I know, I shouldn’t be jumping on the Gaga-“Telephone” video-page view-bandwagon, but I promise to stick to my focus: the poison diner scene, because it references geek culture and video games.
The most obvious thing to note would be that Lady Gaga is a nerd, or attempting to be one…. or her creative director is …. or Lady Gaga herself feels that it is important for the nerds to love her too by throwing in obscure references only they would get. The poison that Lady Gaga super-popstar-feminist concocts in the kitchen includes the following ingredients: Fex-M3 from Star Wars, Meta-Cyanide from Dune and Tiberium from Command and Conquer.
Can I imagine Lady Gaga reading science fiction and playing Command and Conquer late at night? Maybe. I mean, she was pretty wacky when she was a brunette so I can’t come out and call her a “poser nerd”. Most likely though, her creative director googled “List of fictional toxins”, since they cannot use real toxins for fear people would actually poison others, and this is the list that showed up. All of those toxins mentioned in Gaga’s video are on that list….
Moving into “feminist” territory:
By Lady Gaga using poison to commit mass murder, she is engaging in a stereotypical feminine form of murder. Women traditionally controlled the food, and you’d be surprised how many men have died throughout history by the hands of women using poison, and it was never noted or observed because men felt it was beneath them to go into the kitchen? There is a saying among the Hungarians that the bride Ildiko killed Attila the Hun on their wedding night by poisoning him. A nosebleed? Come on…. but it’s cute how the men back then thought the women were content enough and incapable of committing such nefarious acts.
So it makes sense in Lady Gaga’s music video homage to Quintin Tarantino that she uses poison instead of blood shedding phallic weapons (NSFW link). Why would Gaga, with her creative director, decide to use fictional poisons from science fiction and games popular with the males? The use of poison in a setting that asks for guns is too symbolic to ignore. But Commander and Conquer, Star Wars, and Dune don’t seem to be poisoning society like the bad man-made porn, hyper-sexualized advertising, and reality TV shows are… so why were these poisons used, instead of others on that list? Or maybe I am reading too far into this, and these toxic references are all just for some male geek love.