It all happened so fast. I've been exposed in a week to the most important cultural icon of the aughts (the 2000-2009 decade). It started last Wednesday when they discussed her on the Slate Cultural Gabfest. Then over the weekend I saw snippets of her on the American Music Awards excerpts. Monday night I saw an hour special on her on cable. An interview followed by some of her videos. Then I went to her website and read about her on Wikipedia. Yahoo offered up 5 videos. Today I saw Newsweek magazine and read that she was not really artistic just because she mentions Marcel Du Champ and Andy Warhol in interviews. Even Sarah Palin knows those names.
Of course she will lose her bohemian Lower East Side creds now that she is famous. She is probably passe among the hip 20's crowd just as the baby boomers are discovering her. She is the obvious post modernist version of Madonna (Italian American woman, sexual outfits) especially Madonna's Sex Vogue period. However, to me, she is closer to being Cher. She does disco like Cher and does those modulated vocals like Cher did in "Do You Believe". She is dressed sort of like Cher did in her tv show in the late 60's early seventies. However in a Marat Sade sort of way. She is a little more M than S methinks. Her latest hair style looks like her hair was cut with a lawn mower. She is the star for our times.
The fifties was the decade of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. The 60's was Kennedy and the Beatles. The 90's was Madonna and Clinton. The aughts are Obama and Lady Gaga. A decade defined.