American pop singer Lady Gaga is currently in Taiwan performing two concerts, part of her Asia tour "The Born This Way Ball."
In Japan, a "Pray for Japan" teacup used only once by Gaga was sold for more than 6 million yen (US$75,000) at auction. Meanwhile, her show in South Korea was banned for those under 18, and the Indonesian police has denied a permit for her performance amid protests from Islamic hardliners.
All these episodes highlight the magic and controversy surrounding the "Gaga phenomenon." Some people love her and others hate her.
Her magic mainly lies in her unconventionality. Every time she appears in public, she wants to set the world on fire through her style and music.
She has created for herself an image that is a combination of rebellion and justice, and has even portrayed herself in an androgynous way. This mixture of liberation and underground revolt has become the greatest appeal of the "Gaga merchandise."
Some have questioned what the pop diva has left for the music industry after removing her meat dress, egg-shaped vessel and other eccentric packaging. Her critics have described her as nothing more than a clown who resorts to claptrap to please her audience.
On the other hand, the lucrative "Gaga industry" proves that people really yearn for a religion of "believing in yourself" when they have long been lost in a world of conventionality. Thus, the Mother Monster has built a Utopia that bears "no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom" in which her Little Monsters can find comfort and salvation. (Editorial abstract -- May 18, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)