This is a blog post that has been in the works for some time now.  Given today’s intro into the season known as “spring”, the sunshine, the new leaves on the trees and a really great karaoke session in the car on the drive home this afternoon, I’m feeling a little feisty–why not?–so I think it’s time to publish.

This post started kicking around in my head earlier this winter around the time that this year’s Grammys aired.  From the other room, I overheard Madonna performing on the television and was pretty impressed–I didn’t know that Madonna was going to be playing the Grammy Awards–shouldn’t that have gotten more press?  Little did I know that I was actually listening to Lady GaGa performing “Born This Way” which is a complete and total ripoff of Madonna’s “Express Yourself”.  Now, I’m not diehard on either Madonna or Lady GaGa, but I do like them both.  Madonna is an absolute icon, and the undisputed Queen of Pop;  Lady GaGa is… something else, but also an important element of pop culture that can’t be denied as being extremely influential if not slightly insane. Both are good.  But one ripped off the other (and arguably continues to do so with the release of “Judas”… come on!).
In my mind, that’s a foul.  I could not believe that someone who is literally singing words about being an individual, being different and being proud of it–was blatantly ripping off a Madonna song.  Is that a huge, hilarious paradox or what.  You go, Lady GaGa, and give a big middle finger to the world! Irony is so cutting edge!!  BORN THIS WAY!!!

But it got me thinking:  how much of the attention that Lady GaGa has gotten for her new song has been positive since it’s completely unoriginal?  Does she care if the attention is positive or negative?  Is the whole point just to buck the system and shoot for chaos?  Or are people out there such fans that they don’t care what the commodity is, just that they can consume it? Apparently Madonna gave a thumbs-up after the Grammy performance so in the end does that make it ok?  Or should Madonna just be flattered since imitation is the highest form of flattery?

Today, the US Men’s Team has launched their calendar fundraiser in an effort to raise money for their exploits leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  A calendar!  What a great idea!  You can take all sorts of photos of American Rowing athletes, put them all together in a calendar format, and sell it to raise money for the Team!
…sort of like the US Women just did this winter!

You may recall, we recently shot, produced and sold a calendar as a fundraiser for the American Women’s National Team:

Now, for those of you who supported us (THANK YOU!) you have the opportunity to purchase another rowing calendar (18-month format) featuring United States rowing athletes in order to support their Olympic goals. The men’s calendar will feature hard-bodied athletes in and out of their rowing element to show how multi-faceted and human we are… and… sound familiar?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to buy one!  It’s a challenge every year to not make my Top 20 List a “Kalmoe’s Favorite US National Team Men” list.  I love our men’s team, and I support their efforts to promote themselves, promote our sport, and to do it in as little clothing as possible.  Hey, I’ve got one of these in my living room and I CHERISH it:

But really guys?  The presses haven’t even cooled yet, and your idea for a fundraiser is a calendar?

There are probably a million other fundraisers that they could have chosen, but had to be a calendar–because, hey they’re Born This Way!

In any case, make sure you swing over the guys’ page and buy a couple calendars:

Make sure you tell them that Miss April sent you.


One thought on “Born This Way

  1. Kalmoe, we’re both in trouble. I’ve just been told David Baker Banks is doing his own exclusive calendar featuring just him called “All Black Everything.”

    Is it hot there yet? Hope you are well. I got surgery. I am bored, but otherwise in good health. Morale is high.
    J Francis

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