My friend Doug wrote this about my encounter with Lady Gaga:
When Celebrities Stop By
August 26th, 2010 11:41 am ET
The Fist: an arbitrary, unrelated photo
Photo: The author
Several weeks ago, a close friend of mine was unfortunate enough to be inside of a local bar when current pop superstar Lady Gaga made an ostentatious surprise appearance, dressed in stage persona attire and flanked by a security team. Predictably, this proved altogether too much for the mere mortal socialites and drunkards of this outer-Cambridge upper-level college region dive. They went all to pieces in disbelief that their lackluster lives should experience this brush with the divine. Frenzied pictures were taken, immediate Twitter updates and text messages updated the surrounding area, and soon a mind-less mob was formed, jockeying for front-row positioning, threatening to break into a savage melee.
At this point, the great Lady Gaga had no choice but to escape, leaving the lives (such as they are) of those arriving a moment too late forever ruined…
A freelance writer, this friend of mine who found herself in the middle of this momentary panic, emailed several local outlets offering to write a synopsis of the event. Though she had not spoken to Lady Gaga - hadn’t heard a word she had said, hadn’t had any real contact with her, only having witnessed her passing - each outlet immediately expressed a strong desire to publish her piece. My friend, of course, felt herself lucky to have encountered such a freak opportunity, but we were both rather disheartened by the event overall. Both of us have published works that have required a good deal of original research, contain what we believe to be unique insights, and works that are far more relevant to the daily lives of the average reader than any play-by-play of celebrity bar-hopping. But then, the metrics on such articles are unimpressive, and such articles are often hard to sell to any mainstream media outlet. I had experienced something similar when I wrote a piece about a Sarah Palin rally that I did not even attend. I had accidentally passed through a congregation of slack-jawed, beer-gutted “tea-baggers” and wrote a brief piece that states the obvious: Palin supporters are a grotesque lot. I was amazed by the number of hits (website views) this piece received. I supposed it was the key words “Sarah Palin” that had so inflated the numbers.
My friend and I speculated as to how well an article might do if it were to arbitrarily include celebrity names, like those of such superstars as Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, or Tom Cruise? Perhaps we could write purely speculative pieces regarding what might happen were Brad Pitt secretly sexually involved with Julia Roberts, while Tom Cruise tried to steal Brad Pitt away from her.
Helpfully, Forbes.com lists the most “powerful” celebrities in their Celebrity 100, for people as deficient in Pop Culture as myself. They are as follows:
Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce Knowles, James Cameron, Lady Gaga, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, U2, Sandra Bullock, Johnny Depp, Madonna, Simon Cowell, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Kobe Bryant, Jay-Z, Black Eyed Peas, Bruce Springsteen, Angelina Jolie, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Jordan, Dr. Phil McGraw, Steven Spielberg, Ellen Degeneres, David Letterman, Tyler Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Pink, Lebron James, Roger Federer, Brad Pitt, Floyd Mayweather, Michael Bay, Donald Trump, Jay Leno, Coldplay, David Beckham, Jerry Seinfeld, AC/DC, Howard Stern, Jonas Brothers, Tom Hanks, George Lucas, Glenn Beck, Ryan Seacrest, Phil Mickelson, Ben Stiller, Jerry Bruckheimer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alex Rodriguez, Robert Pattinson, Conan O’Brien, Shaquille O’Neal, James Patterson, Kenny Chesney, Manny Pacquiao, Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, George Clooney, Stephenie Meyer, Cameron Diaz, Serena Williams, Rascal Flatts, Charlie Sheen, Derek Jeter, Lance Armstrong, Kristen Stewart, Toby Keith, Sean (Diddy) Combs, Stephen King, Sarah Jessica Parker, Leonardo DiCaprio, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Robert Downey Jr, Lil Wayne, Reese Witherspoon, Keith Urban, Julia Roberts, Steve Carell, Meryl Streep, Akon, Maria Sharapova, Daniel Radcliffe, Venus Williams, Ray Romano, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Kiefer Sutherland, Tina Fey, Kate Moss, Eva Longoria Parker, Jeff Dunham, George Lopez, Katherine Heigl, Danica Patrick, Kate Hudson, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mariska Hargitay.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t recognize most of these names, thus the chance that I would recognize them in a bar any time soon lingers around nil.