Lana Del Rey.
If you're like many firebrand forum-dwellers who have been following lady Rey's career since it was birthed by Internet super-science/witchcraft a few months ago, then the mere act of strafing your eyeballs across her name has already inspired neurons of hate to fire into your cortex of criticism. Images fill your mind: the stupid pouty lips, the lame SNL performance, the pointless pet tigers and messiah imagery in her "Born To Die" video.
Yes, those things are annoying, and as we approach the release of her debut album, Born To Die, next Tuesday, more annoyance is sure to come. But we're here to ask you, just for a moment, to take off your Executioner's Cowl of Anonymous Internet Hate and replace it with a Cute Pope's Hat of Sympathy. You don't need to hate Lana Del Rey just because she's Lana Del Rey. Here are 6 reasons why:
I mean, right?
Lana Del Rey has already apologized to the world for having lips. But if you look beyond the pout, you may just see a gorgeous young lady. A gorgeous young lady who has no problem releasing four minutes of side-boob and calling it, hehe, "a teaser."
Now, some may find Lana's looks to be the most loathsome aspect of her character. Some may think that her music is neither good nor bad enough to justify the melodramatic pouting and the hair spray and the skin cream. Others may think, "I can never kiss Lana Del Ray on the big stupid lips and therefore must LAY WASTE to her empire! TO THE FORUMS!" But come on now. Pretty people have been releasing mediocre music for decades. May we refer you to "Hey, Soul Sister"? Yes. We let that happen. So give Lana a break.
She Sings About Video Games
Well, technically she sings about guys who play video games (hey, that's us!). Well, technically technically, she sings about how her man is more interested in his Xbox Gamerscore than scoring with her, but she'll still stand by him dutifully and pointlessly until the day she dies because that's what real love is—right?
Eat it up, dudes. It's the ladies who should be pissed about this song. And yet…
Girls Like Her
Maybe it's her old-school screen vixen glamour or her hyper-relatable treatises on "boys" and "things boys do that are neat," but Lana Del Rey is undeniably and inexplicably popular with the ladies. Whether or not you care for her music, it's important that you at least be conversant in Lana lore for the sake of her many female fans. Listen through her CD for talking points. Craft some discussion questions about how the existential lyrics of "Born To Die" reflect dooming constructs of gender stereotypes. The ladies will be impressed with your close reading prowess. If they're not, go ahead and make fun of Lana's big dumb lips.
Other Awesome People Like Her Too
It is possible to say nice things about something and still be awesome. Did you know that Decemberists folk-a-philiac frontman Colin Meloy loves Lana Del Rey? Yep. Confusing, right? Lana's 500k Facebook fans notwithstanding, if Meloy was the only person in the universe besides you who doesn't want to see Del Rey's lips surgically removed and converted into Macy's Day Parade balloons, then you're still in pretty respectable company. Don't hate for hate's sake!
She's a Superhero In Disguise
As we established last week, Lana Del Rey is really a costumed vigilante bent on using her divisive image to distract everyone on the Internet while she orchestrates the largest jewel heist in history. Further evidence of her moonlighting has arisen, after careful analysis of her coded lyrics. In "Born to Die" she sings, "Kiss me hard in the pouring rain." Indeed. You know who else likes to be kissed in the pouring rain? Spider Man.
Your Hate Only Makes Her Stronger
Notice how many websites were talking about LDR the day after he cruddy SNL performance? Notice how you read this whole article because it included the words "hate" and "Lana Del Rey" in the headline? No publicity is bad publicity, as they say. And like a sinister redheaded Palpatine, Darth Del Rey only grows more powerful as the hate flows through you and pollutes the web like so many bad midi-chlorians. If you truly hate her, say nothing. It is the only way to silence the howling maw of Internet angst.
Born To Die comes out next week. Will you listen to it?