Welcome to issue 3 of our newest feature here at TBOR; last week, you learned of my admiration for the giant balls of Larry David, Bill Belichick, and Will Phillips. Oh - and Publix has a secret liquid which kills all germs, so that's probably going to hit the scientific journals very soon.
Here's the best thing that happened this week:
Adam Lambert Is Not Your Babysitter
My favorite part of Adam Lambert's AMA performance last Sunday night wasn't the actual performance (I like the song; it's top end on what is, frankly, a little disappointing first album; but my tolerance for camp is fairly low). My favorite part wasn't even the straight from the playbook reaction - a small but vocal conservative outrage (the best quote - "America's children are literally under siege!" which is probably hyperbole unless "America's Children" is the nickname Lambert has given to his testicles) leading to Lambert's de-booking from Good Morning America (nobody buys records anymore except for country music fans; that's why the real most interesting occurrence at the AMA's was Lady Gaga losing the Best New Artist fan text vote to a country group that not only didn't I know then, but I don't know now and I looked up the name a day and a half ago in preparation for this open - and because of that, it's not exactly a Tiger getting the hell beaten out of him by the hot Swedish wife Brenda Ritchie style and then frantically fleeing into a fire hydrant level of cover up to imagine some co-ordination between the two ABC shows to ratchet up some level of publicity for everyone). My favorite part wasn't even the rank hypocrisy by the CBS Morning Show hosted by.....Paula Zahn?...Ray Gandolf?...Ethan Frome?...how the hell is that show still on the air...when it, within the same story, showed the Madonna/Britney makeout from whichever MTV Awards that was, and then blurred the image of Lambert's boy on boy kiss from the night before.
That was pretty good though. Lambert correctly pointed out that it was an obvious double standard - earlier in the night, Janet Jackson grabbed a backup dancer's crotch (recreating a moment from a, what - 15 year old video?) which went without comment, and as the Britney kissing her grandmother moment illustrated, faux lesbianism has been incorporated into our collective sexualization. The engine which runs our cultural acceptance of sex is straight dude orgasm - that's why Viagra commercials run all Sunday afternoon.
My favorite part was Lambert's response to the "what about the children?" question by the predictably vapid morning host...Kathleen Sullivan?...Frank Reynolds?....Tammy Sytch?...
"I'm not your babysitter."
And then he sang another cut from the album - the seemingly prescient selection of Whataya Want From Me:
Just don’t give up I’m workin it out
Please don’t give in, I won’t let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around
Hey, whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
Because then I realized that it was entirely a playlet. Team Adam Lambert, with an album coming out, in his first significant public act since American Idol, scripted this entire event, from soup to America's Children. The decision was made to not play up to an assexual contest winner image ("Bet ya thought that I was soft and sweet" was a lyric from the song at the AMAs) but instead go full on gay - (there's a song on the album that uses a the masculine pronoun to refer to a love object - I don't know if I've heard that before from a male singer - we get a lot of non gender specifc references in songs - but not "there he goes, my baby walks so slow" which is a lyric from yet another of the songs on the album (It's not bad, just a little disappointing - the best song, by the way, and by a good margin, by the current crop of Idols is Allison's "Friday I'll Be Over You"). In a show filled with big hitters (Jay Z, Green Day, Gaga) it was Lambert who was the main event; he pressed the only button that can still get some mainstream traction (and did so in a slow news week) and didn't respond to the questions with "oh, gosh" apologies - instead he furthered the story by recognizing the political dimension to the coverage - even having a song at the ready to seemingly respond to the attacks.
And scene. Well done, Sir!
That's my favorite thing this week. After the jump - The Remaining Ten!