“I Was Born This Way.”

With the demise of both the local jazz and SF’s classical music stations, I’ve been adrift on my car stereo dial. I settled in to the area’s top 40 station and had forgotten what the music rotation on a station like that is. While in college I had done a stint on a top 40 rock station in Sacramento. The format on stations like these calls for the top 10 songs to get airplay every 60 minutes, the top 20 every 120 minutes.

That means I’ve been introduced to Lady Gaga’s new song, “I Was Born This Way.” Not only introduced but it’s been drilled into me over the past two weeks. Though, to me, there’s nothing remarkable about the song, I still find myself tapping my fingers to the song while driving. It’s an ingenious repetition of techno/disco beat that can’t help but mesmerize a person beyond the point of discretion.

The inevitable analysis followed.  Why is the mind captivated by something you know you don’t care for? Or more directly, how easy it is to pick up cultural impressions without overtly subscribing to them! It’s one thing to tolerate Lady Gaga and yet another to be swept up into the rat race. I don’t know about you, but I find myself buying in on all sorts of levels to things I don’t really subscribe to. An insidious hijacking of personal identity.

Maybe that’s why we instinctively surround ourselves with people that see life mostly the way we do. It helps us assuage the hard task of thinking for ourselves, finding ourselves. But of course, that’s a trap as well as they reinforce other subtle influences on us including corporate fears, enemies and ambitions.

The closing Psalm of our Epiphany season, Psalm 99 reminds us of the privilege we have to privately commune with God and to subsequently hear from Him.  As our Creator, He is really the only one who has our best interests at heart.  When we really listen, he tells us how and why we were born. How and where we should go. Who and what makes our lives unique. The exercise can be transformative.

5 thoughts on ““I Was Born This Way.”

  1. Picture of Gaga’s entrance from an egg reminds me of Hislop’s statement:

    “An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, and hatched it, out came Venus (Lucifer), who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess”–that is, Astarte.


  2. “Maybe that’s why we instinctively surround ourselves with people that see life mostly the way we do. It helps us assuage the hard task of thinking for ourselves, finding ourselves.”

    Just as important as this point is Paul’s exhortation to the church to gather together to encourage and exhort one another to doing what is good and right in God’s eye.

  3. Hey Dan,

    I find this on a lot of levels. I don’t watch a lot of movies, and not because I don’t like to be entertained, but rather because many movies cast a certain subtle reality in your mind or an image which is not real but which looks so close and which can, to me, over time change my perspective every so slightly on things. I really don’t like feeling like this and admittedly I miss out on a lot of interesting learning, great performances, etc.

    Your piece made me think of that again…


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