Monday, August 29, 2011

I've already done that . . .

In recapping the VMA awards from last night, it is fascinating to muse over a statement from someone like Britney Spears about where we are as a culture . . .

If you didn't get the chance to see the exchange between her and Lady Ga-ga, it can be found here:


The short story is that Lady Ga-ga, in another one of her sort of strange attention-getting gimmicks spent most of the show as a guy smoking cigarettes and looking like a 50's greaser.  When Ga gave the award to Spears, the two sort of orbited each other with Spears looking at the crowd as if to say, "should I?"  Of course the crowd roared in support of another lip-lock that has now become famous between Spears and another pop-queen a few years ago.

Spears pulls up and leans into the mic and says, "I've already done that." and leaves the despondent-looking Ga-ga behind.  It was so 7th grade (or maybe 6th).

Imagine that!  An idea that has has run it's course.  Pretty interesting that the biggest headline last night wasn't the kiss that almost was, but Chris Brown's flying through the air and Beyonce's baby bulge.  Is it possible that ideas . . . even RAUNCHY ideas . . . can become passe?  Is Spears onto something here?

"I've already done that" hints at the redundancy of pushing the envelope.  In other words, the shocking only works once.  The reason it only works once is because we didn't really care about bringing in same-sex kissers at every VMA awards - we only cared if it COULD be done.  And now it HAS BEEN done.  Which led to Spears saying it shouldn't be repeated.  Which really makes you wonder if it ever should have been done at all.

The biggest test for some of these actions are the sustainability of them.  We give to the poor, we help the homeless, we love the unlovable because it never goes out of style.  It has substance.  Faith has depth - it has a gravity that doesn't make headlines, but it repeats through our culture over and over.

Shocking acts onstage somewhere are doomed to be one-hit wonders . . . just because we can push the limits doesn't mean we should have in the first place.  Spears is off to the next thing, but it will be just as empty . . .

And that is why we need to keep living out the truth - because everything else is empty.


  1. Maturity is a good thing for all of us. Insightful post.

  2. Missed the VMAs, but I'll give Spears credit for what she did, or what she didn't do. As for Lady Gaga, she's pushed the envelope so much and so often that she's already become tiresome. Her talent is overshadowed by her need to be recognized.

  3. LOVED the post. Never thought about that before.