Into the Groove over at Gaga Stigmata

by on Jun.18, 2011

Over at Gaga Stigmata, I’ve got the first in a series of new vid analyses: “Into the Groove of Lady Gaga’s ‘The Edge of Glory,’ a Phenomenological Inquiry”

This is the dance you do by yourself with the imaginary body of your hopeless crush. This is the dance you do when no one’s home and you hold the doorframe and thrust your torso through it like into your lover’s arms. This is the kind of dance you do that feels big in your body, but would look small, ridiculous, would shame you if anyone caught it on film. You strip off articles of clothing, accessories, you shake out your hair which isn’t actually the long porno hair let down from the sultry librarian’s bun, but just your hair. You don’t want to open your bedroom window and leap right out so everyone can see the big thrill pounding through you because the thrill simply won’t manifest on your body, and, for another thing, Butler again, “the soul is precisely what the body lacks; hence that lack produces the body as its other and its means of expression…a figure of interior psychic space inscribed on the body as a social signification that perpetually renounces itself as such.” To lay bare your soul on your ugly body is to admit or accept that your soul is ugly, is plain, is small and disappointing. The edge of glory is in fact not an edge at all. You’re just a little person having a big feeling. The abyss you intuit is actually just a ten-foot drop. At worst, at best, you’ll get a goose egg on your forehead.

2 comments for this entry:
  1. Johannes

    I think the Bruce Springsteen intertext is pretty noticeable. Not only does the song include his saxophonist, and a couple of his favorite words (edge, glory), but the whole song has that anthemic Bruce-y feeling. I also think about this because the other day I watched an interview with her where she repeatedly mentioned Springsteen (she referred to some song as the love child of Whitney Houston and Springsteen). /Johannes

  2. Danielle Pafunda

    Ha! She wasn’t referring to this song? “The Edge of Glory” could be the slightly surlier love child of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “Dancing in the Dark” (both of which I adored & had on cassette as a little kid). You’re so right!–& in my formulation I guess that puts the fan in Courtney Cox’s role without actual Courtney Cox gumming up one’s self-representation in the fantasy. Even gummier, because one can’t go back in time and read Courtney Cox as unknown girl-next-door in audience. She’s Courtney-Cox-getting-her-start-in-fame.

    It also strikes me really sad that Clemons died just after the release of this vid. Becca Klaver or Kate Durbin or somebody lovely said something about him ghosting into the future on that stoop.