Let's talk for a moment about Adam Lambert

I don't watch American Idol with any regularity. In fact, I believe that each season's beginning episodes, the ones where they show the auditions, are just plain poisonous. Personalities comprised of such a raging mix of ego and desperation and entitlement and need have no business competing for anything, airtime least of all. But, I did pay just a bit more attention last season for two reasons: Chris Allen was adorable, and Adam Lambert was so unapologetically gay.

Much has been written about Adam, and while I've read some headlines, that's where I stopped. But a couple things happened this week that have made me think about him a little bit more.

During his performance at the American Music Awards he grabbed one of the male dancers for a little crotch-to-face grind, and ABC has been fielding complaints ever since. Then today, the network abruptly canceled his scheduled performance tomorrow morning on Good Morning America. (CBS, with nothing to lose, has promptly taken advantage of his surprise availability for their Morning Show) The network (ABC) that has so proudly showcased a new show featuring a gay couple, half of whom is being played by my cousin, promptly folded when the gay got a little bit gritty.

There's a part of me that thinks it was a tasteless move on Adam's part, considering the venue. When you perform on an awards show on network tv you know the size of the audience, and you might think that would be the time to tame your act just a little bit. I can totally argue that point.

But then there's another part of me, part of me that has watched Madonna and Britney and Christina and Shakira and countless other performers for years. That part of me wonders if Adam's little face plant was really so horrible? I mean Britney has a song on the radio entitled "If You Seek Amy." And we're upset about a few seconds of simulated fellatio? Come on.

Plenty of those complaints I'm sure came from parents, and their dismay is probably justified. Honestly, might it not be a good idea to put every live award show on a tape delay? Just in case? Then again, having seen what we've seen from so many performers, should kids of a certain age even be allowed to watch? I could argue either way.

Today Towleroad featured Adam's new video for his song "For Your Entertainment." Before I watched it I don't think I ever heard a whole Adam Lambert song. There's a lot to like. The song is strong and sexy, and the video is fun, a den of goth guys and girls dancing and grinding far, far underground. I hate his haircut, but Adam is darkly attractive in a leather suit with silver shoulder spikes and a lot of guyliner.

There's something good there, something that makes me want to see and hear what he'll do next. I just worry that there's a gay/straight double-standard in play, and it would be a real shame if he fell victim to it. Thinking about slasher movies and crime dramas, is a little bit of sex, even man-on-man sex, really the worst thing we could see?

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of the complaints, but I heard they're happening. I also didn't watch the awards show, but I did catch the entire AL performance on YouTube the next day since everyone was going crazy. What I thought about it was it seemed like the whole entire performance was just him walking around to different people on the stage and thrusting, grabbing, etc. I am not so sure people are offended because one was a man; I think it was the fact that ALL he did was go around thrusting and air humping. There wasn't much of a performance other than sexual implications in a (somehow) even more obvious way than other performances I've seen. I think everything he did was just a little more over the line than other stuff. It didn't help that his song/singing was crap.

Russ Manley said...

You raise two separate issues here, David.

First, you already know how I feel about his performance from what I posted on my blog. For a general TV audience, it was highly inappropriate. And yes I am an old fashioned geezer in these matters: I love sex as much as the next guy, but I wouldnt do it in the middle of the grocery store or in grandma's parlor. There's a right time and a right place for everything. Doesn't matter if it's Lambert or Madonna: you want to act out your whore/ rape/ BDSM fantasies on stage, go find the right venue for that.

Second, is there homophobia in the way the networks responded? Sure. Because straight boys secretly love to see two girls kissing, but not two boys. That's the society we live in, unfortunately.

I remember the uproar the very first time a black man kissed a white woman on TV, 40 years ago - seems like it was another awards show, the Oscars or something. Now nobody even blinks at that. Maybe in another 40 years it will be the same with male-male kissing. I won't be around to see it, though, but that's okay - I've already logged a lot of hours on that equipment.

ChrisToronto said...

What do I think? I think we're still talking about Adam Lambert three days after the show, which is more ink and chatter than the AMAs or Lambert could have prayed for. Sex and glam rock have always grabbed headlines and they probably always will. I'm glad to hear the single doesn't suck.

Decorina said...

I hear you, David. And I agree with the thought that it could have been left out without the show suffering for it at all.

And I do agree that the backlash is a case of homophobic bigotry. The bible belt won't be ready for it for a long time.

And let me take my turn to say that the female, no-talents, like Brittany et al are just a waste of air time. They have set women and girls back for being the whore/madonna image for years. Young girls need better role models and fewer ho-"singers" to emulate.