Lady Gaga’s Judas was leaked early, and I must say, I love it! The song is, to me, metaphorical, about loving the wrong man, about loving someone who hurts and betrays you, and all the conflicting emotions that exist in this type of situation. To be sure, the surface story of Mary Magdelene and Judas works for me as well, I just love that there’s more to it.
From my limited research (if you can call it that), however, I’m finding that there’s a lot of vitriol toward the song, and toward Lady Gaga in general. A radio station here in Orlando premiered it yesterday and then had people call in with their opinions—over half (at the time I was listening) didn’t like it. (Of course, Lady Gaga was performing in Orlando at that exact time, so I feel like the numbers were skewed against her.)
I’ve thought about this response since then, and all the public response after Born This Way was released. And I’ve decided: This has more to do with Lady Gaga than it does with the music.
Okay, stay with me.
We live in a culture that oftentimes pushes against success. We to see a moderate amount, not sensations. This is evidenced in the people that call musicians sellouts when their music finally breaks into mainstream play, by the people (some of whom I went to grad school with) that find popular literature unworthy of attention. This is the girl that told me, in all seriousness, that she would never read Harry Potter for the sole reason that everyone else liked it. This is why we love to see celebrities fall, fail, why these days Britney Spears makes a splash in the news when she screws up but only a ripple when she does well. And now, I believe, this phenomenon has come to Lady Gaga.
She has her fans, of course. Loyal fans. People who tell her—and mean it—that her messages of tolerance have saved their lives. But she has also caused a stir with some of her antics, and so there is a substantial group of people out there who believe she’s had enough attention (or too much) and that it’s time for her to be done. It seems to me like the people who will go out to vote against something but not for something—the voice of the opposition can be so much louder.
And some people really don’t like her music. That’s fine. No one is universally loved. What gets me, however, is the people who then say that she’s not talented, as if their taste alone defines talent. I can’t stand Katy Perry’s music, but you won’t ever catch me saying she doesn’t deserve her record deal.
Anyway, here’s the new song. Enjoy it, or don’t. I personally can’t wait for the whole album, and I wish Lady Gaga all the success in the world.