Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Going Gaga, while maintaining preppy cool

Ah, fame ... what does it really mean, a Lady Gaga course asks.

Going Gaga, while maintaining preppy cool

Study in gray and Day-Glo: Lady Gaga in L.A. "Monster Ball" tour
Study in gray and Day-Glo: Lady Gaga in L.A. "Monster Ball" tour JASON MERRITT / Getty Images

Will the classes in a new college course called "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame" be held only for  15-minute periods?

Former Inquirer reporter Kit Seelye tells us about the Carolina college course devoted to study of singing phenom Lady Gaga, her fame and its implications for modern civilization.

Professor Mathieu Deflem's course will examine what makes people famous, plus the meaning of fame itself. Presumably, it's about something other than wearing weird clothes or, in the case of certain Hollywood starlets, even omitting certain articles of clothing. In Lady Gaga's case, the young singer certainly has style and talent to match chutzpa and all the rest.

There might be an entire class devoted to the meaning of Gaga's Belfast stage appearance over the weekend in which she bit off the head of a Barbie doll. (Guest lecture by Ozzy Osbourne?)

Deflem boasts his might be the only course at the college level in such esoterica. Certainly, he's well-researched on his topic: He's attended 28 Gaga concerts around the world and owns a bunch of her recordings. There may be stalkers who are not as tuned in to their objects of obsession.

No arguing that the topic of fame is fascinating and, for many culture vultures, all-consuming. You might say millions of people major in its study unofficially. Somebody with a college degree might as well cogitate on it - at least for one 15-minute period.

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The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

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