I’ve expounded on the principle of crank magnetism. Basically, crank magnetism is the tendency of cranks not to mind the crankery of other cranks, even if the two forms of crankery are mutually exclusive. But it’s more than that. It’s the tendency of a single crank to be attracted to several forms of crankery. We’ve seen it in creationists who are also attracted to “alternative medicine,” in anti-vaccine loons who are also attracted to alternative medicine and various conspiracy theories, including “9/11 Truth.” I’ve seen it in Holocaust deniers who are also attracted to both “alternative” medicine and the 9/11 Truth movement. Crank magnetism, at least as far as I’m concerned, is a real phenomenon.
Among cranks, Mike Adams is a living, breathing example of crank magnetism. There’s no form of quackery he doesn’t endorse and/or sell. He’s anti-vaccine to the core, and has even flirted with the 9/11 Truth movement in an anti-vaccine video, not to mention his open flirtation with a wide variety of conspiracy theories. It’s so bad that long ago I thought that nothing Adams could do could surprise me.
I was wrong. Now Adams is hating on Lady Gaga.
I’m serious. Get a load of his post from the other day entitled Lady Gaga, superstar to teens, wears dress made of animal flesh. [NOTE: This link now redirects to a followup post by Adams. Fortunately, Prison Planet has a copy of the first Lady Gaga post by Adams in all its wingnut glory.] This post shows an aspect of Adams’ crank magnetism that surprised even me. The reason is that Adams’ tirade against Lady Gaga reminds me of fundamentalist tirades against Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and others of my favorite bands of my generation. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not disturbed by this out of any appreciation for Lady Gaga or her music. He music’s sometimes catchy enough, but it’s also utterly disposable pop that’s forgotten almost as soon as it’s over. Lady Gaga herself strikes me as though she’s trying way too hard to be this generation’s Madonna. I suppose she’s succeeding through a combination of glitz, stagecraft, and passable dance music, but she’s never really impressed me, which is not suprising, given that Madonna never really impressed me much when she first rose to stardom in the 1980s.
And Adams doesn’t like it one bit:
If you’ve ever wondered about the true mental sickness of the entertainment industry, look no further than Lady Gaga. She rose to fame and has become a teen favorite by pumping out tunes like “Love Game” where she belts out lines such as “Let’s have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.”
Seriously. This is the stuff your teenage kids are piping into their brains through their iPods, by the way.
Get off my lawn, you punk kids!!!
Adams is particularly peeved by Gaga’s wearing of contact lenses that make the eyes appear dilated, or, as Adams puts it, either “sexually aroused or stoned,” particularly since, according to Adams, these contact lenses aren’t approved by the FDA. This to me is a particularly hilarious complaint coming from him, particularly given his penchant for comparing the FDA to Hitler and the Nazis. Seriously again. Whenever it comes to any “conventional” drug approval or banning of “alternative” medical treatments, the FDA is Hitler; it’s Satan incarnate. Now, suddenly Adams is upset that somehow these contact lenses are somehow being sold without FDA approval. The problem is, most theatrical grade special effects contact lenses are FDA approved. It didn’t take me long, for instance, to find these FDA-approved contact lenses that simulate all sorts of things, such as wolf eyes, vampire red eyes, Marilyn Manson, cat eyes, and others. Of course, the truth never got in the way of a good Adams rant.
Particularly galling to Adams is the recent time where Lady Gaga showed up at the MTV Video Music Awards wearing a dress made of meat:
But there’s more to this sick story: Lady Gaga was recently honored at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, where she received a whopping eight “moonman” awards as well as Video of the Year honors.
To accept these awards, Lady Gaga actually appeared on stage wearing a dress made out of animal flesh. Yes, she was literally draped in animal flesh. This has been reported as her “red meat dress.”
I saw the pictures of that and read a couple of stories about it, including this one and one by PETA. Personally, I saw it as a blatantly obvious attempt to shock just for the sake of shocking. It’s a tactic used by performers since time immemorial, no different than Alice Cooper simulating having his head cut off on stage, Marilyn Manson’s antics, or the use of Satanic imagery on stage by any number of bands, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. It works. It gets attention, and it entertains. It also pisses the fundamentalists off.
Fundamentalists like Mike Adams:
But it goes far deeper than that. Anyone who would wear a dress made out of red meat is, for starters, mentally ill. But Lady Gaga goes far beyond just mentally ill, reaching to depths of necro-worship that make her appear almost Satanic.
In an upcoming live event, she promises to be surrounded by on-stage corpses. It is being widely reported across the ‘net that she plans to put dead human bodies on stage as part of her “act.”
My first reaction to this was to laugh. Back when I was in medical school, I remember a show that used to air on Sunday nights on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian fundamentalist cable station, that featured a preacher who would devote a segment of his show to lambasting rock music as inspired by Satan. I can’t remember his name, and I couldn’t find any “classic videos” of him going on and on in one of his classic bits of preaching fever about the evils of rock and roll, how they lead to sex and drugs (yeah, well, that’s kind of the point of rock ‘n’ roll, isn’t it?), and ultimately ensnare unwitting young people in Satan’s web. I do, however, remember them to this day as being so hilariously histrionic that I’d inevitably be laughing out loud as I watched. Hey, I was a prototypical pre-med at the time. It’s not as though I was out with my friends on Sunday nights. I had to amuse myself somehow between bouts of study.
My sad and pathetic medical school days aside, I hadn’t heard about Lady Gaga supposedly proposing to use human corpses in her stage show and thus had no idea what Adams was talking about. Not that I usually have any idea of what Adams is saying, but this time I had even less of an idea than usual. Fortunately, the almighty Google allowed me to discover that apparently Lady Gaga wants to use Gunther Von Hagens’ plastinated bodies that he created for Body Worlds. OK, I’ll grant that that what Lady Gaga proposes to do is incredibly tacky. It’s in terrible taste, something that fills me with revulsion. But it’s also obviously a marketing ploy, yet another idea designed to shock. As such, it leads me to a great, big yawn, so obvious is Lady Gaga’s intent. Unfortunately, Mike Adams is too stupid or crazed to realize that reactions such as his are exactly the intended goal of Lady Gaga’s antics.
It’s not enough, though, to accuse Lady Gaga of being mentally ill and downright Satanic. Oh, no. According to Adams, not only is Lady Gaga mentally ill, but she allegedly used her dark Satanic wiles to drive a young artist named Lina Morgana to suicide and steal her music and style. On top of that, according to Adams, Lady Gaga’s mental illness is contagious. Adams maes this charge in his typical over-the-top fashion. In fact, it’s so over-the-top, that it’s even more ridiculous (and unintentionally hilarious) than even Adams’ usual rants:
In my opinion, her music is a mental assault filled with lewd, sexed-up lyrics that promote teen sex while avoiding any mention of all the responsibilities that should go along with such topics (birth control, parenting, safe sex, abstinence, consequences of pregnancy and so on).
Furthermore, her incessant promotion of sexual promiscuity and dilated pupil contact lenses is a threat to your children’s physical health (eye infections, anyone?). And finally, Lady Gaga may actually be radiating some kind of Satanic or necro-worshipping vibe that could trigger all kinds of bizarre death-related thoughts or behavior in impressionable young teens (who for the most part, let’s admit it, literally worship these entertainment “gods” such as Lady Gaga).
I swear, I thought I was reading something from Jesus Is Savior, which features very similar rants against a wide variety of rock stars, including Ozzy Osbourne and Led Zeppelin. Really, it resembles this little tirade claiming that Lady Gaga is a witch. Truly, it is hilarious just how much Mike Adams resembles a fundamentalist Christian. In fact, he makes it explicit here:
What she’s doing, it turns out, is infecting the minds of our youth with truly dangerous ideas about sex and seduction while wrapping these ideas (and herself, literally) in flagrant necro-worship. It would be no surprise, after all, if Lady Gaga actually featured herself on stage having sex with a propped up erection from a corpse. That’s precisely the kind of thing she might conceivably do because it combines her two favorite messages: Sex and death. (It would also keep the tabloids talking for weeks…)
Yes, indeed, it would, and it would keep morons like Mike Adams churning out posts like this, to my amusement and that of people who care about reason and skepticism, posts that contain passages like this:
This is why it is up to parents to protect their children from these deranged pop stars and their dangerous messages. Mind you, I’m not against music (in fact, I strongly support musical expression and freedom of speech, and I happen to be a musician myself), and I’ve never spoken out against any music artist in the past. But as I see it, Lady Gaga crosses the line from artistry to insanity, perhaps even delving into Satanic witchcraft or some other dark rendition of psychosis. To allow our children to worship her as a music goddess is to expose them to a highly destabilizing belief system that can only lead them down a dark path of self destruction.
So, what are Adams’ suggestions? They’re suggestions that have been made to parents since rock ‘n’ roll first exploded on the popular music scene in the 1950s: know what your kids listen to; ban Lady Gaga music; ban Lady Gaga merchandise; tell your kids how immoral she is. All of these are solutions that have been tried and that usually don’t work. I doubt they’ll work any better for Lady Gaga than they did for Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or Madonna. But it’s sure enough funny watching Mike Adams propose it, particularly given he goes beyond even these patented old fart recommendations and suggests home schooling to protect your precious kids from Lady Gaga. That’s right. Mike Adams is proposing home schooling. Maybe it’s not just to protect children from Lady Gaga but to protect them from a science education that would tell them that the quackery he makes his living peddling is pure pseudoscientific B.S.
On second thought, this is not just comedy gold. It’s comedy platinum!
Of course, as I’ve pointed out before, it really is fundamentalism. Adams believes that if you only eat, work, exercise, and live the right way (namely his way), you can avoid all disease, don’t need vaccines, and will never get cancer. But you have to be pure enough, and apparently Lady Gaga violates that purity, bringing herself to Adams attention by wearing meat. Whether she was making a statement about wearing animal skins or just trying to shock (more likely), it grossed Mike Adams out. It was icky, and he didn’t like it.
More power to her. Maybe I’ll download one of her albums from iTunes.
ADDENDUM: Mike Adams has posted a followup, The Lady Gaga saga and the coming generation of youth left behind. He also appears to have removed his original post. The link above now directs to his followup post. Fortunately, the original text of his original rant can still be found at Prison Planet. (Bless them!)
Apparently some Lady Gaga fans weren’t pleased with him:
They say you can best determine the character of a celebrity by the character of their fans. By that measure, you’d be shocked to learn about Lady Gaga’s fans. After a recent article I posted criticizing the superstar musician for wearing a dress made out of raw, dead animal flesh and stating that she was a negative influence for children and teens, we received an impressive flood of the most hateful, vitriolic and profanity-filled feedback I’ve ever witnessed.
In unleashing this torrent of emotive grunts that had virtually nothing to do with what I actually wrote, Lady Gaga’s fans only proved me right. She is a destructive influence on our nation’s youth, and her own fans act out the very same dysfunctional, divergent thought themes that Gaga promotes through her music and contrived persona.
Perhaps most interestingly, the hateful feedback was largely comprised of comments from people who had quite obviously never read the article they claimed to be talking about. From perusing the utter lack of grammatical structure and spelling ability in these comments, I can only conclude that many of them are functionally illiterate and most likely incapable of engaging in thoughtful analysis of any complex passage of text.
No, Mike. The problem is not that the fans are “functionally illiterate.” It’s that they understood exactly what you wrote, and what you wrote was idiotic. It certainly wasn’t exactly a “complex passage of text.” Oh, no. To Mike, people weren’t irritated by his attack on Lady Gaga because it was moronic in the extreme; to Mike, it’s because they’re stupid and can’t understand his brilliance.
Is there anything beyond comedy platinum?
Get a load of Mike Adams cementing himself as a grumpy old man in a 30-something-year-old body:
I make absolutely no apologies to suggest that parents have not only the right but the responsibility to reduce or eliminate their childrens’ exposure to toxic chemicals, toxic foods and toxic cultural influences. Responsible parents don’t let their children play violent video games or watch violent bloody movies on television, either. Just as young bodies are affected by food, young minds are affected by images, words and music.
Parents who care about their children are encouraging them to engage in healthier eating habits, healthier television and healthier forms of entertainment. It doesn’t mean your kid can’t listen to pop music, because musical expression is important for the development of children, but it does mean that caring parents will take steps to limit exposure to the most outrageous fringes of popular culture — especially when those fringes celebrate themes of death or mental instability. This isn’t censorship. It’s called good parenting.
Most of Lady Gaga’s young fans are too young to know anything about parenting, it seems. But they’re about to find out soon enough, as I have no doubt there is a strong correlation between Gaga fans and unwanted teen pregnancies. There’s nothing like suddenly becoming a mom (or a dad) to put a chill on the wild endless party you thought your life was going to be. The first time you change your new baby’s diapers, reality really hits home.
Get off my lawn, you kids, indeed. I wonder if Adams would have said the same things about Madonna in 1984, when she first burst on the scene.
It is rather telling, though, that Adams lumps “toxic cultural influences” in with all the woo “toxins” to which he thinks kids are being subjected. Of course, no one’s seriously arguing that parents shouldn’t keep an eye on what their children are listening to and watching. However, as long as there has been youth, youth has tried to rebel against the generation of its parents, and as long as youth has tried to rebel against its parents there have been figures like Lady Gaga who are savvy enough to capitalize on that natural human tendency. Heck, Lady Gaga isn’t even all that shocking compared to some of the stuff bands in the 1970s did. Be that as it may, personally I find Mike Adams’ message more toxic than that of a thousand Lady Gagas. He preaches that science is evil, medicine is there to enslave you, that you don’t need vaccines, and that if you only live “right” (i.e., his way), you don’t have to worry about disease. That’s a fantasy-laden message that will lead to far more death and suffering if embraced than the frothy, fluffy message of a pop diva who’s savvy at the strategic use of shock antics to further her popularity and career.
In any case, Mike Adams has officially entered old fartdom, at an age at least a decade younger than I am.