Lady Gaga & The Civic Cycle

After participating in the Pendulum presentation, most people notice that there are signs of our current civic cycle everywhere they look. I’ve met dozens of people who, after hearing the Pendulum presentation, shoot me an email a week or two later and tell me they see the civic cycle  all around them. It’s true – you can’t help but notice once your eyes have been opened up to the changes in society. Civic signs are everywhere. And then there’s….Lady Gaga. We also hear this all the time…BUT WHAT ABOUT LADY GAGA? She’s not very real, raw and relevant, is she? Well…

Our logical and standard rebuttal to these kinds of comments is usually something like…there’s always an exception to the rule. (And really isn’t Lady Gaga THE exception?)

Sometimes we’ll draw people’s attention to Lady Gaga’s gathering a crowd of people who really just want to express themselves – and isn’t that real? We all just want a place to be real and accepted.

Last week, though, something interesting happened and now we may just have one more example to use in the Pendulum of our civic cycle. Sales of Lady Gaga’s new album dropped 85%. Check out this article (link to: http://www.showbiz411.com/2011/06/07/lady-gaga-cd-sales-drop-85-in-second-week) that talks about the sales of her new album Born This Way.

“After a spectacular first week of sales, with almost 1.2 million copies of her CD and downloads sold, the second week shows a big fall off. “Born this Way” sold only 169,387 copies last week. That’s a drop of 85% from the first week. It’s important to remember that 440,000 of those first week sales were only for 99 cents. So the fall off is really less, I guess. But if we stick the official numbers, “Born this Way” is in swift decline.”

Perhaps she’s not the exception to the civic cycle…maybe the initial success was the combination of a great PR campaign, a ton of media exposure and then when the rubber hit the road…no one really bought in to the long-term relationship with her. What do you think? Is this the civic cycle at work?

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3 Responses to “Lady Gaga & The Civic Cycle”

  1. Lehi June 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    If you want, you could fit her into the idea of the Civic Cycle even more.  All you have to do is point out how she tries to create community. Think, Little Monsters.

    • Andrea Reindl June 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      It’s true that her creating community is something that fits within the civic cycle and I think she was better at that with her last album and in between. I think this last album she was going for ‘shock factor’ and lost her rawness in it – that’s why it’s not working as well as before – that’s my take. I should mention too though, that I do like her tunes, they work well to workout to.

  2. Mike June 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

                 I view the world in tribes. I have watched Michael Drew’s youtube pendulum presentation and have sat through Roy Williams presentation at Wizard Academy, fascinating in the grand scope. I believe the majority of U.S. tribes are gravitating to the civic cycle mentality. I also believe we are attracted to that which we cannot fully understand, the strange & different, Lady Gaga is uniquely strange & different. I wonder though, her outward appearance seems idealistic, is her music idealistic as well? I don’t know that I have ever seen a music artist before I’ve listen to their tune on my radio? Then again she could be the ring leader for the strange & different defectors of the civic cycle tribe?  

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