Vice vs. Virtue: Judas – Lady GaGa

http://www.myvideo.de/movie/8122937
Lady Gaga — Judas – MyVideo

Lady GaGa visit Sweden at Sommarkrysset, Gröna...

Image via Wikipedia


Here’s the recipe for success: take a bit of love and sex, mix with religion and sin, add a little bit of a “message”, stir well and promote with a dashing and dicey video – there you go – here comes Lady GaGa’s new hit “Judas” from her new album “Born This Way” (you can read the lyrics here)– she can be sure to have the world’s attention!

The song has provoked some harsh criticism by church groups in the US, but Lady GaGa presents herself as a philosopher: The song “Judas” is …“ about constantly walking towards the light in my life, but always clutching onto the light while peering towards the devil in the back.“

So I think it’s well worth having a look. In this song Lady Gaga sings about Mary Magdalene’s love for Judas and Jesus: „I’m in love with Juda-as, Juda-as… When he comes to me, I am ready, I wash his feet with my hair if he needs.

The bible tells us the story of a woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. In this song, it’s Mary Magdalene who offers this act of love to Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus in the end. She knows what type of person Judas is, he certainly belongs to the side of evil and treason. Nevertheless, she feels hopelessly attracted to him: „Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain – even after three times he betrays me.“

She is torn between Jesus, whom she also loves, and Judas, promising to take revenge: “I’ll bring him down, bring him down, downa king with no crown, king with no crown.”

She knows that love can not only rescue but also destroy a person’s life: “I’ve learned love is like a brick, you can build a house or sink a dead body. “

However, there is something that is more powerful than sin and damnation – forgiveness: „Even prophets forgave his crooked way“ – so there might be salvation for her, the „fame hooker, prostitute, wench“, too.

She is really torn between the two men: „I wanna love you, but somethin’s pulling me away from you. Jesus is my virtue and Judas is the demon I cling to.”

But it’s not only about Mary’s story – this is everyone’s story, as Lady GaGa emphasizes:  “So the song is about washing the feet of both good and evil and understanding and forgiving the demons from your past in order to move into the greatness of your future… I keep going back and forth between the darkness and the light in order to understand who I am.”

I like this way of picturing human nature much more than the certainty with which some people seem to know what is good and what is evil.

As Lady GaGa points out: “If you have no shadows then you’re not standing in the light.” She is so right!

The official video has certainly bothered some sensitive religious people. Jesus and his disciples a band of bikers,  Mary’s bath in a beer-whirlpool with Jesus and Judas, well, that is  provocative and very GaGa-like, isn’t it?  ;-)… “and it’s really fun to dance to.” (GaGa).

At the end Mary Magdalene, all dressed in innocent white, is lying on the floor, stoned to death. Is Lady GaGa anticipating the reactions to this video?  Or has she decided to walk the road of virtue and does this always lead to death? GaGa as a martyr? Hmmm…

Still, there is the constant task in everyone’s life to balance the Fool and the Holy within us – thanks, Lady GaGa, for reminding us of this! 😉

(all quotes according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_(song))

Advertisements

Wings of Desire: You Found Me – The Fray

You can read the song’s lyrics here.
http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7orza?width=560
The Fray – You Found Me (official video) von thefray

You wouldn’t believe it, but here’s another one looking for God – and finding him where you wouldn’t expect it either: ” I found God on the corner of First and Amistad… all alone smoking His last cigarette.” Isaac Slade, lead singer and pianist of the The Fray explains: “I just imagined running into God standing on a street corner like Bruce Springsteen, smoking a cigarette.” This wouldn’t lead to a friendly chat but rather to a row of accusations: „Where were you when everything was falling apart? All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang and all I needed was a call that never came”.

It is no secret that The Fray have a background in the Christian Church. They decided to go onto into the secular music business because they expected more listeners, more chances for their musical career and certainly more financial reimbursement, which is understandable. In many of their lyrics their connection to Christian faith is still visible, as it is in this song “You Found Me” from the year 2007. Slade explains in an interview:  “You Found Me is a tough song for me. It’s about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest .”

In the song he obviously mourns the loss of a beloved person: “In the end everyone ends up alone. Losing her, the only one who’s ever known who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be. You got some kind of nerve taking all I want.”
Yes, God was there, finally, but it was too late: „Lying on the floor surrounded, surrounded, why’d you have to wait? Where were you, where were you? Just a little late…
The question about the evil in the world, about suffering and the meaning behind all these experiences is as old as mankind. There are no answers, only some very careful attempts to approach the possible solution.

In this song I see one of these attempts: At the beginning the singer is in search of God. “I found you”, but still asking “Where were you?”. In the end it says: “YOU found ME” – the parts are turned around. God finds us.
The official video for the song is very impressive, too. It is supposed to be a tribute to the Wim Wenders film “Wings of Desire” from the year 1987. The band members are singing standing on bridges and high buildings, like the angels in the film who want to get to know the humans. The angel Damiel is even ready to sacrifice his immortality just to become a human. He learns that living as a human means not only love and colors, but also death and blood and suffering.

At the end of the video the night gives way to the dawn – maybe there IS light at the end of the tunnel? The victim of the car accident opens her eyes. Objects and people are being elevated from the ground. The viewing direction changes towards the sky, towards heaven?
This week we celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Christian faith tells us about someone who wanted to come down to Earth to be human, to be involved in our lives. He experienced live, love and death and at the end asked: My God, why have you forsaken me? There is no human life without the experience of death and loneliness.
Where were you? Well, maybe He was right there – when you were lying on the floor, waiting for His answer, facing death.
After all – after Good Friday comes Easter!

Let’s talk about God: One of Us – Joan Osborne

http://www.myvideo.de/movie/6987665
Joan Osbourne – One Of Us – MyVideo

Just imagine: you are on your way home from work, sitting on the bus. There is this guy sitting next to you. Well, you don’t know whether to pity him or feel contempt. How can you let yourself go like this? I mean, you don’t have to be dressed up to the nines – but a bit more tidiness would be nice. He doesn’t have a briefcase with him. You suspect he is unemployed and living on welfare and whatever else you imagine in your head. We are quick with our assessment and evaluation of other people, aren’t we? Some people on the bus are busy making phone calls or chatting with their neighbor. This guy next to you is just staring out of the window. He seems to be lonely.

Joan Osborne’s song “One of Us” (click here for lyrics) is about such a guy. Many thanks to my fellow blogger colleague djbaroque and his inspiring blog “My 2011 Musical Diary”  for reminding me of this wonderful song from 1995. In this song Osborne suggests: “What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home”. Can you imagine God as such a slob, sitting next to you in the bus – someone who is lonely, whose contact list on the phone is rather short even if there might be some incoming calls from the Pope – well, that’s something, isn’t it? 😉 : “He’s trying to make his way home, back up to heaven all alone, nobody calling on the phone ‘cept for the Pope maybe in Rome.”

This is clearly not in accordance to the traditions of the big world religions, whereas “God is great” would certainly get the approval of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all together. This creed is repeated throughout the song very often as if to fight the doubts. Many people nowadays have their problems with the image of an almighty, omnipresent God.

So – what if God wasn’t like that? What if he was “a slob like one of us”? Could we put up with a God who is not able to intervene, to end our sufferings, to turn the world around? Do we really want God the Almighty if this meant “that you would have to believe in things like heaven and in Jesus and the Saints and all the prophets.

On the other hand – to have him sit next to us would give us the chance to ask those questions we always wanted to ask him.

What if…we would confine ourselves to seeing God in our fellow human beings? That would give everyone the dignity they deserve, regardless of age, gender, race, looks. The video coming with the song illustrates this idea perfectly well. The whole scenery is somehow surreal – kind of a funfair or kermess, a photo gag with people replacing God’s face: God’s many (human) faces.

I guess if religions would concentrate on seeing God in every human rather than finding “the truth” and fighting each other there would be more peace on earth, more tolerance and respect.

By the way, at the center of Christianity there is a guy who is, well, not a slob, but who was good for a scandal every now and then and who ended up on the cross sentenced as a criminal. Not everybody liked him. God – one of us. Have we really understood what this means? Are we capable of seeing God in the guy on the bus, in our neighbor, in our enemy?

Have you ever considered what YOU would ask God if you had the chance to talk to him?