The Adam Lambert Non-Problem

Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

Having read Peggy Noonan’s screed about Adam Lambert’s American Music Awards performance (which she apparently caught onto as a cultural phenomenon a few weeks late), I realized that her problem (and a lot of other people’s problems) with Adam’s performance is not about the guy on guy aspect; it’s more of a “get off my lawn/these kids today” kind of thing.  And that’s somewhat encouraging.  I guess.  For society.

Now let me start off by saying, I did not like the Adam Lambert performance.  I thought it was crude for no reason, and I’m kind of over people kissing on stage for shock value.  It’s been played out.  It’s boring.   I would’ve much rather seen him take the performance to a whole androgynous David Bowie meets Robert Palmer kind of place.  Or, if he was insistent on including the smooching and the (actually kind of offensive on a feminist level) g-string grabbing, at least take the performance to a toga-clad Caligula pleasure boat scenario to the nth degree (with gold and little people and senators — see the movie Caligula for reference.  Or don’t.  Because it’s gross.  But Helen Mirren(?!) gets naked in it, so there’s that).  Now that would’ve been conversation worthy.  I actually agree with every word Michael Slezak writes here, if you’re interested in delving into this further.

The outrage over Lambert’s omnisexual performance feels a little like I imagine the outrage was over Elvis’ pelvis back in the 1960s.  It’s scary to think of our children as sexual beings who might understand what gyrating hips are meant to symbolize or know what it means when a guy drops to his knees in front of another guy.  It’s even scarier to think that our kids might actually be engaging in some of these acts or (heaven forbid!) think we adults are engaging in them or did engage in them when we were their age.  For some reason these thoughts freak parents out a lot more than if our kids should see someone’s head or arms blown off, but that’s another topic for another day.

What Ms. Noonan and countless others fail to recognize in their hullaballoo over Lambert’s performance is that it was broadcast after 10:00 PM on a school night when most of the impressionable children should’ve been in bed.  And, you know, there’s such thing as a DVR (or VCR, if you’re old school) for parents who want their kids to get a good night’s sleep/preview the late night television their children want to watch.

Another recent controversy that had the moral majority up in arms was the (OMFG) Gossip Girl threesome.  Much was made of the ads that alluded to three of the characters hooking-up; but in actuality, the threesome (at least what was shown of it) amounted to not much more than a chaste girl-on-girl kiss.  What the no one was talking about the next day was that at the very same time that the GG threesome was happening on the CW, over on CBS Charlie Sheen was waking up in bed with his brother (gross) and a woman while wearing each other’s underwear on Two and a Half Men (a show that skews to older viewers, but is no less accessible to youngn’s than the private lives of Manhattan’s elite).

But that kind of behavior only goes against Morality when it’s the under-25 set who are engaging in it, I suppose.


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