If Lady Gaga had any intention of taking the week off from her world media domination campaign, rest assured that her fans stand ready to step into the tiniest breach. Any viral-video eyes that aren't trained on Gaga herself right now might be in the process of being redirected to the sudden plethora of clips about Gaga.
Earnest homage? Earnest satire? Tributes from civilians and celebrities alike? Truly, it's Gaga's world right now, and we just live, venerate, and play "Telephone" tag in it.
Just ask Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams, who tweeted a short, sweet solo cover of "Bad Romance" to the world over the weekend, dubbing herself "Lady Haha" in the process. The production values are low, and Williams does not don any flammable sunglasses, but the tribute is sincere:
(That's what you get when you let your Lady-loving heart win—whoa, rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, roma-roma-ma-maa!)
But it's Gaga's latest hit, "Telephone," her duet with Beyonce, that is inspiring most of the love, or flattery in the guise of affectionate parody. Viral spoofs of the divas' nine-and-a-half-minute "Telephone" video have become their own instant cottage industry. An inordinate amount of the spoofs are set to the original music and feature guys with five o'clock shadows to rival Richard Nixon's playing the lead female roles.
But if you want a parody with some production values that has spoof lyrics as well as visuals, and actual women in it, check out this pretty amusing one from Barely Digital... which is predicated on the question of what a star as notoriously lucid as Beyonce was thinking when she agreed to do a video where she kills a bunch of people in a diner.
That one straddles the line between affectionate homage and savagery, actually. But if you want to bask in pure Gaga-doration, take a look at the "happy birthday" compilation put together by rather devoted fan Ryan James Yezak.
Yezak is responsible for one the aforementioned drag-tribute "Telephone" videos, and he parlayed the 6 million views he got on that into a call for fellow fans to send him birthday greetings for Gaga, who turned 24 on Sunday. The results reveal an international rainbow coalition of devotees, some of whom praise their heroine in nearly messianic terms:
"You're standing up for the rest of us," enthuses one fan, summing up the sentiment that Gaga is doing more than anyone else to represent outsiders in the mainstream. Says another: "Last year I watched one of your speeches on gay rights, and the day after I came out to my parents and friends." And here you thought she was just a champion for prison fashion rights.
Lady Gaga was touched by the birthday tribute. "I've never cried so hard in 24 years"—even as a Baby Gaga, apparently!—"from pure joy and unconditional love," she tweeted to her 3.4 million Twitter followers. "Tears still streaming." The woman who is all about tough looks and jagged surfaces does have a softer side.
Meanwhile, somewhere, Madonna, the displaced queen of provocative pop culture, is fuming with envy. Has the phrase "Gaga gonna-be" replaced "Madonna wanna-be" in the lexicon yet?