Friday, December 18, 2009

The Adam Lambert Problem

Stick with Peggy Noonan's latest column long enough and you'll come to her excellent point:
This was behind the resentment at the Adam Lambert incident on ABC in November. The compromise was breached. It was a broadcast network, it was prime time, it was the American Music Awards featuring singers your 11-year-old wants to see, and your 8-year-old. And Mr. Lambert came on and—again, in front of your children, in the living room, in the middle of your peaceful evening—uncorked an act in which he, in the words of various news reports the next day, performed "faux oral sex" featuring "S&M play," "bondage gear," "same-sex makeouts" and "walking a man and woman around the stage on a leash."

People were offended, and they complained. Mr. Lambert seemed surprised and puzzled. With an idiot's logic that was nonetheless logic, he suggested he was the focus of bigotry: They let women act perverse on TV all the time, so why can't a gay man do it? Fifteen hundred callers didn't see it as he did and complained to ABC, which was negligent but in the end responsive: They changed the West Coast feed and apparently kept Mr. Lambert off "Good Morning America."

Mr. Lambert's act left viewers feeling not just offended but assaulted. Again, "we don't care what you do in New York," but don't include us in it, don't bring it into our homes. Our children are here.

I don't mean to make too much of it. In the great scheme of things a creepy musical act doesn't matter much. But increasingly people feel at the mercy of the Adam Lamberts, who of course view themselves, when criticized, as victims of prudery and closed-mindedness. America is not prudish or closed-minded, it is exhausted. It cannot be exaggerated, how much Americans feel besieged by the culture of their own country, and to what lengths they have to go to protect their children from it.

(Emphasis mine.)

Across the political spectrum, Americans, for the most part, are a live and let live kind of people. Things like the Lambert episode, the health-care debate, the global warming dishonesty, heck, even the new movie, Avatar - it's just all too much. It's like we've got our volume controls dialed up to 11.

Well, enough. Things aren't so bad. Mr. Lambert, who I think is quite talented, can do what he wants but he should respect the feelings of the most of middle-America. (Shoot, he wanted to shock people and he did and this, well, shocked him. Go figure.) Most people like their current health-care plans and don't mind helping people who need a hand but don't want to turn this part of their lives over to the government. Most everyone wants clean air and water and will do what they can to help out but not if the reasons for doing so were ginned up by a group for a particular political agenda.

We'll found our way. We always have. No reason to think we won't now.

1 comment:

  1. Adam Lambert's performance was aired at nearly 11 pm, after many, many previous "offensive" acts. Lady Gaga smashed Whiskey bottles on her piano, Janet Jackson grabbed her male dancers crotch, Rhianna was wearing strips of electrical tape and had machine gun-toting background dancers, Shakira was grinding her pelvis into the face of the nation... And that was just that night. She's a hypocrite if she let an 8 and 11 year old stay up till 11 pm to watch something that was rated PG14 or supports those who did.

    Seriously, how can one man's performance, on a television show, late in the evening be all that important in the grand scheme of life? It always saddens me that people spend all that hate and anger at the wrong place - there is so much happening in the country and world to be angry at - put the energy towards those things, not some guy singing a song.