I can sometimes have unsophisticated tastes. In fact, most of the time I have unsophisticated tastes (my most recent Netflix viewings were of the first two seasons of “My Name is Earl,” a startlingly accurate depiction of what would happen if trailer trash embraced eastern philosophy — it’s hilarious but often crude).

My musical tastes are — by the large and in a very broad sense — more refined. These days, when by myself I mostly listen to Eastern Church music and classical symphonic music (everything from Baroque through the Contemporary period, though I don’t listen to postmodern symphonies because they’re across the board crap. Postmodern opera has its moments.).

When with others — say, in the car — I listen to 90’s pop-rock, a smattering of Top 40s and contemporary country, though I only really like the first of the three. I do this because I know not everybody likes Rachmaninoff.

But I have a confession: I don’t pass up Lady Gaga on the radio dial, even if it is the musical equivalent of chasing a bottle of whiskey with a 10-pound bag of sugar followed by a can of lard with cocaine powdered in.

Gaga has a unique sense of pop music, both in what is creative and what is marketable. She walks the line very carefully, making music that is almost unbearable to endure and yet entirely catchy. She constantly employs electronic aids for vocals but is capable of singing and singing well; by her own description, her music is “soulless pop.”

But it is more than that — it is musical pornography. It is meant to arouse you while you listen to it, but once it is finished nothing is created and you aren’t left feeling satisfied. Even at its most tumultuous her music lacks any real emotion, and if you’ve seen her videos, she never breaks that dead-eyed stare. Ever.

So why do I keep listening to Lady Gaga? I can’t really explain it, except to go back to the pornography analogy for a second. Studies have shown that every time someone watches pornography, a small portion of their brain is rewired to think of pornography as the normal expression of sexuality; every subsequent viewing, that rewiring is reinforced, deeper entrenching those impressions.

And so it is with Gaga’s soulless pop; even though it is devoid of love (though not of creativity), every subsequent listen reinforces the idea that this is art.

My response to all of this, at least today, is to listen to Prokofiev.

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