Pop Music

Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video breaks the Internet

The arrival of the "Telephone" video has now officially cemented Lady Gaga as the most compelling pop star on the face of the planet (your move, Kanye). It's only been out for four and a half days, and you could write a doctoral thesis on the Internet's reaction.

And now, the thing has amassed over 15 million views, which ABC thinks is a record of some sort. The first step at this point, if you haven't seen it yet, is to queue that mother up. Seriously, you will not have a more mind-blowing nine and a half minutes today.

Pretty insane, right? But what does it all mean? Why does the video have exactly nothing to do with the lyrics of the song? Did Lady Gaga seriously mash her exposed vagina against the bars of a jail cell one minute into this? What has Beyonce gotten herself into?

These are among the hundreds of very important questions being asked and answered on all corners of the world wide web. We are not even close to the smartest or the dumbest people with an opinion on the "Telephone" video, so rather than provide you with the one millionth commentary on this thing, we figured we'd give you a primer on what other people are saying.

First: Autustraddle, whose photoshopped frame breakdown and subsequent staff weigh-ins are the best, funniest and most useful reading material you could possibly ask for on this video. It's worth noting that they're a lesbian-centric blog because, you know, they can say this stuff. Here's Contributing Writer Stef's take:

So let's say you're Lady Gaga and you have a basically unlimited budget to make a video for a song that's super catchy but kind of ridiculous. If I was in this situation, I'm pretty sure the first thing I would do is call Quentin Tarantino and ask "HOW MUCH FOR THE PUSSY WAGON!??!" God bless you, Gaga.

My list of things I loved about this video begins with the cigarette sunglasses and ends with my brand new secret fantasy to refer to Beyonce as "Honey B." It's enough for me to ignore all the product placement, which was a little much. The best thing of all was observing everyone's giddy anticipation of the video's premiere, followed by a huge round of discussion in every possible Internet medium. Regardless of "Telephone's" reception (heyyyyo!), Gaga's made people excited about music videos again, which is no easy feat. Homegirl is changing the game.

Again, pretty much all you need to know.

If the witty popist approach isn't doing it for you, and you just really need a couple doctoral students to break down the post-modernism, symbolism, and other -isms, head on over to Only Words To Play With, whose post was tweeted by the Lady herself. So they must be pretty close. Or not. Kind of hard to tell with Lady Gaga.

For those of you who are suckers for a good list (guilty as charged), there's Buzzfeed's 10 Hidden Surprises in the video. In case you had somehow convinced yourself that Lady Gaga has a limited breadth of knowledge.

Finally, there's good ol' Youtube (Vevo, in this case). We understand that reading the comments on Youtube videos is a dangerous proposition if you maintain any optimism about the human race. Which is why we picked randomly from the first of 43 pages worth of comments. From Hawii28:



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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky