Right now, the “mother monster” Lady Gaga has over 12 million eager followers on Twitter. When she achieved this status last week, Lady Gaga asked her “little monsters” to get #12MillionMonsters to trend on Twitter.
And, as followers in a cult are wont to do, her 12 million monsters listened and attempted to trend #12MillionMonsters. While they were ultimately unsuccessful in pleasing their “queen,” some of the more dramatic proved quite entertaining, if not a little creepy.
Some of her #12MillionMonsters used the opportunity to get Lady Gaga to follow them, tweeting the same thing upwards of 10 times [see below].
Now, I have absolutely nothing against Lady Gaga. I actually think she’s an interesting person. I’m willing to admit that it’s even possible she’s being sincere when she tweets at her “family” of monsters. However, you can’t deny that inspiring an entire Twitter family of 12 million devoted fans doesn’t have its benefits for someone in the music industry. 12 million fans–seemingly willing to die for you–means (hopefully) 12 million songs sold. It means, even if you don’t deserve the title, you have 12 million monsters to vote for your video for best female video every day for a month. It’s a perfectly legitimate strategy.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way, as one follower pointed out (forgive the poor grammar, for all we know this person is 10 years old).
But what happens when you have an entire group of people–I’m assuming most of the followers are real–completely devoted to one person? Lady Gaga asked her monsters to tweet #12MillionMonsters a week ago and some of them are still tweeting it. Lady Gaga tells her followers that “Edge of Glory” was inspired/based/dedicated to her grandfather and followers automatically believe her, despite this line:
I need a man who thinks it’s right when it’s so wrong/ Tonight yeah baby
Maybe my grandpa and I had a completely different relationship, but how can a song inspired by someone’s grandfather be so obviously about dancing and–maybe after the dancing–sex?
But back to my point: Lady Gaga has 12 million followers that believe anything and everything she tweets about. It’s true, Lady Gaga uses that fame for good in her LBGT advocacy, but at what point does a song like “Born This Way” become a political stunt to gain more devoted and lonely kids to follow her? Unless Lady Gaga emails me (feel free if you happen to read this blog post) and offers me an interview, I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied that she’s not using her followers in a similarly controlling (but non-violent) fashion as Charlie Manson.
Though she might have the most dedicated fans, Lady Gaga is not alone in exploiting the devotion of lonely teenagers. Some of the more popular songs about “being yourself,” accepting “god’s gifts” and overcoming obstacles are, starting with, of course:
- Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”: “I’m beautiful in my way/ ‘Cause God makes no mistakes/ I’m on the right track, baby/ I was born this way”
- Katy Perry’s “Firework”: “You don’t have to feel like a waste of space/ You’re original, cannot be replaced”
- Selena Gomez’s “Who Says”: “Who says you’re not perfect/ Who says you’re not worth it”
- Taylor Swift’s “Mean”: “Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me/ And all you’re ever going to be is mean/ Why you gotta be so mean?”
- Glee’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”: “Some will win, some will lose/ Some were born to sing the blues…/Don’t stop believin’/ Hold on to the feelin'” [Yes, I know Journey first sang this. But for the crowd I’m referring to, only the Glee version matters.]
I understand that 12 million monsters aren’t going to be very happy with my assessment of Lady Gaga’s Twitter cult, but it’s important for them to understand that their queen’s industry is one powered by money. She may believe in many of the causes she promotes–such as the repeal of DADT or LBGT rights–but forgetting the politics behind Lady Gaga’s tweets is foolish. Take her upcoming 1000th tweet. Lady Gaga explains that it’s going to be the music video of “Yoü + I”:
The tweet above is obviously a PR stunt. Monsters will eagerly await her 1000th tweet without realizing every view on YouTube or wherever will make her another load of cash.