Here’s Lady Gaga’s Somewhat Subversive, Mostly Straightforward Halftime Show

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Some football players had the honor of opening for, and then closing out after, a major live performance by Lady Gaga last night.

While the right wing was waiting for Satanic rituals and lefties were hoping for a giant “Fuck Trump” spelled out in body glitter on nine matching midriffs, the Gagster took a middle path. She made no explicit political statements but plenty of implicit ones, opening with a nod to Woody Guthrie’s private-property hating American protest anthem “This Land is Your Land,” and featuring an extended cut of her (occasionally lyrically clumsy but nonetheless generally effective*) LGBT pride anthem, “Born This Way.”

*Sample lyric:

You’re black, white, beige, chola descent You’re Lebanese, you’re Orient Whether life’s disabilities Left you outcast, bullied, or teased Rejoice and love yourself today ‘Cause baby you were born this way

No matter gay, straight, or bi Lesbian, transgendered life I’m on the right track baby I was born to survive No matter black, white or beige Chola or orient made I’m on the right track baby I was born to be brave

It was satisfying to know that both bigoted old Mike Pence sitting in the stands and young queer or trans kids watching at home across the country got to see the very spirited, very gay-friendly performance, full of flying leaps and glitter. Gaga, looking healthy and enthusiastic, pulled it off in this viewer’s opinion — despite her performance’s absence of giant middle finger to Trump, crotch slide a la Bruce Springsteen, or anything Beyoncé would have done.