I feel obligated to preface this post with a disclaimer: Your opinion of music or enjoyment/rejection of Lady Gaga should not come into play when I present the following argument. I am well aware of her(his) virtues and I can appreciate your opinion. Having said that...............
I've always thought that playboy is the most sinister of all pornographic material why? because it pretends that it is soft and sincere. playboy reminds us that if you are going to take off your clothes for money it is the "classiest" way to do it. There is no way to be classy or decent once you have decided to remove your clothes for money and show millions of people. Either you are a whore who is doing because you are too lazy to actually work for your supper or you are so vain that you want to be admired for your body. Either way you have crossed a threshold and you can't have it both ways. sure we've grown into an accepted all of these things as natural in our lives but they are completely unnatural. Playboy in essence pretends that it's not porn and we have accepted it and its dirty little secret.
In a similar way a less offensive version of pop music is still pop music. Just because it is the best of the worst does not make it in any way good.
These days pop music ascribes to a formula. good beat, strong chorus, short. the most important part of pop music however is the performer.
lady gaga is not hot. i've seen scantily clad images of lady gaga everywhere and I don't objectively find her stimulating. One of the most important components of being a pop star is the infatuation/imitation aspect. Do young men have posters of her on the wall or pictures of her on their computers? Do pervy old men watch her music videos? do young girls wish that they could look like her? Are girls jealous of her hot bod? The answer to all of these questions is no. Of course over time with money and media influence all of this can change.
Let me use an example to make this clear. My own father has no reason to like Avril Lavigne or Britney Spears but when they first came out his pervy eyes were all over it. He actually listened to Avril long enough until he started liking some of the songs. I don't think that Avril is conventionally attractive but she was an alternative niche type. She is the type of girl that all of the sk8ter bois think is attainable. In a mans mind attainable is good. Viola! lust is created and Avril has a career. Britney had that whole school girl sweet/innocent thing going for a while and the minute she lost that she lost her career. More recently she has been able to resurrect her image but not before a decade of misfires and a complete change in image.
In both of these cases there existed lust and idolization. All the guys want to pop the pop star and all of the girls want to be her. No one wants to schtupp Lady Gaga. She also has an elogated torso, strange eyebrows and a man ass, all things that are not seen as conventionally attractive.
Let's dispel the idea that pop music is about the music. I could hit youtube and find 50 people who sing/dance better than any pop star out there. Their only problem, they are fat or ugly or both. Lady Gaga is not distracting to look at upon a cursory glance. There aren't any damning flaws about her exterior appearance that make her unfit for television. People don't get hired in the music biz let alone the pop music biz because of their technical talent. They have to be a particular package and that all begins with looks. Look at Taylor Swift she can't sing or play guitar and she sells a ton of records. She didn't even originally have musical ambition she just knew that she was pretty to look at. Unfortunately the modelling world didn't want her so she fell back on country music and parlayed that into a music career.
You could argue that of all the people who play pop music that Gaga is pretty good and she plays her own instrument. 1) Alicia Keys does it better and I don't like her either. 2) Since when did we start heaping praise on people because they play an instrument? Last time i checked every member of every band that ever failed could play an instrument. The whole point of being a musician is being talented...musically.
Next, Gaga's music really isn't that good. I am a guy and i can hit all of her notes. puh-puh-puh-puh-poka-face. Papa-Papa-razzi! no big deal. If you like the music it's probably because you were big into the club scene back in 99 when techo was still cool. Beyond the driving recycled nostalgic beats and her perhaps (and i'm being nice here) slightly above average vocals what does she have? her image right?
What hasn't been done yet? We haven't popularized creepy or strange. But, not the real creepy and strange because that's too creepy......and strange! so what I am going to do is put coke cans in my hair. What i am going to do is watch Marilyn Manson's sweet dreams video from the 90's and pilfer select images and copy them. I will splice this stolen creativity into my wardrobe and people will find it shocking because it's ten years later, I play pop music and I'm a girl. The rest? I'll just blatantly steal from every other female "artist" who came before me and not even veil it in a poorly crafted facade. But wait, Lady Gaga isn't just a singer, she is a performance artist. To which I say, the only thing less interesting than pop music is performance art (Blue Man Group exempt).
To steal a line from The Usual Suspects: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Lady Gaga like Playboy is the most sinister of ploys because it presents itself as something other than what it is in order to achieve extra credibility/consideration. Ms. Gags preys on the notion of the underdog, the unheard masses to uplift, confuse and trick you into buying into her. She is neither a talented performer nor a creature of beauty. If she has done one clever thing it was to play both image and musical talent against each other, then run her ass through a fast closing door before the world realizes the one and only element to her pop culture greatness, misdirection.