1 The Muppet Mindset: The British Correspondent Defends Lady Gaga

Oct 25, 2013

The British Correspondent Defends Lady Gaga

Mupporandum: 25.10.13.

Hello. It is I, the British Correspondent.

I am writing from underneath a table at a rehearsal for the YouTube music awards. I have set up camp under here with a week’s rations and a camouflage suit (which looks like the black and white tiled flooring) just in case I get spotted. I am here, for once, not following a Muppeteer or stalking a Muppet, but rather preparing to observe another of my favourite creations (no, not kneecaps).

GAGA. The GAGA. Or Lady Gaga. (aka. Mother Monster--So named because of Big Mamma, perhaps?)

Whilst here, I felt like I should make the most of my time and pop together a quick list of reasons why it will be a good thing for the Muppets to be appearing this Thanksgiving in Lady Gaga’s Christmas slot (so to speak).

1. The Muppets are ARTPOP. What is ARTPOP? One widely accepted view of ARTPOP (or so I gather from GagaStigmata is that it is an engagement with the audience that transforms ‘just pop’ into ‘art’ through the audience reaction. i.e. The Muppets are ‘just’ foam and fur, ‘just’ for kids, ‘just’ nostalgic, ‘just’ characters, ‘just’ comic, only ‘just’ still alive and ‘just’ pop. BUT NO!!! The Muppets are living, breathing, interacting and integral parts of modern pop culture. Why? Because the audience engages with them and raises them from ‘pop’ to ‘art’ (life!). The Muppets are ARTPOP.

2. The Muppets live for Applause. What gets them onto the stage every night no matter how badly it may go wrong the night before? Why does Gonzo try a new ‘artpop’ stunt each night? (The applause) Why does Fozzie rework his material? (The applause-plause) Why does Camilla play that piano with her chicken friends? (A.P.P.L.A.U.S.E.) Gaga LIVES for the way that you cheer her on. Much like Tinkerbell, without someone clapping for her Lady Gaga would not exist (she would return to Stefani Germanotta) and neither would the Muppets (they would return to foam).

3. Gaga is inspired by The Muppets. She used precious word space in her first letter to the V Collective in V Magazine to state that Kermit is her whimsy (in the same way that Madonna is her inspiration, and Cindy Crawford, her sexuality).

4. Gaga comes from a family of chefs and has Italian roots. She cooked Turkey and Waffles last year in her Thanksgiving special. There is certain to be a cooking segment in this years’ episode and I know just the person to accompany her (Angelo). Shared food is an expression of family, an expression of connection, no WONDER the Muppets keep that Swedish guy around despite his lack of English qualifications. (And yes, ToughPigs got to that Angelo joke before I did, but it bears repeating.)

5. Gaga got early admission into TISCH at NYU where she studied art and performance. Similarly, The Muppets took the time to prepare at a performing arts school before taking Manhattan.

6. Miss Germanotta (as opposed to Gaga herself) has an encyclopedic knowledge of musical history, pop history and fashion history. And where better do these three things collide than Elton John wearing feathers and playing piano while crocodiles sing around his feet? She can reference a dozen artists in each frame of her music videos... she will have certainly done her research before inviting The Muppets on board for her latest artistic adventure.

7. The Muppets face their critics and harness their energy. (That was terrible!) Lady Gaga, too, is constantly criticized by the press. (That was AWFUL!) She’s too famous, she’s too fat, she’s too thin, she’s too much like Madonna, she’s not selling enough records, she’s over. (Well, it wasn’t bad.) She transforms this critical energy and turns it back into art time and time again (That was great!) she writes songs like Papa-paparazzi and Do What U Want With My Body based on this critical energy! (I loved it! Whooo! WHOOO!)

8. Her fans are known as Little (Muppet) Monsters. (And now I can’t get that theme tune out of my head...)

9. Much like Captain Smollet of Muppet Treasure Island, Lady Gaga embraces all creatures of different nationalities and cultures (although she rarely encounters Pig Tribes or ends up tied to a stake).

10. One of her new songs is called S.W.I.N.E.

11. Lady Gaga does bright and explosive, but she also does toned down and peaceful. From throwing an oversized cream pie at a speeding vehicle to singing poignantly in the dessert, I can imagine that Gaga’s latest show will replicate The Muppets own ability to switch gears from fun, fast and fabulous to heart-warming and classic.

12. Also, Lady Gaga once wore a dress made of Kermit’s which (I believe) at least helped in the ushering in of the newest age of Muppets being cool again, she also appeared with him at an event and she had the Jim Henson Company design a giant, tentacled monster which she battled in her original World Wide Tour.

Basically, what I am saying is, Lady Gaga and The Muppets a Thanskgiving Extravaganza will be a real meeting of the minds and I am incredibly excited to see what POPART/ARTPOP moments will be created. It is sure to be huge (with some toned down bits) and I will be sure to over analyse every moment to add to my own Muppart article series (which reminds me... I’m pretty sure I have added nothing to that series since The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo... I have GOT to stop stalking people and start writing things down...)

Ohhp! Got to go. Mark Zuckerberg just showed up!






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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