Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Going Gaga

According to a HuffPo story, Lady Gaga is in trouble with God. I'm not familiar with Ms. Gaga's work, but I understand she is a provocative performer, and this story seems to follow a pattern that started with Elvis shaking his hips and worked its way through Alice Cooper and his snake, Ozzie Osbourne and the headless bat, Sinead O'Conner and the pope pic incident, the guy who did the "Piss Christ" photo of a crucifix in urine, and countless others: Provocative performer says or does something deliberately provocative. Intended provokees are suitably provoked by said provocateur. Minutes of intense outrage ensue from people who claim these stunts are debasing their sacred beliefs. Outraged people become distracted by an image of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich and life moves on.

The hullabaloo now is about Gaga's newest musical offering. As the story reveals:
"Judas," the latest single from Grammy-winner and fashion icon has leaked onto the internet early, adding to the already heated debate about the song, and accompanying video's, alleged sacrilege.
Yes, we're missing a the before "Grammy-winner," but the real transgression, grammatically-speaking, comes later in the sentence. If we are to believe that both the song and the video are (allegedly) sacrilegious and that that is what the debate is about, we should be looking at a compound possessive and the first possessive should be song's. If these are two separate issues, though--the debate about the song, and the (alleged) sacrilege in the video--we need to lose the parenthetical clause by dropping the final comma and making it: "heated debate about the song, and the accompanying video's alleged sacrilege." That's what Jesus would do.