“Born This Way”: A Defense

Political art is impossible in America today, most critics believe — except for a few art installations created by humorless lesbians. But this is untrue. Allow me to celebrate a successful work of social commentary by the ever-transforming Lady Gaga. You’ve no doubt heard this song, if you’ve been in a supermarket in the last two years: "Born This Way." The tune reached number one in over 25 countries, selling 8.2 million copies worldwide — making it one of the most successful singles ever. "Born This Way" is anti–racism (and anti-homophobia) to a Disco beat. This hit song has instilled goodness into the "pop dialogue."

 

I’ve been listening to Woody Guthrie lately, and Lady Gaga is a contemporary Woody. Let us compare "Born This Way" and "This Land Is Your Land":

 

No matter gay, straight or bi,

Lesbian, transgendered life;

I’m on the right track, baby,

I was born to survive.

 

No matter black, white or beige,

Chola or Orient made;

I’m on the right track, baby,

I was born to be brave.

 

Nobody living can ever stop me,

As I go walking that freedom highway.

Nobody living can ever make me turn back;

This land was made for you and me.