The depravity of our popular culture and our eagerness to shred traditional values manifests itself every day. Lady Gaga, the top-earning woman in the music business and deemed by ABCs Barbara Walters to be one of the "most fascinating people," has a new vocation in mind. She's announced she wants to become an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church so she can marry two gay male friends.
Lady Gaga is as unattractive, in every sense of the word, as her name is stupid. She welcomed Easter with a single called "Judas" ("I'm still in love with Judas, baby.") and arrives at Christmas as Reverend Gaga. This is the same "instant online ordination" that TBS late-night host Conan O'Brien used in November in a disgusting scene to "marry" two gay males live on his television show. Gaga and Conan are two of the real cultural losers of 2011. Here are some other winners and losers:
Loser: "The Book of Mormon," the ghastly hit Broadway musical from the perpetually immature makers of "South Park." Most media outlets celebrated it as "brilliant" -- so spouted so-called drama critic Jake Tapper on ABC. But Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout put it best. "It's flabby, amateurish and very, very safe." Safe? Trashing the Mormons? Yes. "Making fun of Mormons in front of a Broadway crowd is like shooting trout in a demitasse cup...on the subject of imitation courage, let it be duly noted that if the title of this show were 'The Quran,' it wouldn't have opened."
Winner: Disney and its reissue of "The Lion King" in theaters as a 3-D feature. Seventeen years after its screen debut, it opened in mid-September and grossed more money in ticket receipts in its first rerun weekend (more than $30 million) than the three genuine new releases combined. It grossed more than $94 million in its three-month revisitation, despite many families already owning it on DVD.
Loser: The Fox show "Glee," which seems to be losing all its popularity in only its third season. After its 3-D concert movie came in 123rd for the year (with a gross of less than $12 million, about 12 percent of the take of the "The Lion King" remake), its third season lowlight was a preachy episode about the loathsome and overrated idea of virginity in these modern, enlightened times.