Many, many moons ago, cultural critic Adam Sternbergh outlined his theory about the Undulating Curve Of Shifting Expectations in the pages of New York Magazine. Basically, what the UCoSE does is provide us a way of analyzing the trajectory of entertainment products as they metamorphize their way through his theorized seven-stage growth chart: Pre-Buzz, Buzz, Rave Reviews, Saturation Point, Overhyped, Backlash, and finally, Backlash To The Backlash. When this chart was conceived back in March of 2006, the Internet was clearly already an important medium; however, sites like Facebook and Twitter had yet to reach the masses in the way that they do today, so it generally took “entertainment products” a decent amount of time to fully mature and run through the full cycle of the UCoSE. However, that is not the case today — thanks to omnipresence of social media, the cycle of culture consumption has clearly accelerated.
(ED. NOTE—Admittedly, this is a somewhat roundabout intro to what you’re about to read, but if you bear with us, we promise that it will all pay off.)
Now, it may seem slightly weird to classify a real, live human being like Lana Del Rey as an “entertainment product,” but it’s pretty clear to us that she’s already rocketed through six of the first seven stages of Sternbergh’s UCoSE, albeit in an extremely abbreviated fashion. However, it now appears that after Del Rey’s widely-maligned SNL performance, she’s reaching the Backlash to the Backlash stage. In a poll that we published on Tuesday, over 48% of the poll participants indicated that they’re fully on-board Team LDR, and earlier today, Whitney Cummings —star of NBC’s Whitney and herself a widely-maligned figure— wrote a blog post coming to Del Rey’s defense.
Cummings wrote at length about LDR in a post entitled “STRAIGHT UP BLOG ON LANA DEL REY” on her blog Princess Complex, the best parts of which we have highlighted below:
I can’t really judge her performance. I am not qualified to do that since I’m very forgiving of performers because performing is F***ING HARD. It takes a long time to get good, and even when you are good, you can be challenged by new venues and being televised, and cameras, and the uh … fear and terror of being slammed by critics and bloggers, plus if you are a woman you also get fashion criticism and if you’re a pretty woman you’re accused of having plastic surgery and if you’re not you’re “busted” and people blog about how they don’t want to f*** you … it’s not ideal.
I am intrigued by Lana Del Rey … Her style is bonkers. She always looks so fresh and original. I think she’s from either Brooklyn or the future. Her stylist must be Baz Luhrmann. Her nails are fresh for life. Zoe Lister Jones showed me the video games video a long time ago and we were very smitten with her face and mystery and the cool video for it and legitimately good lyrics and song. We were for sure annoyed by how pretty she was but we checked that nasty competitive sh*t right away because the song was cool.
I just watched the SNL performance and I think her rhythms are weird an odd and bizarre. She seemed nervous obviously. She moves in a very drunk-at-a-wedding-and-gonna-regret-it-in-the-morning-type way which is all I really need to be entertained … Let’s not blame her, let’s blame her managers for not making her wait until they knew she would not get nervous or kick it out of the park or not do whatever happened.
Lana Del Rey may have earned the ire of establishment bros like the formerly genial NBC News anchor Brian Williams for her SNL performance, but the way in which the MSM lept on the story of her “bombing” with such passionate zeal looks like it might just end up winning Lana Del Rey more fans than if she had performed a middling or mediocre set.
Now, clearly, everyone wishes that she would’ve turned in a Jools-esque performance on SNL, but it appears like the tidal wave of haterade that was dumped on Lana Del Rey is paying off: Her @lanadelrey Twitter feed gained nearly 20,000 followers since this time last week, and her four-song Lana Del Rey – EP is still hanging strong at #4 on the iTunes charts. Only one question remains: Can the masses wait two more weeks for her full Born To Die LP hits stores, or will our hyper-accelerated culture be “on to the next one” by then?
STRAIGHT UP BLOG ON LANA DEL REY [Princess Complex]
RELATED: Is Lana Del Rey Already The Most Controversial Figure Of 2012? [Best Week Ever]
[Photos: Getty Images]