Dear Mr. President,
The first time I heard Lady GaGa's music, I was with my best friend. While our upbringing has made us proud indie-rock lovers prone to asserting that our fandom predates a band's national popularity, we've always had a weak spot for catchy dance music. Lady GaGa's attempts to market herself as a redefinition of what is beautiful annoyed me, to be sure, (skinny blonde girls have, to my understanding, been thought beautiful for most of human history,) but I remained an unrepentant fan of her music. Today she gave a speech protesting Don't Ask Don't Tell, entitled "The Prime Rib of America". I think that a celebrity using her fame to humiliate three members of the US Senate into possibly changing their support of a bigoted policy is better than having a tabloid-splashing public breakdown à la Lindsey Lohan, Brittany Spears or Amy Winehouse. (Which, of course, isn' to say that Lady GaGa has to choose; her mugshot may yet grace Perez Hilton's homepage.) Our culture's fascination with celebrity is not unique to the modern era, nor is it unique to America. It seems, unfortunately, that the human condition requires our bizarre worship of the beautiful and famous. I would imagine that many celebrities would gladly return to the freedom of anonymity, the ability to walk down the street without make-up and not worry about being photographed. The ones who at least make enough peace with their fame to try and do some good with it are admirable.
While GaGa's speech wasn't exactly the Gettysburg address, it had moments of poignancy that I hope the people mocking her heard. The Senate Amendment to repeal DADT is currently too close to call- it seems that not a single republican can be found willing to put morality and justice above party loyalty. Should the 41 Republicans continue to hold to the threat to filibuster, I think the Democrats ought to make them. Make them filibuster a hateful, archaic policy based on a dying prejudice. Make every single Republican member of the Senate talk until they fall over with exhaustion for the sake of denying American soldiers their rights. And broadcast every second of it. Because I think the contrast between a gorgeous American popstar standing up and asking her country to live up to its promise and the Republican members of the Senate trying to perpetuate bigotry and intolerance would make for some great pre-election television.