Religious allegory is always a touchy subject. People don’t take their path to salvation lightly, particularly when images from their beliefs are co-opted for entertainment purposes. Nas’ “Hate Me Now” cross-reference (pun intended) drew the ire of many religious representatives. Madonna too has been the target for the Catholic imagery in her early videos. Lady Gaga, who has been accused of borrowing heavily from Madonna, has dropped some post-Easter visuals for her “Judas” song, already awash in controversy with it’s Easter time release and it’s content.
The video casts Jesus and the apostles as a motorcycle club, surrounded by debauchery and temptation. The names of the disciples are stitched across the backs of their jackets. Judas wears shades and his betrayal manifests as philandering. he’s often depicted in the arms of more than one woman at a time. Gaga, appears to be Mary Magdalene, anointing the feet of both Jesus and Judas in a hot tub between them both. There is visual reference to baptism throughout. The point of connection to the song is that while Gaga rides the back of Jesus (with his golden crown of thorns) motorcycle, Judas is never far behind and she cannot seem to get away from his influence.
How much of this video is a message and how much is self-aggrandizing or just for shock value, I couldn’t say. That’s the real issue with these things. The use of such imagery is jarring to people that take is seriously and hollow if the purpose of it is solely to draw attention. At the heart it’s a catchy club tune by an artist bent on trying to be different by upping the ante of the antics from an artist who has already travelled this part. Fans will think it’s amazing, detractors will thing it’s blasphemous, but most people won’t give a rat’s ass. You probably won’t go gaga over it, but surely that’s no revelation.
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