Students can go Gaga for Gaga

A few years back I got to see one of the earliest live performances of Lady Gaga. It was during the Promo Only (TM) showcase at the DJ Times’ convention in Atlantic City. I watched, bemused, as she(?) pranced around the stage in a $5.00 devil’s costume flanked by a couple of dancers who looked as though rhythm was anathema to them. I thought she was a soulless, talentless, hack then and nothing has happened to change my opinion since.

Oh, the question mark after her gender above is to denote that I’ve seen her(?) close up while she(?) was wearing tights. Either she(?) has the world’s largest clitoris or there’s more to her(?) than meets the eye.

As far as I’m concerned her vocals, I’m done with the question marks now – I’ve made my point, are a low rent version of Grace Jones and her act is a dinner theater rendition of Madonna’s career.

Suffice it to say I’m not impressed.

So you can imagine my unbridled glee when I found out that the University of South Carolina is going to offer a course on the career of Lady Gaga. Diane Knich of The State manages to keep a straight face as she reports the facts.

University of South Carolina sociology professor Mathieu Deflem will teach a class on Lady Gaga this spring, which is not an unusual choice for a man who has seen the flamboyant pop star perform 29 times on stages all over the world.

Deflem, 48, said he’s established himself as a scholar, so now he gets to have some academic fun by teaching the course called Lady Gaga and the sociology of the fame. It will be offered at USC spring semester.

He’s been teaching courses on international policing and terrorism for the past 15 years, and has earned a solid reputation in his field, he said.

And he’s also a huge fan of the pop star, who is known not only for her music but also for her unique stage costumes.

He first saw her on “The Tonight Show” in January 2009, and then attended his first concert in Atlanta a few months later. He’s now seen 29 of Lady Gaga’s concerts, and he’s met her five times.

He’s such a regular front-row face at her concerts that the pop star recognizes him, he said. And he’s launched a fan website.

Deflem said he’s always had a personal interest in rock and popular music, but he didn’t think it was a good idea early in his career to mix his personal and professional lives.

But not long ago, he felt his career needed a little fresh air and he decided to do something different.

He had an ongoing interest in fame and celebrity, topics that are often touched on in sociology courses on culture or popular culture, he said.

At first, he was going to design a sociology course on fame and celebrity and use Lady Gaga as an example. But then he decided to simply base the course on her, he said.

The singer is an extremely talented musician, he said. And she’s also an individual. “I’m drawn to artists who have a unique presentation to their music,” he said. Some of his other favorites include Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Prince.

Note that no one but him claims he’s an expert on anything. Note that he manages to insult real musicians by lumping them in with Gaga, who can’t play a note. Proof to me that he has no clue what any of the artists he named are actually about or capable of.

Sorry about ending a sentence with a preposition.

Note that he’s a 49 year old man who hangs out with young kids for fun. Personally I think the authorities should be notified. This guy, to be polite, is one toucan short of a Fruit Loop.

Fortunately there’s no truth to the rumor that students, and I use that term very loosely, will have to pass “The Wit and Wisdom of Paris Hilton 101” before taking his – ahem – course.

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