Many newspaper column inches were given over this week to reporting Lady GaGa’s speech on gay rights. She had joined a rally in Portland, Maine to speak out against the army’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy – a policy that forces serving army personnel who happen to be lesbian or gay to maintain a dignified silence about it.
In her address, which lasted no more than 10 minutes, equality and diversity was brought, albeit briefly, under a searingly bright spotlight and in that moment, moved from being a sleep-inducing by-word for political correctness gone mad, to a sobering reminder of a reality that can force people to live life in the margins and which can deny them their human rights.
The full transcript of her speech can be found here. It isn’t a brilliant speech but it hit home, partly because of her celebrity but also because of the clever wordplay. The title of the speech: “The Prime Rib of America”, a reference to the widely reportedly dress made out of meat she wore to the MTV awards (and which garnered even more column inches) along with her comments about equality being the “prime rib of America…” evoked a powerful image, and one that will stay in the minds of those who heard her speech or who have read about it since, for a long time to come.
A good speech is one that is memorable for all the right reasons. With a few well-chosen words, Lady GaGa gave force to a subject that for many is still a bit of a turn-off. That has got to be a good thing.
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