Shots fired! Weird Al Yankovic, the nation’s preeminent pop-culture parodist, just dropped off a Lady Gaga spoof, “Perform This Way” — which gently but insistently calls out Gaga’s shtick as being contrived bullshit — along with a lengthy explanation as to why the song will not be appearing on his upcoming album. The gist of it is that Al reached out to Gaga’s people for approval, was asked to deliver the lyrics of the song, did so, was then asked to deliver the entire song, did that as well (even though he “never do[es] that — never“) — and then, just when he thought everything was good to go, was summarily rejected (“A couple days later we got the final word: Lady Gaga says ‘no’”). His tone in the post is unabashedly confrontational, as he calls Gaga out for making him jump through hoops unnecessarily, for not being a good sport, and for — gasp — not supporting charity (Al was planning on donating the proceeds from “Perform This Way” to the Human Rights Campaign.) Legally, Al could have used the song anyway, but his personal policy is to respect the artists — and so he put it up online along with a blog post angrily attacking his subject?
Anyway, Al’s actually very on trend right now. Just today, The Guardian posted a piece titled “The Lady Gaga backlash begins,” which claims “Born This Way” was offensive to the gay community: “Fact of matter: most gay people don’t consider themselves to be freaks and outsiders, as is suggested in the lyrics, but perfectly normal people whose sexual orientation just happens to be wired a certain way.” Then there’s the confusing Biblical imagery and the whole “I’m a motorcycle” thing. Is this now happening? Lady Gaga backlash?
Update: The NYTimes’ Dave Itzkoff just reported that Lady Gaga has changed her mind and given permission for Weird Al to use the song on his album. Backlash averted?
The Gaga Saga [Official site]