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Lady Gaga + Al Gore = Jean Jacques Rousseau

November 5, 2010

As stated in lecture, Jean Jacques Rousseau was technically the first “superstar” to really make his name known in the world. His allocations became widespread when he placed his own views of culture and society in his publication of Discourse on the Origin or Inequality. Not afraid to let the world know how he felt, he spoke as if didn’t care whether or not he would be judged based on the contents of the book.

“Whenever the last trumpet shall sound, I will present myself before the sovereign judge with this book in my hand, and loudly proclaim, thus have I acted; these were my thoughts; such was I.”

Actively living his promiscuous life in Italy, Rousseau had many lovers including: Madame de Warens and Thérèse Levasseur. Both women served him in others ways as well, giving him an education and acting as his servant. He fathered many children, but left them in poor condition by placing them in the care of “foundling hospitals.” His theatrical life didn’t catch the eye of the European public until he placed it in the text mentioned above. This “theory” in which he lived his life by could be thought of his ideas of how he thought politics should run, or how frankly, this what he thought and that was that. (Picture courtesy: http://www.mimifroufrou.com)

As a modern-day “superstar” might live their life, he conducted himself with ideas that went very much against the social norms of society. He aims to live for himself and no one else, almost an egotistical being, yet he does present many modern thoughts to his subjects. With his creation of an opera, he opens up a new realm of influence to others in society. Then his randomness continues when he organizes a cult to promote “breast-feeding” to increase the ideas of keeping things natural and nature pure. At this point in time, mothers rarely nursed their own children, but after the influence of Rousseau, this not only changed a social norm, but it decreased the infant mortality rate.

Lady Gaga's 'Meat Dress' at the 2010 VMA's

Later in life, Rousseau became fond of wearing bizarre costumes that apparently made him look like an American Indian (R.R. Reno, Oct. 21, 2010). This clearly represents why Lady Gaga would definitely be a perfect motherly figure for Rousseau. She not only wears creative outfits, influencing the world of fashion, such as her meat dress at the 2010 VMA awards, but she creates a different type of music combining modern-day pop, electronic, dance, possibly some metal, and even hip-hop when she had Beyonce accompany her in the song, “Telephone.” She has become a worldwide icon, just like Rousseau has grown to influence the minds of people all over the world, and he’s been gone for over 2oo hundred years. (Picture courtesy: www.metro.co.uk)

With the influences of Rousseau, the traditional views of many developed into what are now considered modern views. Social norms or the past changed and evolved throughout the years because people didn’t care as much if they went against the grain and acted differently from others. Rousseau set the stage for people to break out of their shells and be who they wanted to be. The creation of many groups most likely derived from this one man’s ability to be himself and express himself in ways that he wished to do so. Yes, he may have been a historical “superstar,” but in being so, he opened doors for many others including women like Madonna and Lady Gaga, and men including politicians like Al Gore and Barack Obama, giving them the ability to speak their minds and be who they really are.

6 Comments
  1. Andrew Babat permalink
    November 5, 2010 6:15 PM

    I agree that Rousseau is similar to Lady Gaga. He was determined to share his views with the world, whether people agreed with them or not. He did not worry about what people would think if him or his views. This is the same as Lady Gaga. She dresses and acts the way she wants, and does not care how people will judge her. I think they are both extremely popular because they are unique and stand out.

  2. November 5, 2010 6:24 PM

    Really like this post because it is easy to relate too. Lady Gaga has definitely made herself into a national icon however I do not think she is like Rousseau. Rousseau had something to share with his people is why he was seen as a “superstar” like you say, whereas Lady Gaga is nuts, is why she is famous. I really do not think she is campaigning for people to “do what they want regardless what others say” and instead acts this way in order to stay relevant. When it comes to being a celebrity these days at any one moment you can completely fall off the face of the earth. Lady Gaga’s behavior i think is just to stay important and is not what Rousseau had in mind when he developed his theory.

  3. matteric9 permalink
    November 6, 2010 11:25 AM

    To compare Rousseau to Lady Gaga, to me, is a bit of a stretch. Rousseau had a real message to convey, he chose to make himself well known to the public as a way to establish his theory among his peers. Lady Gaga has no real message, she talks about playing Russian Roulette and talking on the telephone. The only similarities the Lada Gaga and Jean-Jacques are some of the ridiculous outfits they are both known to wear.

    • darriensherman permalink
      November 6, 2010 2:51 PM

      I would have to agree with the comments listed above that Lady Gaga and Rousseau are not as similar as one may think. as they both strive for different changes in their society. Rousseau wanted to enlighten people with his ideas of how to properly run a government. He was very influential in reaching out to French revolutionaries and the common people who often looked to him for inspiration. I can’t say Lady Gaga is influencing the public in the same way. Her clothing and music serve as more of a statement and shock to the public. With her elaborate outfits and popular music, she keeps her audience on her toes while also keeping herself in the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love listening to Lady Gaga but I feel her radical behaviors are to distinguish herself among other artists rather than provide her audiences with a moral message.

  4. mikeking0717 permalink
    November 6, 2010 6:14 PM

    It may be a stretch to liken Lady Gaga to Rousseau, but title of this blog is Lady Gaga + Ale Gore = Rousseau. Gaga symbolizes the iconic nature of Rousseau’s work but Ale Gore represents substantive research and political thought intended to better society. Ale Gore is an essential part of the equation and I think it would have been beneficial to have further developed this idea of your title into your blog.

  5. saralustberg permalink
    November 9, 2010 4:46 PM

    I really like this post. I think it’s extremely creative to highlight Rousseau as a historical “superstar,” which is a view of Rousseau I would never have considered. I have only thought about Rousseau and his effects on society based on what I’ve read in Modern Political Thought. I think this author could have expanded his thoughts and explained the connections he discovered between Rousseau and politicians like Al Gore and Barack Obama. The quote presented at the beginning was also the perfect introduction into the rest of the post and the author’s opinion on Rousseau ability to speak his mind.

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