SHE STILL WANTS TO TAKE A RIDE ON A DISCO STICK: Saturday night, HBO aired what may be the only theatrical production with a storyline that makes less sense than the pre-revisions version of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. I am, of course, speaking of Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour. Admittedly, I fast forwarded through chunks of the show where she was playing less familiar songs, but as best as I could tell, the story involved Gaga and her oddly dressed companions trekking through the wilderness to attend the "Monster Ball," where after finding assistance from Jesus and his bitchin' guitar solo, Gaga defeats a giant Monster (apparently representing fame and/or the paparazzi) before being ascended to heaven, which is apparently a loud dance club. (Let's leave aside that "loud dance club that never ends" might be among my personal conceptions of hell.)
There was a bunch of fascinating stuff in the show--some enterprising religious studies major is assuredly already hard at work on their senior thesis for next year about religious imagery in the works of Lady Gaga--but it didn't make a lick of sense, and Gaga seemed to keep falling back on the same things to ramp up the audience--shouting "New York," "Monsters!," or delivering long, impassioned, yet rather unconvincing, speeches about how your dreams will come true. I admire Gaga for her utter commitment to her concept and her activism (which seems to authentically come from her convictions), but I prefer my spectacles on this level to have at least a hint of irony, and Gaga don't do irony.