Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hoist with our own petard

Adam Lambert, for what it's worth

I'd like to echo the comments of a perceptive, level-headed blogger regarding the downright stupid, absurdly sexualized actions of American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert on the "American Music Awards" two nights ago:
"You're not helping, shithead."

". . . the dirty little secret you think nobody knows is that you don't have enough confidence in your own talent - you think you have to use sex to sell yourself. Buddy, you are so wrong, and I hope you find that out real quick."
Please keep in mind I'm referring to sexualized actions on national television, in prime time. Sure, people can change the channel if they don't like it. But that's not the point, by a long shot.

It's also pertinent to refer to a recent Newsweek article, "Kings of Queens" ("Gays on TV once helped promote tolerance. Now they may be hurting it," by Ramin Setoodeh, published online November 12, 2009), which examines various high-profile out/loud/proud gay characters on American television, most notably Fox-TV's "Glee" at the moment. Here's an excerpt that I find useful, though I suspect that many gay men who read this will, from a state of denial, disagree with it:

The problem with the Glee club is that Kurt and the rest are loud and proud, but their generation has turned down the volume. All this at a time when standing apart seems particularly counterproductive. Marriage (and the military) are sacred institutions, so it's not surprising that some heterosexuals will defend them against what they see as a radical alteration. But if you want to be invited to someone else's party, sometimes you have to dress the part. Is that a form of appeasement? Maybe. It's not that gay men and women should pretend to be straight, or file down all their fabulously spiky edges. But even Rachel Maddow wears lipstick on TV. The key is balance. There's so much more to the gay community than the people on TV (or at a gay-pride parade). We just want a chance to live and love like everybody else. Unfortunately, at the rate we're going, we won't get there until the post-post-gay generation.
I hasten to add that I am a big fan of "Glee," a huge hit on American television. I just know for a fact that all the out-and-loud and out-of-control antics of what we used to call "flamers" are going to be very costly for the gay population as a whole. Don't believe me? Just wait for the next U.S. election cycle. That'll teach ya.

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  1. His vocal depth and range is shallow indeed - so I am very much thinking this is just the beginning of him gaying out loud to the world . He wants publicity and a man psuedo fucking him on stage isn't out of the realm of possibilty before he is through with us

  2. Go Adam! screw their "tolerance". Tolerate THIS mothers.LOL

  3. A woman singer doing the same with a woman dancer wouldn't go over any better.

    If he wants to do porn there are already lots of outlets for that.

  4. It is so sad to see this apologist self hating going on. Lambert wants press, bad or good, and that has nothing to do with his talent but the media and his handlers. As to needing to dress for the party, this is nonsense. Rights are what are inalienable rights and anything less then equal rights is apartheid. If people are uncomfortable with this truth, too bad.

  5. There is nothing "apologist" and nothing "self-hating" in what I've said or quoted, or other comments. And none of this Lambert fiasco has anything to do with "rights" -- certainly not "inalienable" rights. The issue is the truly bad taste of Adam Lambert and similar individuals (gay or not, for that matter), misguided instincts, cheap sensationalism, and lack of talent. More to the point: if anyone is an "apologist," it's the oh-so-courageous "Anonymous" above (who, of course, could not sign with a name) and others like him who start howling about "rights" and injecting inflammatory words like "apartheid" whenever a gay celebrity is legitimately criticized and held accountable -- and the howls get even louder when that gay celebrity does something obviously misguided, tawdry and asinine. "Handlers" or not, it's a very safe bet that Adam Lambert will be a has-been, at best, a year from now if he continues to find it necessary to rely on tackiness and sensationalism to get a headline or sell a recording. Unfortunately, he has already shown that he cannot rely on talent.

  6. I agree with Slabber. Just cause we're gay does not mean we have to stoop to these levels. It has nothing to do with being gay, because if genders were taken away from this context, the act is still distasteful and a distraction from his talent (or lack of, but that is a different matter). Knowing himself to be an out performer, he should have carried himself in a manner that displayed more thought and respect for the gay community. We're gay, not rude.

  7. Adam Lambert's antics and hyjinks were immature and stupid--we get it, you are gay. The kiss was cool, but the head in the crotch was just cheesy and tasteless, and doesn't help the cause.

  8. "I just know for a fact that all the out-and-loud and out-of-control antics of what we used to call "flamers" are going to be very costly for the gay population as a whole. Don't believe me? Just wait for the next U.S. election cycle. That'll teach ya." Sorry, this sounds like absolute baloney, motivated by a fair amount of internalized homophobia. I just really don't see any connection between political acceptance of homosexuality and 'blending-in'. "Oh, I'm going to vote for same-sex marriage, because the gay couple I know dress like Wall Street bankers, rather than in short-shorts." Just don't see it.

    Adam's move was tasteless--but who decides how they vote on a major social issue based on some silly celebrity? Madonna's hijinks were similar but I haven't heard anyone claim 'Like a Virgin' was responsible for Reagan's reelection in 84.

    As for Kurt, he's no more preposterous than the other caricatures on the show (a man that can't figure out his wife's not pregnant? gimme a break). And I know men like him. Why not let them on TV sometimes, warts and all? Praise be that not every black man on TV is Cliff Huxtable--so, too, not every televised gay person needs to be Ellen Degeneres or the bland one on Will and Grace.

    As for the election, that's going to be more the result of Obama's inability to work unrealistic economic miracles than anything else. (Not that he didn't promise to...but I digress.)

  9. To use a quote used by "the Slabber"

    "In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang
    a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
    -- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

    Without the 'flamers' where would we all be? Still deep in the closet. Let's hear it for their courage to be themselves and to speak our truths. Let's hear it for our courage to follow just a few steps behind so we don't get hit by the homophobic "bricks" (including our internalized ones) thrown at them by our freedom loving society.


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