she was under the influence. I mean how bad can you get.

      • Nordog6561

        Well, there is that.  So, it’s Clinton, Polanski, Assange.

        • Brian Macker

          The “an” was because I removed “underaged” and forgot to change it to “a”. I couldn’t remember if she was underaged, but just looked it up and she was. Also he was the smuck who provided her with the alcohol and illegal drug she was under the influence of.

          This was not some romance leading to marriage thwarted by an age difference. He was basically a stranger to her, and tricked her mother into allowing a photo shoot so he could rape her. Not statutory, but forced rape.

  • A3Kr0n

    She communicated with the enemy.
    THE US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States
     http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-calls-assange-enemy-of-state-20120927-26m7s.html

    • Gus Snarp

      “THE US military”? Is that like “THE Ohio State University”? 

    • Coyotenose

      Yep. They did that specifically so that if they get ahold of him, they can lock him up forever with no evidence or argument.

      • Brian Macker

        He should have thought about that before he got involved in a military conflict acting as a spy for US enemies. Of course the US will go after him for crimes that are greater than any rape charge. The jerk has costed US lives, and the lives of informants working with us against our enemies.

        • 3lemenope

          [Citation needed], sprinkle as necessary through all your posts to taste.

          • Brian Macker

            “In just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, The Times found the names of dozens of Afghans credited with handing intelligence to US forces. Their villages are given for identification and, in many cases, their fathers’ names.”

            Fucking with our ability to gain informants has costed US lives as anyone could figure out.
            I was assuming that the reader could add two plus two and was actually informed about what this self serving prick did. Apparently I overestimated some.

            Doesn’t seem to want to allow me to post the link so you will have to find the news article yourself. Of course, Assange has argued that if they are killed they would deserve it. He says they were lying to US forces. What an excuse.

            • Pseudonym

              You still haven’t provided one name or citation of anyone, whether a US citizen or an informant’s life, who died as a result of the leak. Or were you counting the Arab people who lost their lives overthrowing their autocratic governments?

              Still, since we’re on the topic I’d like to hear your thoughts about what should happen to Dick Cheney and Karl Rove for their part in the conspiracy to publicly name Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative.

        • Henry

          Ha ha. If you troll make an effort not to look like one. 

    • Brian Macker

      I don’t think there is any danger in her “communicating with the enemy”. What’s she gonna do, maybe tell him/her song lyrics? Those rules are more for military information, like factory locations, gun placement, names of informants, etc.

      • Brian Macker

        The slash was a typo but is funny considering rumors.

  • Brian Macker

    Are you suggesting that Mannings traitorous behavior is linked to his sexual orientation? Plenty of people struggle with their sexual orientation without using it as an excuse to provide propaganda for the enemy. Manning’s interpretation of certain events as crimes is biased to say the least. Manning is imprisoned awaiting trial for crimes he has been charged with, one of which carries the death penalty which they are quite nicely not seeking. While it is literally true he is in jail without yet being convicted that is true in many cases of civilian trials, and this isn’t a civilian trial. You lie by omission in many ways with how you report it. There should be no expectation that he would be walking about.

    • http://twitter.com/mtracey Michael Tracey

      No, I’m not suggesting that at all.

      • Brian Macker

        Then why bring it up? Why point out his “mental distress” and stress the timing with regards to the leak?

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      A US helicopter opening fire onto unarmed civilians is by most standards considered a crime. 

      • Brian Macker

        A crime requires mens rea. You too lie by omission. They fired on the enemy, and people with them who appeared to be armed, or helping the enemy. The enemy in this case was NOT following the law and are responsible for any innocents inadvertently killed, just like if you rob a bank and hide among civilians firing at security guards you are responsible for all deaths even if you didn’t shoot them, and the guards did. Only with an ignorant false moral equivalence could the deaths be called murders, the kind of interpretation Manning made. Plus the moron went much further than revealing and supposed crimes and did a dump of anything he could lay his hands on, which surely lead him to expose our sources to extermination. He was complicit in actual murder, because he voluntarily accepted a position of trust and should have known he was signing the death warrants on so many people.

        • Raising_Rlyeh

          They fired on people who were clearly unarmed from the video. The government then covered up what went on. If some did this in the country they would be charged not only with manslaughter, but also with conspiracy to hiding a death. Strict liability would make mens rea irrelevant. Except the “enemy” is this case turned out to be a bunch of people trying to help the wounded. You are saying then that it is perfectly fine to kill civilians because they are in a war zone? You don’t blame the criminal in the case you also look at those that actually pulled the trigger. 

          should have known he was signing the death warrants on so many people.
          B.S. the us government tried and failed to show that anyone was harmed by what Manning did and could not prove a thing. Show me a single, verified, example of someone being killed because of what Manning did. 

          • Brian Macker

            I saw the video quite a wile ago but what I saw was that they fired on an unmarked van trying to evacuate known ununiformed combatants. So they were not targeting civilians in the military sense. Sure guys who carry around RPGs and AK47s that are ununiformed, and not part of any army in a war zone shooting up our military and killing other civilians, are also civilians, but they are also enemy combatants which have even less protection than military personel under the laws. Apparently these illegal combatants involved some children in their endeavors, and that is their fault. Had they not been behaving as they did then none of this would have happened. Especially stupid of reporters to follow around illegal combatants on their raids. Do you think Reuters would have imbeded themselves with some kooky militia group in the US in an armed attack on a government building?

            You seem clueless as to why armies wear uniforms, why ambulances are marked, and a whole host of other issues.

          • Brian Macker

            The government doesn’t need to show any actual deaths to convict Manning, and it is not in the governments interest to actually disclose such information lest it discourage future cooperation.

            • Raising_Rlyeh

              Translation:
              I have no evidence to actually back my claim that any of the information that Manning released actually led to the death of anyone, but I won’t admit that I have no proof. Blah Blah Blah the government can do no wrong and it is unpatriotic to question the actions. 

    • amycas

       I saw the things that Manning passed along. They are thing the American public should know about. When somebody in the government commits a crime, it should not be a crime to report on it. I don’t have any problem with Julian Assange for his part in creating wikileaks, however, I do have a massive problem with his avoiding the rape charges against him.

      • Brian Macker

        So all the classified diplomatic communications he shared were about crimes? What crimes? Is it your position that all military and diplomatic information is free for anyone employed by the government to share with anyone to fish for supposed crimes?

    • http://twitter.com/lowbatteries Steven Simmons

      Exposing treason, is not treason.

      • 3lemenope

        Not to mention that Assange is quite incapable of acting treasonously against the US, since he is not an American.

        • Brian Macker

          Manning is a US Citizen, and worse for him enlisted in the military. Pay attention you are skidding off the rails, and there are rails, and training wheels present in my comments.

        • Brian Macker

          Also non-US citizens can commit treason. From a legal dictionary:

          “Because treason involves the betrayal of allegiance to the United States, a person need not be a U.S. citizen to commit treason under the Constitution. Persons who owe temporary allegiance to the United States can commit treason. Aliens who are domiciliaries of the United States, for example, can commit traitorous acts during the period of their domicile. A subversive act does not need to occur on U.S. soil to be punishable as treason. For example, Mildred Gillars, a U.S. citizen who became known as Axis Sally, was convicted of treason for broadcasting demoralizing propaganda to Allied forces in Europe from a Nazi radio station in Germany during World War II.”

          I’m no lawyer but Assange is the citizen of a NATO country. There may be a presumption that he owes allegiance to the US in this regard, and he may be a traitor to the UK, and other countries as well for having disclosed classified communications with their embassies.

          I doubt he would be tried as a traitor though. Most likely for espionage, if at all.

          • Sailor

             You seem to forget he does not have to be tried. He can just be declared an enemy combatant and detained indefinitely.
            This is another down side of having a dictatorial justice system in cases of national security. You have to bring people in kicking and screaming.

            • Brian Macker

              No, I am not forgetting that. That’s always been a risk, and is nothing new to the modern era. It is easily arguable that was acting as an enemy spy since he was involved more deeply than just receiving some anonymously deposited info. He’s was working outside the frameworks of both civilian and military law. Might happen but if it was then I would have expected an arrest before any rape trial. It is actually better for him to go to Sweden than stay in Britain if that was his only concern.

          • Pseudonym

            I’m no lawyer but Assange is the citizen of a NATO country.

            Australia is not a NATO country, but that’s not relevant, since both NATO and ANZUS are military alliances. Citizens of one country are not presumed to have any allegiance to any other country.

            FWIW, Wikileaks has been cleared of any wrongdoing under Australian law.

            • Brian Macker

              OK, my admitted questioning speculation is wrong, and my understanding of his nationality 100% wrong.

      • Brian Macker

        What treason was exposed by Manning? That’s a novel claim. Not that it would excuse the release of all the other unrelated info that I know has zero to do with any such supposed exposure of treason.

  • The Other Weirdo

    So you don’t tolerate any anti-Gage rhetoric because… you’re an Assange fanboy? And people wonder why I pay no heed to journalists.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Blog writer == journalist

      Just sayin’.

      • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

        “About michaelt: Journalist based in Brooklyn, New York.”

        Right there under the post.

        Just sayin’.

  • anon101

    That visit is more a blast to the feministc rape culture meme than anything else. Imho

  • Ibis3

    First, PFC Manning is trans and should be referred to as Breanna (the name she’s chosen to identify with), and is, from all reliable accounts, neither struggling nor confused with respect to her gender or orientation.

    Second, you have a whole article about how cool Lady Gaga is to be hobnobbing with Julian Assange, subversive Wikileaks founder,  but glaringly omitted any mention of how uncool Lady Gaga is to be hobnobbing with Julian Assange, guy who’s trying to flee undergoing a trial for rape.

    • http://twitter.com/lowbatteries Steven Simmons

      You don’t think his immediate extradition to the US would interfere with that trial?

      • Brian Macker

        An extradition that would require the consent of both the UK and Sweden. Not exactly hotbeds of US conservatism. He should stand trial in Sweden and the if the US places charges he can deal with that then. Very unlikely he is in danger of extradition even if the US presses charges. He’s just avoiding his rape trial.

    • Guest

      There is no talk of trial. Neither of the women accused him of rape. He is not even charged. Get the facts.

      • Brian Macker

        What are you talking about? He’s hiding in an embassy to avoid extradition on rape charges.

  • Marco

    A lot of people mentioned the rape charges against Assange.

    I am not sure and  I have not checked recently, but I seem to remember that Assange agreed to go to Sweden to face the charges as long as they stipulated that they would not extradite him to the US.

    That seems to me pretty reasonable. If I were Sweden and I wanted to prosecute him for rape, what would I care of a US request for extradition? How relevant would that be.

    However, what I heard is that Sweden did not agree. They wanted him to get his ass over there but could not promise not to extradite him. Under the same circumstances  I too would not go to Sweden.

    Now, if this is not true, I am open to changing my opinion.

    • Coyotenose

       That’s exactly correct, and is what the people criticizing Assange are oddly ignorant of or else are disregarding. His innocence or guilt on the rape charge is at this point irrelevant to whether he should turn himself in, because he’s been set up for a kangaroo court or illegal permanent detention in the U.S. if he goes to Sweden.

      I’m inclined to think that the rape charges were made up, simply because of the timing and that it’s pretty easy to have them dropped or else made moot by extradition finagling. I could easily be wrong of course. If he’s a rapist, fuck him, but that still doesn’t merit what the U.S. plans for him. They’re doing their level best to make Manning a permanent wreck, and he has public support. Imagine what they’ll do to the “real” culprit.

      • Nordog6561

        “His innocence or guilt on the rape charge is at this point irrelevant to whether he should turn himself in, because he’s been set up for a kangaroo court or illegal permanent detention in the U.S. if he goes to Sweden.”

        This is proof of…


        Like Bill Clinton, Assange proves that if one is sufficiently left wing then accusations of rape are to be ignored.”

        • Sailor

           Hang on no one has suggested he has raped anyone in the sense it is known in the US. Both women involved agreed sex was consensual. There was a question of  condom breaking, and sex without a condom when a woman thought it was with.
          Also he has not been charged he is wanted for “questioning”. This is after a first judge threw the whole thing out.

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      “That seems to me pretty reasonable.”

      It’s not. It’s as reasonable as asking the US president for an advance guarantee about a Supreme Court decision. It’s just not something he can do. Notably, any such extradition from  Sweden would also still require the consent of the UK, a country much more supportive of the US than Sweden is, and a country in which Julian Assange apparently felt safe.

      “Now, if this is not true, I am open to changing my opinion.”

      There’s an excellent summary of the law in this area here:
       http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/09/assange-and-legal-myths
      Now, for those not familiar with the players, the New Statesman is a strongly left-leaning publication even by British standards, and the author of that piece is convenor of the Westminster branch of Skeptics in the Pub, and very much someone that most of us would recognise as ‘one of us’. He is not, by any means, a supporter of the US. The short version though, is that it’s not true, and you should change your opinion.

    • Brian Macker

      It is not a reasonable request. What other laws does he wish suspended before he faces justice? How can Sweden know what other rapes or other crimes he might have committed in the US prior to any extradition requests? They could literally be allowing him to get away with murder by making such a ridiculous concession.

    • Pseudonym

      A lot of people mentioned the rape charges against Assange.
      There are not, nor have there ever been, any “rape charges” against Julian Assange whatsoever. This is a rather key point which often gets lost in the discussion.

      Julian Assange was accused of rape (amongst other things). He asked if he could leave Sweden, and Sweden said yes. Then they demanded that he return to Sweden at his own expense. He didn’t want to do that, but offered to stay in the UK long enough for Sweden to send officials over to ask him any questions they liked. They refused, and issued an Interpol “red notice”, still without laying any formal charges.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5PUSUN5FRD57JFDMFS2XWUG7BI Lacie

    And what of those of us who find her to be a disingenuous moron who serves no better purpose than to glorify a shitty religion or two?

    • Pseudonym

      People in that situation should probably refrain from hitting the “submit” button and go read some other post.

      I’m no fan, but if more religious people were like Lady Gaga, the world would be a far better place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

    She has good music beyond the tripe played on the radio? It’s like The Cure all over again.

  • Lionel D

    While not being by any means a conservative, I do believe that “Gaga” is one of the most dismal offspring of our times. Yes, she might be doing a good job regarding LGBT rights, but hell, working for charity or speaking about human rights is something virtually every famous bloke does in this country. 

    On the downside is her “music”, a sadly overused mash-up of dancy europop that, if not being presented by a somewhat eccentric woman, could hardly be differentiated from the sludge her other female singer counterparts nowadays put out.

    And the worst thing in all of that is that some blind people dare to call what she does, “art” while it is nothing  more than well-packaged (and yes, intelligent) marketing. Deep down, she is just the same as every other female pop star that preceded and are contemporary to her: an image and a auto-tuned voice. Beyond that, One can certainly give her credit for coming with the concept of her alter ego, but I won’t be impressed by her music until the day she releases an album without the collaboration of the world’s most famous producers/writers/arrangers (let us be honest, besides at most one or two melody per song, everything is done by her studio stooges).

    The world is full of much, much much greater and soulful musician, and the only reason so many do adulate “Gaga” is because she is a global star. She is a global star because so many people adulate her. And so many adulate her because….Well, you see the logic behind this aren’t you ?

    I don’t blame people for desiring to be behind something great. To many, it is for sure much more exciting to attend a stadium concert of a “Gaga” show than being spellbound by a soulful band at the local open mike night, but deep down, what has the more value ?  I let you decide…

    All in all, “Gaga” is nothing but a phenomenon based on a bankable concept that sadly lacks of anything artistically  remarkable.  Thanks for fighting against bullying and LGBT rights, but what about my rights not to have my ears bullied by her mooing ?


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