If you, like me, thought the Jesus motifs of Lady Gaga's last album were ironic, well, think again. Because that "Burqa" track that leaked earlier this year has been renamed "Aura" and it's a certified Lady Gaga nightmare from her upcoming album, ARTPOP. In fact, there are so many things that are horrendously wrong with this video and song, they have to be communicated in list form, lest this poor writer be reduced to crying, speaking in tongues, and banging my head against the wall trying to write coherently about this incoherent mess of a song.
What's most troubling about "Aura" is the fact that Lady Gaga seems to to be oblivious to its offensiveness. This song should be a joke but it isn't, and its very existence trivializes the women who actually wear burqas because it's part of their belief system, not because burqas are super trendy. Gaga might be an artist, but she's also a nice Italian girl from the fancy bit of New York City — it's impossible to truly swallow the fact that she's singing about burqas in a music video full of hyper-sexualized imagery and blatant near-nudity. This kind of stuff makes Miley Cyrus's twerking seem like G-rated cultural appropriation. Wrong wrong wrong wrong, it's all wrong. So, here's a rundown of the biggest problems with "Aura." There are many, and be warned, they are strange.
1) That 'Burqa' Was Actually Real
Okay, so it's not called "Burqa," but it's still 100 percent about burqas, and how women who wear them only do so to protect their gorgeous faces. Not at all because they would face religious persecution if they didn't. I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.
2) It's All Just A Trailer For Machete Kills
Hey look guys: It's Gaga looking like she does in pretty much every music video ever, but also conveniently, like her character in Machete Kills! Eurgh. If I wanted to watch a movie trailer I would, but this coerces a legion of Gaga fans into watching a promo for her next big project, which is kind of soulless and commercial and gross. Was it not just a few days ago I was saying how excited I was for Gaga's signature videos? Color me disappointed.
3) Charlie Sheen?
This screenshot so appropriately conveys how I feel about this. Charlie Sheen as the president in a slasher movie? Wonderful and ironic. Charlie Sheen featuring in a music video for a pop star who is all about inspiring her fans to do greater things and be unique? Um... questionable. Very questionable.
4) MEL MOTHERFUCKING GIBSON.
Are we really over Passion of the Christ and the sugartits comment and the antisemitism? I don't think I'm over all that quite yet. Get that bigoted ass off of my screen immediately. Gaga videos should be fun, not make me want to hurl stuff at the screen in frustration.
5) Not Enough Sofia Vergara
C'mon, only two fleeting peeks at Sofia Vergara's machine gun jubblies? What is up with that? Her face in every single one of her clips from this video makes me want to see Machete Kills even more, which is good, because nothing else about this misplaced advertising makes me feel charitable towards Machete Kills otherwise.
6) If You Can Stop Being Distracted By All The Machete Kills Stuff, You Realize The Song Makes No Sense At All
Like... literally none. Firstly, the word "aura" is clearly used as a stand in for "burqa" but it doesn't really make sense, because I don't think it is possible to live behind an aura, which is what is being suggested. Then, Gaga goes back and forth between talking about seeing her naked and how she needs her veil for fashion, then somehow parlays talking about burqas into talking very VERY creepily about the size of a man's dick. Wha?
So yeah. That all happens within a four-minute period. Prepare your eyes and ears, because there is no way they are ready for all this.