In her outlandish past videos, Gaga has appeared in a futuristic wheelchair, pranced around a fiery bathhouse, and embarked on a "Thelma-&-Louise"-style road trip with Beyoncé, but in the just-premiered "Alejandro," she is uncharacteristically serious. The classy black-and-white clip, lensed by high-fashion photographer/Madonna collaborator Steven Klein, is a seven-minute "celebration of my love and appreciation for the gay community, my admiration of their bravery, their love for one another, and their courage in relationships," according to Gaga's June 1 interview with CNN's Larry King, during which she premiered a short teaser of the "Alejandro" video."Alejandro" is out, we can all see that it's not a blatant political PSA--as with all Gaga videos, it's a piece of performance art, open to interpretation. But the video's vaguely "Rhythm Nation"-reminiscent vibe, not to mention what Gaga described to King as its "homoerotic military theme," could be construed as a creative critique of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. And the video's wardrobe of nun's habits and other religious imagery could be viewed as references to the Catholic Church's demonization of homosexuality. "Alejandro" video is a thank-you gift to Gaga's large and devoted LGBT fanbase, the affectionately nicknamed "Little Monsters" who have helped make her the biggest female pop star on the planet. "The gay community...has been the most enormous blessing of my life, that I have them and their support and the way that they truly understand me and support me," Gaga told King. "My admiration for the gay community comes from an incredibly steadfast and joyful courage and very bravery that they have for one another, for their community. To be gay and to live openly in this society is something that requires a tremendous amount of strength and steadfastness....I celebrate their culture and their union and who they are, in my music, and in my fashion, and in my work, every day. And I will forever."
Of course, "Alejandro" is controversial and polarizing--no Gaga video would be complete without a little shock value--but by Gaga standards, this video is actually almost downright tame, and this time, she isn't dancing with cans of Miracle Whip or disco sticks or hats fashioned out of princess phones. This time, there seems to be a message behind Gaga's madness. Will people listen to what she has to say? Regardless, this is yet another Lady Gaga video that will be impossible to ignore.
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