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Hyperstition Americana

I like Lana Del Rey. She’s not super hot, and she's not a great singer — but she’s become an entity that is “super hot” and “great singer.” That’s true art.

She succeeded in the political game of occupying both of those categories, all the more impressively because she did it through an elaborate persona constructed out of thin air. Nobody thinks of her alongside someone like Andy Kaufman, but she’s more similar to Kaufman than she is similar to your typical female pop star. If you look at someone like Madonna, people always knew she was a performance artist. If you look at someone like Taylor Swift, she has achieved a remarkably duplicitous public image, but that’s mostly the work of her corporate leaders. The achievement of Lana Del Rey is epic mass deception, a conspiracy in plain sight, a long-term gaslighting of the entire spectacle, and by her own hand: True Art.

I admire this, it’s far more interesting and impressive than someone who just happens to be super hot and a great singer. Anyone can be blessed with those things. How many normal people with modest gifts for the criteria under selection, will use deep creative fabrications to counterfeit them on such a scale that nobody is powerful enough to stop it? You might only get a few of those per decade.

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