chapter
Introduction
WithMARTIN IDDON, MELANIE L. MARSHALL
Pages 6

In ‘Telephone’, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and the anonymous body of dancers wear US-fl ag inspired outfi ts to dance in a diner fi lled with their victims’ bodies: regular Americans who died from consuming toxic diner food. Red, white, and blue fi gure-hugging outfi ts usually mark superheroes who expend their energies saving citizens, not murdering them. And despite the implied critique of (US) consumerism and excess consumption, Gaga’s exuberance is gleefully co-opted to tell stories of international repression and censorship: her shows are confi ned to adults only (South Korea), or authorities ask for ‘toned down’ shows (Indonesia), or laws against promoting homosexuality result in editing of her songs (Malaysia). In the US media, stories of foreign authorities going gaga over, or perhaps more precisely not going gaga for, Gaga shore up a popular nationalist narrative of the US as one of the few countries where people are free. Stories of Gaga censorship within the US, such as the censoring of her language on American Idol in 2011, do not get the same mainstream press coverage; corporate censorship is apparently acceptable. These issues and others like them-and their intermingling, the apparently frivolous with the clearly serious, the high and the low, the adult and the, perhaps, childish-are the focus of the present volume, in which Gaga is taken both as subject in her own right and as a site where ideas are imbricated, where, somehow, things happen.