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I'm not sorry you saw my hips on TV
November 26, 2009 1:31 PM   Subscribe

American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert created some controversy at last Sunday's American Music Awards by simulating oral sex with one dancer and kissing another. Lambert's follow-up performance on ABC's Good Morning America was cancelled, but CBS welcomed him on The Early Show (where, refreshingly, he didn't apologize). CBS's treatment of his AMA performance, however, is creating some controversy of its own.
posted by brozek (100 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like how the clip blurs out the "oral sex" (understandable) and the make out (is it 1960?). Heaven forbid kids watch and discover what two men kissing looks like!

That said, if an act doesn't involve blood packs, piano playing, and dancing while suspended by wire, I'm too bored to sit through the whole thing. Sorry, Lambert.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:56 PM on November 26, 2009


mccarty.tim: It'd be a little tougher for criticizing him for indecency if you replayed the clip over and over.
posted by ODiV at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2009


Remind you of anything?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:07 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whoa, heterosexism in America?! This would be surprising if not for the fact that gay people can only get married in 4 states (will be 5 in January) and none of the benefits of marriage extend to the Federal level.
posted by autoclavicle at 2:22 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course there's hypocrisy here in the way Lambert is being treated. Sure, how performance was on broadcast television, which some people are using to defend ABC's treatment and the editing of the performance later, but we have plainly, seen the Madonna-Britney-Christina kiss on the news over and over again uncensored. And it was after 11pm, past the hour the FCC considers as suitable for 'adult' content.

It's way too late to scream "OMG THE CHILDREN".

In calling out how the mainstream media still treats homosexuality, and in claiming to be pushing the limit deliberately, Lambert is showing some savvy, even though he sounded terrible in that performance.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:30 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


To be fair, when two women make out it's to arouse us. Two dudes kissing, who's that for?

Yes, that's ironic heteronormativism.
posted by klangklangston at 2:40 PM on November 26, 2009 [20 favorites]


I think the phrase is HOMOBURGER, Klang.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:01 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh, excellent. Someone formulated a post about the censoring of this with good context.

I wasn't at all shocked to learn that ABC was pissed about the performance (which actually I thought wasn't that shocking, or even that sexual. (In case you haven't seen it, here's the actual clip.)

For myself, I'm kind of glad to see a new, young glam performer bursting onto the scene, and doing it in a way which is raising hackles. We're long past the days when Ziggy Stardust and his androgyny can shock us, and the ONLY boundary left to push in many ways is public display of man-on-man sexuality. I do wish that Lambert seemed to be a bit more than just a singer, but he DID co-write about half the songs on his new album, and he seems determined to forge his own musical path rather than becoming yet another American Idol cookie-cutter Simon Cowell project.

Hell, Cowell should be thrilled for the controversy. He just got some of my bucks, because I'd never heard of Lambert before all this brouhaha (ha ha, ha ha), and have now bought his debut album.
posted by hippybear at 3:13 PM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, crap, I meant to also link to this page, which has the actual music video for the song, For Your Entertainment. Y'know... for the kids my age who remember when MTV actually showed the things non-stop and they could make or break a performer. I think it's not a bad video, either.
posted by hippybear at 3:14 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It would have been OK if Adam had just remembered to suffix the act with NO HOMO.
posted by Nelson at 3:24 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ack, I'm such a dork to keep not posting these in a single comment... The Advocate's editorial staff speak out about the CBS blurring "incident", as do a couple other people.
posted by hippybear at 3:26 PM on November 26, 2009


That sort of performance might have been startling to the blue-rinsed midwesterners who went to the touring production of the remount of Cabaret ten years ago. Anybody shocked by it today needs to get out of the house more.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:26 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wrote this big long ranty thing, but decided to sound less crazy and rewrite it in list form:

1) Everything in the world does not have to be sanitized for the protection of our children. It's the parents' job, not ABC's, to make sure that kids aren't exposed to things not appropriate to their age.
2) The fact that most of the stink arose from ABC's reaction to it's own program sounds less like genuine outrage over Adam Lambert and more like genuine outrage that nobody was talking about the AMAs.
3) If people who were genuinely offended thought that what Adam Lambert did was in poor taste and shouldn't have been seen on TV, how do they feel now that the giant uproar has resulted in probably 100 times more people seeing it? I know that I wouldn't have seen the video if not for the canceled interview.
4) The album is great and you're doing yourself a huge disservice if you don't give it a listen.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 3:35 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anybody shocked by it today needs to get out of the house more.

Seriously. Actually, I'm going to take the opposite tack here and complain to the FCC that there isn't enough man-on-man simulated oral sex on broadcast TV.
posted by Avenger at 3:55 PM on November 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


CBS's lame excuse for the blurring of the male-on-male kiss:
"We gave this some real thought. The Madonna image is very familiar and has appeared countless times, including many times on morning television. The Adam Lambert image is a subject of great current controversy, has not been nearly as widely disseminated and, for all we know, may still lead to legal consequences."
Fuck you CBS. Double standard much? Two women kissing -- hot for the straight guys and women. Two men kissing -- ewww, yuck for the straight guys editing the clip and management. CBS. Did I say fuck you? Yeah, fuck you.
posted by ericb at 3:57 PM on November 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Bowie did it first: Ronson and Bowie achieved some notoriety over the concerts promoting this album, when Bowie would simulate fellatio on Ronson's guitar as he played.

I for one welcome the return of homoerotic man-on-man shenanigans to the pop music stage.
posted by Monsters at 4:08 PM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Anybody shocked by it today needs to get out of the house more.

Yes. And, I might add, spend more time at on-premises gay sex clubs where they can engage in hours of mind-blowing HOT HOT HOTNESS! Rrrrroooowwwwrrrrrr!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:09 PM on November 26, 2009


And, as Adam has pointed out in recent interviews, no one complained about the fact that Janet ('Queen of the Superbowl Titty Wardrobe Malfunction') opened the AMA's on Thursday night with a performance that included her grabbing the crotch of a male dancer from behind.
"Lady GaGa smashing whisky bottles. Janet Jackson grabbed a male dancer's crotch. Eminem talked about how Slim Shady has 17 rapes under his belt. There was a lot of very adult material on the AMAs this year, and I know I wasn't the only one.

If it had been a female pop peformer doing the moves on the stage I don't think there would have been nearly as much of an outrage at all. Janet Jackson - crotch grab - I haven't heard one peep about that."*
posted by ericb at 4:12 PM on November 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


The AMAs are one of network TV's only chances to be culturally relevant anymore. Figures they'd do it wrong.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:29 PM on November 26, 2009


If nothing else, this brouhaha puts the focus on Adam Lambert. And guess what? His first CD just debuted this week! Great publicity ... and likely planned.

Watch: Adam Lambert's 'For Your Entertainment' Video (the song he performed at the AMA's).
posted by ericb at 4:29 PM on November 26, 2009


Anybody shocked by it today needs to get out of the house more.

I'll mention that to my gay friend Don. He posted how offended he was by Adam's performance on Facebook right after it happened. (He's around my age if it matters.)

No one here would be surprised at my type being offended by this, but I thought it might be interesting to point out that not everyone thought this was helpful to gay people either.

Personally I think Adam did these things on stage not to be artistic, not for performance reasons, but for publicity. Which he has certainly gotten, in spades. And leaving moral views aside for a moment, I think publicity stunts are lame.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


By which I mean to say: Good controversy is when something "shocking" happens and you broadcast it. Ohhhhhh, edgy! Bad controversy is when something "shocking" happens and you censor it. Now you're the grandma channel. Congratulations.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2009


CBS was always the grandma channel.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:36 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


... Lambert is showing some savvy, even though he sounded terrible in that performance.

In a TV interview I saw last night Adam was asked: "Is there anything you would have changed about your AMA performance." His answer: "Yeah, I wished I had sung better."

Zing. Good on you.
posted by ericb at 4:37 PM on November 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Publicity Stunts = Cash Registers A'Ringing!
posted by ericb at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2009


I thought it might be interesting to point out that not everyone thought this was helpful to gay people either.

And there are those of us who think it's time. There's no shame. 'We're here. We're queer. Get used to it!'
posted by ericb at 4:41 PM on November 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Personally I think Adam did these things on stage not to be artistic, not for performance reasons, but for publicity. Which he has certainly gotten, in spades. And leaving moral views aside for a moment, I think publicity stunts are lame.

Publicity is pretty much the entire reason these people perform on these shows -- it's very close to being the only reason television exists at all. Adam Lambert is pretty much The Gay Singer now. I have no doubt he knew that would be the case when he came out. (Obviously, he's hardly the only gay singer, but because he came out more or less immediately, he hadn't established himself as much of anything else first, other than American Idol Guy, of which there are many.) Because we're still in a place where being openly gay defines someone to a greater or lesser degree, there's no way around that. So he can either shy away from that or make it his schtick (he said, being fairly cynical re: mass-produced pop music). If he shies away from it, everyone still knows anyway (and some won't buy his albums because of it). If he owns it, he's captured himself a niche. The publicity stunt was smart.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:44 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good for him!
posted by Legomancer at 4:44 PM on November 26, 2009


And it was after 11pm, past the hour the FCC considers as suitable for 'adult' content. It's way too late to scream "OMG THE CHILDREN".

Exactly.

As Adam pointed out:
“I’m not a babysitter. I’m a performer....it was a nighttime show. I was there in the audience filled with mostly adults....Like Idol, I guess I have a tendency to divide people — you either like it or you don’t.”
posted by ericb at 4:46 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rolling Stone: Infamous Crotch Rock Moments: From Adam Lambert's AMAs Stunt to "Dick in a Box".
posted by ericb at 4:47 PM on November 26, 2009


Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I'm kinda wondering if Lambert did it with the approval or cooperation or encouragement or something of the AMA people. It seems like it worked out pretty well for 'em.
posted by box at 4:49 PM on November 26, 2009


I'll mention that to my gay friend Don. He posted how offended he was by Adam's performance on Facebook right after it happened.

Hey, lady, give it a rest. Your anecdotes don't speak for others. Your "token" gay friend can be offended, but many other gay men/women were entertained by his antics. Good for Adam.
posted by ericb at 4:50 PM on November 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


I simply didn't see what was so shocking about the performance. The kiss? Okay, it's odd to see a singer stop singing in the middle of his song to make out with the keyboardist, but it's just a kiss. This isn't 1990, when ABC was getting in trouble for showing two gay men sitting in bed next to each other talking like Mike & Carol Brady. It's been nearly 20 years since that happened. The face-to-the-crotch moment? Christ. Everyone was fully clothed, and it's nothing that hasn't been done a zillion times by Madonna. The people on leashes? That's been done for at least 20 years by various and sundry. Hell, just look at George Michael's Freeek! video.

This isn't damaging to gay people at all. Well, except for the assimilationists, who would rather never have anyone's sexuality mentioned. I hope those types never EVER look at hip hop videos, or watch a movie on any channel other than TCM. It's the only way they get to preserve their worldview.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am offended by how awful the music is.

Sheesh kids today.
posted by pianomover at 5:00 PM on November 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Mike & Carol Brady

And to later learn that 'Mike Brady' (Robert Reed) was actually a gay man.
posted by ericb at 5:03 PM on November 26, 2009


Don's not my only gay friend, and I've known him since the early Seventies. He's no token. I'm too loaded with trytophan to feel like looking for the link, but he's certainly not the only gay person to not be pleased with this performance-it's controversial in the gay community as well. Which, I guess surprised me for a moment till I thought about it a bit more.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:07 PM on November 26, 2009


my gay friend Don

Best. Band. Name. Ever.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM on November 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Tony Orlando and My Gay Friend Don.
posted by box at 5:18 PM on November 26, 2009 [11 favorites]


I'll mention that to my gay friend Don. He posted how offended he was by Adam's performance on Facebook right after it happened.

Your gay friend Don has issues. As do the other gay twits flustered about how this "hurts the gay marriage cause".
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:32 PM on November 26, 2009


this is where I wave my copy of "States Of Desire" around and point to the "D.C" chapter a lot, right?
posted by The Whelk at 5:34 PM on November 26, 2009


No one here would be surprised at my type being offended by this, but I thought it might be interesting to point out that not everyone thought this was helpful to gay people either

One would think that then, perversely, you'd actually be in favor of it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:34 PM on November 26, 2009


Can we please avoid this becoming yet another thread about St. Alia?
posted by runningwithscissors at 5:43 PM on November 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


I don't get the controversy. Here in West Hollywood we don't call that a performance, we call it Saturday Night. (rimshot). Frankly, we also call it Saturday Morning. Friday... Thursdays sometimes... oh forget it, pretty much any day of the week.
posted by Justinian at 5:48 PM on November 26, 2009


Well, I must be getting old because I frankly am tired of stupid stuff like this passing for talent and entertainment, male or female. Can he sing? Can he dance? Really, that's all I want from someone performing at a music awards show.
posted by etaoin at 5:49 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm shocked that ABC, the gayest of the old big 3 networks, had a problem with it. I'm shocked that CBS, the stodgiest of the old big 3, didn't have as much of a problem with it.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:52 PM on November 26, 2009


See, what annoys me about the music industry in general is how Madonna, Lady Gaga, Britney, all these pop singers do all these stunt-ey things to get attention, to get publicity, to make more money. It's all just Advertising. Some of these stars back up the crap with actual talent, some don't. But the main result is some of us just not being able to take the music itself seriously, because in our world if the music is enough the attention will come.

But that is not the world the entertainment industry lives in. So Adam pushes some dancer's face in his crotch and Main Stream Media is all affluter about it, and here we are talking about it too. Well, Adam dear, we didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, it wasn't art, it wasn't performance adrenaline, it was Marketing 1O1 music industry version, period. And that's what it was when Madonna did it, that's what it is when Lady Gaga does her thing, that's what it is (in my opinion) when Kanye shows his butt on yet another awards show. It's getting boring.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:53 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


(In fact, it wouldn't even shock me if it turned out that in real life Adam wasn't even really gay but thought it would be a great angle. And he'd have been right.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:56 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I laughed for most of the performance when I first saw it. Didn't realize it would be considered offensive to anyone in 2009. My first impression was that he was trying too hard, wasn't "owning" the stage as well as some of the other previous AMA performers (I know he's relatively new to live performances compared to, say, Janet Jackson though...), and that his dancers were at times overshadowing his own performance. His vocals weren't too great either (especially when compared to the other AMA performers). He seemed to be trying to do a lot at one go, and not handling the dynamics of his performance as smoothly as he could have. I didn't realize the kissing / sex simulations / etc would be considered problematic until the news started harping on about it. To some extent, I still don't understand what the fuss is about... if anything, the problem with his performance seemed to be that it failed to achieve what it set out to achieve in terms of music/dancing/performance quality (not publicity, though).
posted by aielen at 6:15 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I really dont feel the performance was "shocking"... When it came to the medias reaction to it I feel it was a just another perfect example of the double standard held against gays and lesbians in this country. I do however think that it was intentionally exploited on Adam Lamberts behalf. It is not the first time a performer has done this to get attention.
posted by wantstobeadesigner at 6:38 PM on November 26, 2009


(In fact, it wouldn't even shock me if it turned out that in real life Adam wasn't even really gay but thought it would be a great angle. And he'd have been right.)

...
posted by kmz at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


ABC's the gayest of the big-3 networks? Why do you say that, WolfDaddy? I'd always kinda thought that they were the most 'family' (Disney-owned, after all) of 'em.
posted by box at 7:18 PM on November 26, 2009


in real life Adam wasn't even really gay...

Trust me, honey, he's gay. G-A-Y!
posted by ericb at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2009


This isn't damaging to gay people at all. Well, except for the assimilationists, who would rather never have anyone's sexuality mentioned.

Speaking as an "assimilationist" (as in legally married to my partner for more than six years now), I can tell you that being assimilationist is the most subversive thing you can be as a gay man. Fag haters have no problem with us when we're in our ghettos and all stereotypically fabulous. It's when we're in THEIR bars, THEIR neighbourhoods, partaking of THEIR sacred institutions, laying claim to THEIR rights, responsibilities and perquisites and entertaining THEIR kids on THEIR stages- in other words, bear brother, ASSIMILATING, that they get pissed off.

An "assimilationist" doesn't want his sexuality hidden. To the contrary: he wants to walk with his male partner hand in hand down the street and down the aisle just as straight couples do.

I have to add about this Adam Lambert business: If this is about publicity, then my oh my have times changed. Thirty years ago, this sort of "publicity" would have seen his albums burned and he would have been blacklisted coast to coast. The mere fact that this might be an effective publicity stunt is great and shows how far the status of gay people, even in the US, has improved.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:25 PM on November 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Trust me, honey, he's gay. G-A-Y!

Yeah, uh, Lambert has been known to be gay for rather a long time now.
posted by Justinian at 7:26 PM on November 26, 2009


The Kiss and the Double Standard
"The backlash against American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert was inevitable, I guess. User-friendly Clay Aikin's one thing, much more threatening Lambert's another. It's the difference between gay and queer.

Also relevant, in the wake of the American Music Awards censoring of Lambert's kiss with a fellow performer is the difference between how ABC thinks audiences will react to boy-on-boy action versus their lapping up, if you will, of a similar girl-on-girl scenario.

Who can forget Britney's lip lock with Madonna at the 2003 American Music Awards. Was it censored? No Way. Why? Because when girl's do it, it's a quasi-pornographic, but totally mainstream-approved spectacle that rocks the male gaze. Lambert's kiss is way more transgressive and, let's face it, guys think it's icky.

Not that in real life queer guys are more radical than queer girls. Lesbians can scare the shit out of people. But they have to be real lesbians and Britney Sprears and Madonna don't exactly qualify, regardless of their individual sexual resumes.

What's more important, from a media literate point of view, is that girls getting sexual together, whether dancing or rubbing up against each other, is so prevalent in mainstream representation – whether in movies, music videos, or just college girls going wild for YouTube – that it's almost become perceived as part of everyday sexuality, close to invisible, in fact.

Note, too, how conservative the big three American networks have become. David Bowie used to pull off Adam Lambert-type stunts all the time in his 70s and 80s heyday and British television didn't flinch. But ever since CBS was fined $550,00 by the Federal Communications Commission for Janet Jackson's notorious wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Superbowl – a case still being adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court – the networks are taking no risks.

Credit Lambert for calling out ABC for their discriminatory practice of censoring two boys kissing, to say nothing of their cancellation of his appearance on Good Morning America the next day.

In a climate that breeds this kind of reaction, no wonder gay marriage rights are circling the drain in the U.S."
posted by ericb at 7:30 PM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, uh, Lambert has been known to be gay for rather a long time now.

Exactly.

Rolling Stone | June 9, 2009: The Liberation of Adam Lambert.
posted by ericb at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2009


Who can forget when Guns 'n' Roses got drunk and cussed at the American Music Awards?
posted by box at 7:33 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


That was a terrible, cringe-inducing performance, tbh.
posted by empath at 7:33 PM on November 26, 2009


Dear Adam Lambert: That was a marginal performance given a little spice by some sexy stunts. But still a marginal performance. I wouldn't kick you out of bed for eating crackers, though.

Dear Pearl-clutching Prudes: Look at what is merely controversial, today, compared to the fights you were fighting just a few decades ago. You've lost a lot of ground in the past 30 years, baby. How does it feel to be in an ever-retreating bloc of our society?

Dear Network TV: I stopped watching you regularly years ago because your sitcoms were tedious, formulaic and insulting and your idea of edgy was yet another crappy reality show. Please pull your heads out, sirs.
posted by darkstar at 7:35 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


This isn't damaging to gay people at all. Well, except for the assimilationists, who would rather never have anyone's sexuality mentioned.

Speaking as an "assimilationist" (as in legally married to my partner for more than six years now), I can tell you that being assimilationist is the most subversive thing you can be as a gay man.


I probably punctuated my description wrong, not meaning to offer a definition of all gay men living a non-ghetto lifestyle everywhere, but rather meaning to describe a subset which I encounter regularly in the places I have lived.

For myself, having never lived in any city which has had a gay ghetto, and never wanting to, I probably qualify under your definition of assimilationist. However, I don't feel that I want to merge or blend into the straight world, not because I'm some character from Will & Grace, but because my own life experiences re: coming out and self-realization simply eclipse those of most around me, and I value that distinction and feel it is an important contribution to the world around me. Those I was attempting to portray in my obviously poorly-stated sentence quoted above find no value in that, and seek to disappear into the larger culture without making a ripple or a sound.
posted by hippybear at 7:38 PM on November 26, 2009


The mere fact that this might be an effective publicity stunt is great and shows how far the status of gay people, even in the US, has improved.

Risky move pays off
"Adam Lambert's racy public outing as a solo artist at Sunday's American Music Awards has grabbed headlines and helped send downloads of his debut album soaring worldwide....'On a night when some of the biggest names in music performed -- Lady GaGa, Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z-- the only person anyone is talking about is Adam Lambert,' Entertainment Weekly music reporter Michael Slezak said."
posted by ericb at 7:38 PM on November 26, 2009


Risky move pays off

Duh.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2009


I'd always kinda thought that they were the most 'family' (Disney-owned, after all) of 'em.

Disney is very gay-friendly (Disney understands the term "disposable income"). Lots of churchgoers get all upset over the annual "gay day" at Disney theme parks. And GLAAD has stated that ABC has 24% of its primetime programming featuring some representation of a LGBT character, more--and more consistent over the last few years--than any other broadcast network.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:15 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why am I thinking Don looks like this guy?
posted by EarBucket at 8:16 PM on November 26, 2009


Whipping people? Walking men like dogs or treating them like slaves? Fake grabbing a woman's head by the hair and fake throwing her aside? But what ABC thought was bad taste was the miming oral sex and kissing? The whole thing stunk. The song, the lyrics, the colors, all of it plain stunk.
posted by anniecat at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


In fact, it wouldn't even shock me if it turned out that in real life Adam wasn't even really gay but thought it would be a great angle.

This is one of those times I wish there were a little minus sign right beside the little plus sign underneath every comment.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:43 PM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I guess surprised me for a moment till I thought about it a bit more.

It's a large demographic despite what Jesus and Iran wants you to believe. For instance, Gay Republicans (terrible web design warning).
posted by IvoShandor at 9:24 PM on November 26, 2009


For instance, Gay Republicans

It's true, self-loathing does go a long way for a large number of people. And self-loathing plus a hypocritical look at public policy is pretty much the flour and water for that big loaf of lunacy we call the right wing these days...
posted by FatherDagon at 9:56 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I've heard this guy sing before. I didn't like his performance. I didn't like the thing as a whole, actually. But, caveat, it's morning here, and I'm not long out of bed. The tune did stick in my head, however. I thought the performance was over-produced, but that may have been the fault of the filming.

As for the controversy, I'm mostly just puzzled. Part of my puzzlement is that my favorite movie happens to be Torchsong Trilogy. In that film, Harvey Firestein does the same thing, only he's in drag. To me, it just seems like one of the many moves one can make when dance portrays sex.

I suppose I've just become European-ized. Gayness seems to be no big deal over here. My resident's visas have all been based on my relationship for the past 10 years. At some point, and I don't recall exactly when, we even did the life-partnership thing at city hall (Germany's separate-but-equal version of gay marriage). Maybe it's because closets are not the norm over here? We're both too big to reasonably hide in a wardrobe.
posted by Goofyy at 10:43 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think publicity stunts are lame.

Dude, look up "Resurrection Stunt" sometime.

SRSLY.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:34 PM on November 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's all just Advertising.

Hey, don't look at us. This is the ideology you signed up for. How's it hanging?
posted by joe lisboa at 11:41 PM on November 26, 2009


In fact, it wouldn't even shock me if it turned out that in real life Adam wasn't even really gay but thought it would be a great angle.

I don't think this dude is counterfeit queer, but in fairness to SAotB, I would almost swear that there was a failed glam-pop performer in the late seventies/early eighties whose sham gayness was part of a 'outrageous' persona. I'd back up my claim of this precedent, but the Google is failing me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:57 PM on November 26, 2009


I frankly am tired of stupid stuff like this passing for talent and entertainment, male or female. Can he sing?

I dunno, this version of "A Change is Gonna Come" is pretty solid.
posted by msalt at 2:06 AM on November 27, 2009


It would be interesting to observe the version done in a parallel universe where he did these things with women, and see if the reaction was as strong. My suspicion is that it wouldn't be, but my instinct is that simulated oral sex is still a bit much for a lot of people, no matter who it's with.

My bias, though, is that I'm bisexual and not particularly keen on watching simulated oral sex in what was supposed to be a music thing. Controversy and publicity resulting from it should not be a substitute for talent. Not that talent is universally recognised in either presence of absence, as the previous comments on this post, and many past happenings in a variety of televised 'talent' shows, have shown.

At least he said he could've sung better. I like that he recognised it and said so in public.
posted by mathw at 2:35 AM on November 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


America is only outraged at the bdsm/homo erotic implied content? That didn't bother me, and I wouldn't have really registered it if it hadn't been for the OMFG attitude of the production team "quick find something, ANYTHING else to point the camera at". The only outrage that was apparent to me was the song and its delivery. Did the guy ever hit his note?
posted by multivalent at 2:55 AM on November 27, 2009


Sex sells. Film at 11. *yawn*
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:28 AM on November 27, 2009


Meh. The kiss was basically a passing glance - you could almost watch without realizing what had just happened, since the shot cut so abruptly. The head-to-crotch stuff was just silly, and there's an instance with a female dancer.

Mostly, I was focused on "hm, he's doing this live, that's commendable" followed by "too bad this performance is so bad."
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 5:25 AM on November 27, 2009


I am all for anything that people perceive as "not being good for cause x".
posted by srboisvert at 5:47 AM on November 27, 2009


I wonder if Christina Aguilera ever feels like screaming "I KISSED MADONNA TOO GODAMMIT!"
posted by minifigs at 6:01 AM on November 27, 2009 [11 favorites]


@minifigs - probably not. She's her own goldmine without having to make anyone remember that stuff. I mean, Back to Basics was a platinum album mainly about how she was totally into her husband.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:00 AM on November 27, 2009


homoerotic man-on-man shenanigans

So you're calling shemanigans?
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:07 AM on November 27, 2009


Disney is very gay-friendly (Disney understands the term "disposable income").

And Disney ranks high in HRC's Corporate Equality Index (Non-Discrimination Policies, Domestic Partner Benefits, Transgender Benefits, Diversity Training & Management, GLBT marketing, sponsorship or philanthropy, GLBT Employee Group or Inclusive Diversity Council) and is considered one of the best entertainment companies for LGBT folks to work.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Gay Days at Disney. Each year the events attract 150,000+ gays and lesbians.

Disney understands the term "disposable income"...

A-yup.

That's why Gay Days also target other companies to sponsor, advertise or be a vendor at the events.
• 78 percent prefer to buy from companies that advertise to the gay market.
• 68 percent upgrade to a product's latest model
• 57 percent "prefer to buy top of the line"
• 77 percent "believe in indulging in themselves"
• Twice as likely to have household income over $60K
• Twice as likely to have graduated from college
• Three times more likely to be online than the average American
• Twice as likely to spend $250 on cellular service
You go, girl!
posted by ericb at 7:33 AM on November 27, 2009


I'm shocked that people want to consider this a "publicity stunt". Where's the stunt? It's music and dance. It's art. One need not suspect a stunt because some dance number includes a face-to-crotch move. It was appropriate to the lyrics.

Grow up, people. Sex isn't dirty or nasty. Sex in art isn't, either. That bunch in Plymouth Rock were religious nut jobs. Puritanism is SO 17th century! Happy Black Friday.
posted by Goofyy at 7:43 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can he sing?

Yep.
Adam performing "Whataya Want From Me?" on David Letterman's show last night.

Adam singing Smokey Robinson's Tracks of My Tears.

Adam singing Tears for Fears' Mad World.
posted by ericb at 7:47 AM on November 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have to agree, the offensive part was:

1. shitty singing

2. poor production

3. bad songwriting

4. terrible choreography

someone got kissed...meh
posted by HuronBob at 7:48 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


My! Gay! Husband! is no 'Don', but it's close.
posted by anthill at 7:50 AM on November 27, 2009


Gay Don meet Big Gay Al.
posted by ericb at 8:00 AM on November 27, 2009


That bunch in Plymouth Rock were religious nut jobs.

Yeah ... but, it was only a small group.

What many don't realize is that there were only 37 members of the separatist Leiden congregation on the Mayflower. There were a total of 102 passengers. The trip was a commercial venture financed by London merchants -- with a signifcant number being planters and their families and servants. The "saints" (aka "separtists") were a minority who bought their way onto the vessel.

After first landing at Provincetown then moving to Plymouth they endured illness and only 53 people were alive in November 1621 to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.
posted by ericb at 8:14 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno. I've always thought that a little subtlety on stage made a performance more exciting and sensual. Explicit doesn't do it for me. And I wonder about whether that's a male/female thing.

As far as asking whether he could sing, that was meant as a bit of a rhetorical question. I asked, can he sing? Can he dance? as a a way of saying that that was more interesting to me as a performance. I don't need something shoved in my face, figuratively, to enjoy a performance. In fact, I find it distracting. Obviously, a whole lot of you disagree.
posted by etaoin at 8:47 AM on November 27, 2009


Apparently, gay men aren't welcome on Good Morning America, but convicted domestic abusers are.
posted by aihal at 9:18 AM on November 27, 2009


CBS? Why, yes. Yes I do.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:55 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I so want to make a poster that depicts God in caricature form, complete with white beard and flowing robes, looking down from the clouds onto a scene of two dudes kissing on a stage while an American flag burns in the background.

And God will be crying into his beard, sort of like the Statue of Liberty in those Onion editorial cartoons.

And the caption will read: God Mourning America.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:12 AM on November 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I so want to make a poster that depicts God in caricature form, complete with white beard and flowing robes

God sounds hot.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:38 AM on November 27, 2009


I don't think this dude is counterfeit queer, but in fairness to SAotB, I would almost swear that there was a failed glam-pop performer in the late seventies/early eighties whose sham gayness was part of a 'outrageous' persona. I'd back up my claim of this precedent, but the Google is failing me.

Certainly not failed, but Bowie could somewhat qualify. He certainly slept with both sexes, but used "gay" as a teasing way to gain a lot of publicity. Something he backpedaled from in the 80's. As he said, he was a "closet heretrosexual".

As to Adam - heck, all is fair in love and war. He wanted publicity - job well done. But here's the thing - it's best to publicize when you actually have some talent (like Bowie).
posted by VikingSword at 12:43 PM on November 27, 2009


Adam is actually a fantastic singer, and I wanted him to go on tour with Queen--after seeing him perform with them, I felt he could actually do Freddy Mercury's songs justice.

I'm sorry i missed his performance, though from what I hear the singing was not up to his normal standard.

I watched the AMA awards until about 10:30 or so, and then I just couldn't take any more. All the supposedly hot new performers sounded the same, and I'd reached my saturation point for weird body stockings.
posted by misha at 1:33 PM on November 27, 2009


See, what annoys me about the music industry in general is how Madonna, Lady Gaga, Britney, all these pop singers do all these stunt-ey things to get attention, to get publicity, to make more money. It's all just Advertising. Some of these stars back up the crap with actual talent, some don't. But the main result is some of us just not being able to take the music itself seriously, because in our world if the music is enough the attention will come.

We're talking about mainstream pop music here. So it is now, so has it ever been, it's always been a publicity game to drive sales. If you want to take music really seriously, you're going to need to dig a little deeper than the AMAs.
posted by desuetude at 10:00 PM on November 28, 2009


misha, Adam in his CBS interview said his only regret was that he hadn't sung the song better. It was a disappointing performance and I thought the song was lame for his debut single, given his awesome voice. I'm glad he didn't apologise for anything else. As he said, he's not a babysitter. Get over it, conservative Americans.
posted by essexjan at 4:03 AM on November 29, 2009


I realize I'm really late to this thread, but this must be said: Anyone shocked by this has either never seen video of David Lee Roth on stage in the late 80s or has blocked it from their mind.
posted by The World Famous at 10:29 AM on November 30, 2009


"has blocked it from their mind."

Yeah, well, I had, jerk. Thanks a lot.
posted by klangklangston at 5:56 PM on November 30, 2009


I humbly submit Exhibit A. Adam Lambert is going to have to step it up about a million notches if he wants to shock those of us who watched MTV regularly in the late 80s.

[Warning: If you have never seen that video, you might want to get a cheese grater ready for your eyes, since that's the only way to make them feel better once it's over. And you cannot un-see DLR's assless chaps and codpiece/thong/dickie, or the drummer's hair. Next time you hear someone taking the position that Van Halen would have been better post-1984 with DLR rather than Sammy Hagar, realize that they are saying they like the guy in women's aerobics gear who violates the kick drum with a giant inflatable microphone more than the guy in baggy pants who sings about tequila and weed.]
posted by The World Famous at 10:32 AM on December 1, 2009


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