Thursday, March 01, 2012

Gaga for the Lady's Charitable Endeavors

Kudos to Lady Gaga for launching her Born This Way Foundation. (Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were all on hand for the kickoff at Harvard -- not too shabby!) I think it's admirable that she's using her fame and fortune for such a noble and LGBT-friendly cause -- and one she clearly feels passionate about.

I truly don't mean to fuel the (in my opinion nonexistent) Madonna vs. Gaga rivalry -- Madonna's music rates
way high on my all-time list, and Gaga has a fraction of the repertoire, but is definitely on her way to being something memorable -- but hardcore Madonna fans often wonder why I'm so "down" on Madonna the Person, and this happens to serve as a perfect example. Don't get me wrong, Madonna has done A LOT for LGBT people -- and for many others. And she did it when it was far less fashionable. But the truth is, she could have done -- and could still do -- SO MUCH MORE, yet most everything she does these days seems to be about making a buck. The gyms, the H&M clothing line, the Macy's clothing line, the children's books, the perfume, the Live Nation deal, the $300 concert tickets, and so on. She appeared to be really dedicated to her shady Malawi charity for a while -- a fairly recent endeavor, I might add -- but that level of commitment and branding has never been put behind a cause for LGBT-ers, the most loyal demographic behind her success.

And given her longstanding relationship with the gay community -- dating back to Christopher Flynn and Martin Burgoyne --I frankly find it
borderline unconscionable that she hasn't stepped up her efforts over the years, something that would have seemed like a no-brainer back when she was always participating in the AIDS Dance-a-Thon or when I saw her at an AIDS Project Los Angeles benefit.

It's certainly not for me -- or anyone -- to tell a rich celebrity how to spend their money or use their image for charity. And I do recognize that she continues to make considerable donations to LGBT-friendly causes. But when people wonder why I don't adore "the person" she's become -- a seemingly money-grubbing whore -- this is a part of it. She's disappointed me. At this stage of the game, I'd have thought Madonna would be the new Elizabeth Taylor. (Does she think Elton John beat her to it? There are plenty of other LGBT causes besides AIDS.) So forget about Lady Gaga comparisons. These days she's not even keeping up with her (actual) peer Cyndi Lauper, who is so 99 percent in fame and fortune to Madonna's 1, and can only do a fraction of the good.


1426ri said...

Madonna has focused her attention to other causes such as Raising Malawi, and other causes. Like you said, she's done A LOT for the LGBT community, BEFORE IT WAS TRENDY AND DIDN'T NEED A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT WITH HOARDS OF PAPS AROUND TO "DOCUMENT" IT.

Does that mean the LGBT community is the all and end all to her philanthropy? Can't she move on to something else that is her passion today?

Like I said, she may be contributing to the LGBT causes behind the scene. She doesn't need to make a spectacle to get press.

Sorry, I do get your point somewhat, but if you break it down to the basic. Madonna is an entertainer. That's her job. Her livelihood. Why is it bad to expand your business? If someone offered you an opportunity to make more money, would you pass it up for fear of "selling out?" I would guess "no."

Same applies to Madonna. She's human.

Matthew Rettenmund said...

Madonna's done a lot. Why don't you turn your judgment onto the countless LGBT people who have done zero and who done fucking care?

Oh, the next big thing will be whether Madonna plays St. Petersburg in light of its abhorrent new anti-gay law. Get ready to gnash your teeth.

Anonymous said...

I agree Ken - it is beyond understanding why madonna, who has benefited greatly from the gay community, really gives nothing back. but at the same time, what and how much charity work does she do at all? I think her number 1 charity is madonna. It's one of the reasons I ignored the superbowl half time.. why bother.. it's just more marketing BS.

Unknown said...

I TOTALLY share your Madonna sentiments.

Ace said...

I could not agree more with you! I thought I was the only one in the community who felt this way. Regardless, Lady G has done more is her short lived career to support our causes and deserves accolades for her effort.

FunMe said...

Oh my gosh, I was trying forever to articulate why I don't like Madonna as much as I used to. You hit it right on the nail!

I remember only ONE event with Madonna doing AIDS DanceAthon ... but that's it. Here commitment was really always about HER. No wonder she seems so lonely and mean. I would have thought with kabala she would have changed, but not really. I mean, she was bad mouthing her husband when she was divorcing. And she did it on stage!

How horrible for the father of her son to find out about this when he grows up.

Anyway, Malawi came what ... 20 - 25 years later after her dabbling with AIDS events for HER publicity. Yeah, she does owe the gay community a lot ... not only because they are continuing to buy her music and go to her concerts but also because the gays are the ones who helped start her career like her dance instructor.

Anyway, I LOVE what Lady Gaga is doing and she will go far in more ways than one.