Consider the following hypothetical scenario: over the past five years you, through a combination of talent and charisma, have managed to scale the music industry summit to become a pop icon with millions of fans worldwide, including 30+ million followers on Twitter; among the millions are a group of hardcore fans who hang on your every word, bursting in to tears in your presence; these fans would do anything for you, all you have to do is ask.
What would you do with that kind of power?
We know what Lady Gaga would do because we've seen her do it. She's used her considerable fame to stand up for LGBT rights and acceptance, offer mental health counseling at her shows, and start a foundation dedicated to making the world a kinder, braver place.
Now, with great power comes great responsibility, but what if all that power corrupted?
Picture this if you will: Gaga wakes up Thursday morning, sees that she's playing Houston, remembers the time she fell off her piano last time she was here, and decides doing good is overrated. How much trouble could she cause if she decided to use her followers for evil?
We can only speculate. And so we will.
Phase 1: #TheMonsterRevealed
If you're going to go full megalomaniac you're going to want people to know about it. Thanks to Twitter, Gaga has an immediate, direct line to her fans. She can announce to the entire world in 140 characters that the time has come to shed her skin and reveal the new her. There would probably be a hashtag involved; #bornevil would work, but she's probably more creative than that.
The message would be retweeted endlessly, bloggers would rush to their computers to get a story up on the web, and fans would gather in different corners of the internet to discuss what it all means. All of our digital eyes and ears would be pointed at her.
Phase 2: Drown Her Enemies In the Digital Sea There will be who roll their eyes and point out this is just the latest in a long line of silly promotional stunts. There will be jokes and insults. These people will have to be dealt with. It's the moment her Little Monsters have been waiting for.
Gaga, aware of what her hardcore fans can do left to their own devices, encourages them to become the digital army they want to be. Those who speak ill of her will see their Twitter accounts bombarded with negative tweets and their emails flooded with the worst spam. Then the rumors will start. People will become trending topics for the wrong reasons. YouTube comment flame wars will be this generation's trench warfare.
Phase 3: Project Mayhem, With Glitter Drunk with power, she'll decide it's time for her army to head in to the real world. In cities and towns all across the land, kids will put on their best makeup, don their favorite leather outfits, and hit the streets for a bit of ultra-violent youthful mischief.
They'll knock over trash cans and toilet-paper houses. People will lock their doors in fear of roving bands of teens looking to set off glitterbombs, only to be forced outside to stamp out bags of flaming dog crap. In the Midwest, some kid will take things too far and break a window.
But alas, these kinds of revolutions can't last. Police will be called and curfews will be enforced. Eventually someone- the police, her tour manager, one of her illuminati masters- will show up and take her phone away.
The rest of the tour will be cancelled, citing "exhaustion." Buzzfeed publishes a list of "23 Revolutions Better Than Lady Gaga's" that makes a funny but predictable Prince joke. Gawker will post a snarky update and mention that Madonna would have done it better.
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And up in his Canadian lair, Justin Beiber, hater of music and the only person alive with more Twitter followers than Gaga, will look on with glee because now he knows what not to do.