Religious groups are protesting artist and songwriter Lady Gaga’s concert. Apparently, the mere mention of the word, “Judas” can strike fear into the hearts of the holier than thou.
In Catholic, and Christian circles, Judas was a disciple of Jesus. It was Judas who betrayed Jesus to Pilate, which led to the latter’s execution by hanging on the cross.
ABS-CBN News quotes Atty. Macalintal [Errata: we posted the wrong link to the earlier. Link now corrected.]:
“Saying that “Jesus is the demon I cling to,” ito ba ay gusto natin marinig? Article 201 ng Revised Penal Code, ang mga indecent shows at mga palabas na lumalabag sa ating relihiyon ay may parusang pagkabilanggo. Let this be a warning to the organizers at kay Lady Gaga sapagkat si Lady Gaga ay wala namang diplomatic immunity,” sabi ni Atty. Romulo Macalintal.”
At its simplest, the song “Judas”, is a song about a woman in love with the bad boy who betrayed her.
The lyrics of the song goes, “Jesus is my virtue, and Judas is the demon I cling to”.
And the psychobabble?
Is this Lady Gaga expressing a cry for help? Is this the inner darkness in Lady Gaga?
Music speaks from the soul, to the soul. It speaks whether it is Beethoven or Lady Gaga. And yes, even Justin Bieber.
Commentary and story is nothing new to either music or poetry. Country music wouldn’t exist without story. And for all the cursing that goes on Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, it is a commentary on the Vietnam War.
We all have different taste in art, food, literature, in fashion, and just about everything under the sun. Try spending hours listening to different genres and different generations of music. The styles evolve, and the music and sensibilities evolve. And like every literature, and like art, music survives generation after generation because at its core, there is something we relate to.
If you want to look at it from a scientific, and biological point of view, music can activate dopamine in our brain— makes us feel pleasure. Just checkout the Wall Street Journal’s piece on why Adele’s hit song, “Someone Like You,” could make people cry, and give them chills.
Personally speaking, Lady Gaga’s other hits like Poker Face and Bad Romance for me were tolerable. It is powerful, but too feminine girl power and stuff like that. It isn’t surprising that women dig it. The rhythm behind Judas, for me is like nails on the chalkboard. If there is a reason not to listen to Lady Gaga, or any musician for example is how you perceive the music.
And yet, it is this infinite diversity of human ideas, and human culture that make us, well, human.
It is sad to say that while we have to respect the religious opinion of others, doesn’t mean they are right. Yes, they have a constitutionally mandated right to protest. It is hard to accept their position as the correct one. It would seem such a frivolous matter to sow religiousness and Lady Gaga, protest over her right to write her song, and sing it.
In the vernacular there is a phrase called, “Walang basagan ng trip”.
Put it another way, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Just don’t tell people they’re wrong, when clearly they are patronizing Lady Gaga’s music.
We’ve seen the last decade the rise of Fundamentalism, and intolerance. There is so much bottled up hate. At least, it would seem to be darker days. Of course, the world is an old hat to fundamentalism. Crusades. Witch Hunts. Star chambers. And we’ve seen what fascists could do to not just Europe, but to the world. And we’ve seen what the Taliban has done, and what Osama bin Laden did.
As we’ve seen with these religious protest about Lady Gaga, and others too that fundamentalism, and intolerance are viruses that is not limited to extremist Muslims waging war. We’ve seen what fundamentalism has done to the Republican Party. We’ve seen what unchecked greed has done to Capitalism, and what unfocused Power is doing to the world. We’ve seen how bitterness, and rage, and envy, and lust for power can take a person, a people— and if the Philippines is an indication— break a nation.
There is religious conservatism, and there is this virus called Intolerance, and extreme fundamentalism. We have to stop that.
This is a universal truth. Music speaks from the soul, to the soul. Music is poetry. Music is so rich that it transcends nations, and people. It is this infinite diversity, in infinite combinations that we should celebrate. If there is something to protest about, it is against intolerance, and ignorance.
Image source: Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)’s Twitter.