November 24, 2009

The Daily News deftly juxtaposes pictures from the American Music Awards.

Check it out. It's like panels of a comic strip:



These pictures don't really relate to each other in the manner the sequence suggests, but the apparent story is hilarious.

In the first panel, Taylor Swift — the perfectly popular girl from whom a man once famously grabbed a phallic symbol — clutches her throat and looks with shock toward the second panel. In that second panel, American Idol also-ran Adam Lambert, clutching a phallic symbol, is angling back to get a look at the head going at his crotch. And, in panel 3, Jennifer Lopez, clutching a phallic symbol and looking quite angry, is falling backwards.

Juxtaposed, it looks like a story of sex and betrayal. In real life, the only intentional sex, simulated of course, came from Adam Lambert. He'd like you to believe he's fighting against discrimination:
"I do feel like there's a bit of a double standard in the entertainment community, on television, on radio... I feel like women performers have been pushing the envelope, especially, for the past 20 years. And all of the sudden a male does it and everybody goes 'Oh, we can't show that on TV.' For me, that's a form of discrimination and a double standard. And that's too bad."
The head in his crotch was female, by the way. Lambert subsequently canceled that discrimination by kissing a male.

Swift and Lopez weren't being sexual at all. Swift was expressing surprise — whether she felt it or not, we don't know — for beating out, as Artist of the Year, an artist whose big achievement this year was suddenly dying. And Jennifer Lopez was about to fall on what everyone feels compelled to refer to as her famous ass.

ADDED: The prime example of the womanly pushing of the envelope — in 2003 — reference by Lambert:

71 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Sex has always been a huge component of music marketing. But most of this recent stuff is just boring.

Florida said...

Ann,

Why are you so fascinated by homo's?

Get a hotel room and go to it lady.

Fred4Pres said...

Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but that girl writes and performs her own songs. She is a real talent. She is going to be around a long time.

MadisonMan said...

beating out, as Artist of the Year, an artist whose big achievement this year was suddenly dying

Hard to top that as an artistic endeavor!

MadisonMan said...

Say what you will about Taylor Swift

Okay, I will.

Whenever she comes on the radio, my son changes the channel. So there's one 13-yo vote against her.

EDH said...

Note to Adam:

Two chicks kissing = HOT!

Two guys kissing = NOT!

Paddy O. said...

Ah yes, discrimination against male sexuality.

The music business is just so prudish when it comes to men expressing themselves.

Lambert is a brave man to fight the battles of forty years ago.

John said...

Could someone please explain who Adam Lambert is and why anyone should know his name? Is he one of those American Idol degenerates?

I mean seriously, I have never heard of the guy. At least Swift and Lopez are actually famous.

Lem said...

beating out, as Artist of the Year, an artist whose big achievement this year was suddenly dying.

His timing was impeccable ;)

Florida said...

"... most of this recent stuff is just boring."

Yea ... this sort of stuff is pretty stale. Homo blowjobs in public? That's so 2007 Larry Craig airport bathroom-y.

Yawn. Don't get that toilet paper stuck to your shoe.

When Oscar's are handed out to 13-year-old kiddie drug/rapists, "shock value" sort of loses all meaning.

John said...

Even women don't dig two guys making out. It just sucks to be a male homo. Sodomy just isn't sexy.

Florida said...

"... beating out, as Artist of the Year ..."

Do they really want to use the words "beating out" and "Adam Lambert" in such close proximity?

It's almost like these people don't realize that we not laughing with them, we're laughing at them.

MadisonMan said...

Florida, read your 9:59 comment, then the rest of your comments, and then go away and reflect.

ricpic said...

We'll know we are well and truly lost when two guys kissing evinces a ho-hum from the folks.

Bissage said...

You can’t see it, but there is actually a fourth photo in that series.

It’s me giving Taylor Swift the Heimlich Maneuver.

Eat your heart out, America!

wv = panties!!1!!!!!!!!

How cool is that?

JohnAnnArbor said...

"Madonna chocking America."

Safety first. I'm glad Madonna decided to put wedges under America's wheels to prevent unintentional movement.

Florida said...

@MadisonMan,

Why is it that homosexuals get offended when anyone clinically describes their common sexual practices?

The offense you take is discrimination and hypocrisy. You certainly don't mind when we discuss the mating practices of heterosexuals?

David said...

Florida? Projecting? Possibly. But sometimes a prick is just a prick.

Pogo said...

Lambert, arms flailing, cries Looka me, looka meeeee!!!

We get it, dude. You're gay, right?
Really really gay.
Gay times a hundredy hundred.
Gay xJudy^10th power.


Duly noted, Adam.

MadisonMan said...

Florida, you seem more fascinated -- transfixed -- by the gays than the professor.

Just sayin'

Salamandyr said...

I think the simulated oral sex is a bit over the top for an awards show, but I can't really see what is the scandal in two men kissing.

Paddy O. said...

Next year, Lambert is going to come out as a heterosexual, marry a good Christian girl, and we'll all be entirely scandalized by his shocking counter-cultural behavior.

wv: obasion. Fawning hope and devotion to all things Obama.

PatCA said...

All this faux sado-sexuality is just desperate and kind of sad.

John said...

I will ask again, who the hell is Adam Lambert? I wasn't aware being queer automatically made you famous. But maybe I am wrong.

MnMark said...

I think the simulated oral sex is a bit over the top for an awards show, but I can't really see what is the scandal in two men kissing.

A couple of years ago it was "I can't really see what is the scandal in two women kissing."

This year it's "I can't really see what is the scandal in two men kissing."

In a few more years it will be "I can't really see what is the scandal in some simulated oral sex on stage."

Then it will be "I can't really see what is the scandal in some simulated golden showers on stage."

Then it will be "I can't really see what is the scandal in some simulated bestiality on stage."

Then it will be the real things, ending up with a Roman orgy on stage complete with people crapping on each other's faces, being screwed by donkeys, and molesting little boys.

NONE of that stuff belongs on a stage. Do it in your bedrooms and not on television where children and normal people - (yes, normal people - there is such a thing) who find it repulsive are forced to watch it because they had no warning such vulgarity was going to be shown on a prime-time program.

Michael Hasenstab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Hasenstab said...

Some day Althouse will post a topic called You're All Fucking Nuts, then turn off her computer and go for a drive in the countryside.

Upon her return she will find 632 comments that prove her hypothesis correct.

Beaverdam said...

well, just, yewwww.

Pogo said...

I think it would hurt to fuck nuts.
Walnuts? Peanuts? Pistachios?
Salty, too, which might sting.
No thanks.

Republican said...

Adam Lambert thinks he can fake his way to superstardom by pretending to be enaging in shocking performance art that compares to Madonna's shocking performance art.

We are wise to that stuff now, and he's not getting by with it.

Shock-value has to be original and able to stand on its own merits.

I refuse to be bullied into playing along with it by pretending to be shocked.

It just wasn't shocking.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do they really want to use the words "beating out" and "Adam Lambert" in such close proximity?"

"They" is me, and yes, I do. I try to ram as much sexual innuendo into a post as I can.

Florida said...

"Florida, you seem more fascinated -- transfixed -- by the gays than the professor."

That's because I'm gay (so stop attacking me you fucking homophobe).

I'm also a Jew who believes in Mohamed. Plus, I self-identify as a tranny black woman.

I believe that Ann Althouse is secretly a homo libtard pirate stuck in a woman's body screaming arrrrrr every time some homo displays attention-seeking behaviors.

Florida said...

"If Adam Lambert were so into fighting against discrimination, why didn't he confidently and forceably come out of the closet during the AL competition?"

Because he's not gay (and never has claimed to be).

But he is astute. A heterosexual white male can't make it in Hollywood, and Adam knows that.

You have to be a cock smoker or a kiddie raper - or at least pretend to be on stage.

Talent, schmalent. What have you stuffed up your behind lately? is all they care about.

Palladian said...

Florida, I've been fucking guy's asses for years and I've never gotten feces on my dick. Assuming you're a male, have you ever gotten menstrual blood or yeast infected discharge on your dick when fucking women?

Sodomy is sexy, but not when a desperate doughball like Adam Lambert does it. Actually I'm quite prudish when it comes to what should be on television. I'd rather never see any kind of tiresome "decadence" on teevee. It's a poor substitute for talent.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I rest my case.

Will said...

One of the things I love about Althouse's view of the world is that a cigar is never just a cigar.

Salamandyr said...

MnMark, if you'd have no problem with a man and a woman publicly kissing (and I don't) then you should have no problem with a man and another man kissing.

Florida said...

Palladin Admitted: "I've been fucking guy's asses for years and I've never gotten feces on my dick.

Just becuase you're not man enough to make it into the actual lower intestine doesn't mean it's not for lack of your trying.

You probably shouldn't make it so obvious how small your wee wee is.

People will laugh at you.

John said...

"But he is astute. A heterosexual white male can't make it in Hollywood, and Adam knows that"

Really? So all the men who made it big in Hollywood or the music business were homos? I kinda doubt it.

It is more like no talent losers can't stay in entertainment business for long unless they can latch on to being in some kind of victim group. "No one will buy my record because I am gay"

William said...

A shocking display of vulgarity during a music awards show is as predictable as some large animal pooping at the circus.

MadisonMan said...

Thank you for continuing to make my point Florida.

Why do gays tranfix you so?

Paddy O. said...

"I try to ram as much sexual innuendo into a post as I can."

Nudge nudge. Say no more.

You're into photographs too, right?

He asks her knowingly. Nudge, nudge, know what I mean.

WV: scanic. Say no more! Like scans? I bet you do. Nudge, nudge.

Saint Russell said...

Note to Adam Lambert: David Bowie and Mick Ronson. Before you were born, dude.

wv: goliz
(Lemon?)

John said...

I finally googled him. He is an American Idol degernate. The better question is not "why is Lambert trying to get a blowjob in national TV" but "how the hell is a runner up on idol eight years ago" still on National TV?"

vbspurs said...

The crotch kiss makes Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" look like a Disney flick. Oy.

Cheers,
Victoria

JohnAnnArbor said...

I think he was runner-up earlier this year, John.

I'm just glad Madonna's chocking us, not shocking us. But I'm weird that way.

Where's Titus?

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

John said...
I will ask again, who the hell is Adam Lambert? I wasn't aware being queer automatically made you famous. But maybe I am wrong.


Well, it seems no one wants to write a description of who this person is for the sake of filling you in. Maybe this would be the time to ask yourself, what takes more time: 1) Posting "Who is _____?" in a comments thread, waiting, not receiving an answer, posting "Who is _____?" again, waiting, still not receiving an answer; 2) The fraction of a second it takes to search a name on some things called the internets.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

Saint Russell said...
Note to Adam Lambert: David Bowie and Mick Ronson. Before you were born, dude.


Yeah, but based on the homophobic comments here and on basically any website with an article about this performance, a little gay kiss still clearly makes certain people very uncomfortable, which seems to indicate there still is a boundary here that an artist can push in a relevant way. Obviously, wearing an androgynous outfit or dancing in a suggestive way isn't breaking any new ground, but male homosexuality portrayed in a music performance still pushes people's buttons, and it might be something that should to be done in order to break a remaining cultural taboo. The fact that the kiss (rather than the simulated heterosexual oral sex) stimulates controversy and provokes homophobic comments supports the idea that there might be a need for this sort of thing. And it would be good, too, if not for the fact that the dancing, stage design, and music all sucked hairy monkey balls.

John said...

"Yeah, but based on the homophobic comments here and on basically any website with an article about this performance, a little gay kiss still clearly makes certain people very uncomfortable, which seems to indicate there still is a boundary here that an artist can push in a relevant way."

Oh Jesus tapdancing Christ where do you get this crap? If he took a shit on the stage, people would be uncomfortable to. Does that mean he would be pushing "artistic boundries?

There is nothing relevent or interesting about it. It doesn't take any talent to go up there and make out with the guy. That is not pushing boundries that is just exhibitionism.

If he wants to push the artistic boundries regarding gay people, then he should go write a love song about his boyfriend. That would push artistic boundries. Exhibitionism is not pushing boundries. It is just exhibitionism not art.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

MnMark said...
A couple of years ago it was "I can't really see what is the scandal in two women kissing."

This year it's "I can't really see what is the scandal in two men kissing."

In a few more years it will be "I can't really see what is the scandal in some simulated oral sex on stage."

Then it will be "I can't really see what is the scandal in some simulated golden showers on stage."

Then it will be "I can't really see what is the scandal in some simulated bestiality on stage."





Simulated bestiality? Dude, that is so 2001, get over it!

Pogo said...

Why can't the "boundary-pushing" involve, say, excellent singing, bravura performances, or great entertaining lyrics?

Why the lame performance art approach, where the only point is afflicting the comfortable?

PatCA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

MnMark,

If you watch Glee on TV you should note that "what's so bad about an old teacher hitting on young students" should be added to your list.

I mean, Sandy the lecherous teacher is really nice, and the boys can always say no, can't they?

Fred4Pres said...

Florida...are you channelling Anita Bryant? Earth to Anita.

I disagree with you Anita/Florida on the gays, but can we all get free orange juice anyway?

Palladian, good point, sexuality merely to shock is often just an attempt to cover for lack of talent.

And as for Taylor Swift, I am not a fan (other than just being a parent monitoring things), but my 11 year old daughter is. So as far as celebrity idols go, Taylor Swift is just fine with me. And it is good to see an actual singer-soundwriter instead of manufactured cover artists.

vbspurs said...

Yeah, but based on the homophobic comments here and on basically any website with an article about this performance

I've already called out your mother about this, Chris (with others like Beth concurring). But I haven't seen her delete any homophobic comment yet.

So you know, maybe she is not comfortable, but believes that freedom of speech means just that.

Cheers,
Victoria

XWL said...

"The fact that the kiss (rather than the simulated heterosexual oral sex) stimulates controversy and provokes homophobic comments supports the idea that there might be a need for this sort of thing. And it would be good, too, if not for the fact that the dancing, stage design, and music all sucked hairy monkey balls."

Christopher, I have one major objection to that statement, as far as I can tell and have seen in zoos, monkey balls are generally hairless.

Strangely, human balls (in their natural, non-manscaped, state) are far more hirsute than most of our cousins' gonads.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The scandal, that everyone seems to have missed, is that Adam Lambert did a terrible job singing that song. Also, the song wasn't that good.

Bissage said...

DUCT TAPE!!1!!!!!!1!!!!!!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Chris: a little gay kiss still clearly makes certain people very uncomfortable

That wasn't a kiss, that was sexual harassment!

Maybe if he were doing heavy metal or punk I could see the in-your-face homosexuality. The whole things just seemed like a parody of a Britney Spears song to me (and I say this as someone who enjoyed the entire Blackout album). If it weren't for the kiss people would be laughing at him.

RHSwan said...

From what I understand the difference between what Madonna did and Mr. Lambert is Madonna got permission beforehand and Mr. Lambert did not. Supposedly, in rehearsal, there was no groping, kissing or crotch thrusting. While some spontaneity is probably allowed, some of the “dance” moves were obviously planned. I have a feeling Mr. Lambert is a big believer in there is no such thing as bad publicity

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

"The scandal, that everyone seems to have missed"...

Agreed.
Why can't 'pushing the envelope' involve some fucking talent, rather than just a talent for fucking?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Florida: Geez, you think it might be all the feces they get on their cocks from stuffing them up men's keisters?

I see that you're misinformed. Gay men don't eat solid food. You may think you see them eating, but they never do, it's a gay thing. Unless you're a bear, but then it's all cheese and meat, very little roughage.

Methadras said...

Oh, just waiting for a DTL, Jeremy, Titus sandwich to ensue.

wv = scats - I shit you not!

Palladian said...

Is it just me, or is Florida Jeremy's doppelganger? Maybe if we can get them to comment one right after the other they'll cancel each other out and both disappear in a puff of acrid smoke.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Is it just me, or is Florida Jeremy's doppelganger?

I always thought a doppelganger was an exact duplicate of a person, only lacking a soul like the original. Which means, if Florida is Jeremy's doppelganger, that Jeremy has a soul.

knox said...

The fact that the kiss (rather than the simulated heterosexual oral sex) stimulates controversy and provokes homophobic comments supports the idea that there might be a need for this sort of thing.

And here, in a nutshell, is why so much contemporary art--whether it's music, movies, or books--sucks. There's this notion that to provoke, even in the most tired, cliched way, has value. That we "need" it. As if Adam Lambert is some wise, perceptive performer, enlightening us all.

PatCA said...

Chris,
Is it really homophobic to be repulsed by Lambert's act? Wasn't he trying to shock us by portraying violent, raunchy images? Yes, some remarks here are ugly, but so was the act.

This is what a Jennifer Vanasco, a gay woman, writes on Huffo:

"And what is the mainstream most worried about, Adam Lambert? Why are they afraid of our partnerships, our service to our country, our working lives, our families? They are worried because they think gay life is exactly what you portrayed on the American Music Awards: focused on the kind of sex that turns people into animals (almost literally, in this case, with crawling dancers leading you on leashes), geared toward enticing children (ABC is a network owned by Disney, for heaven’s sake), degrading, rapacious, empty."

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

knox: I think there is value in pushing the envelope and confronting people's fears, challenging cultural norms. But it has to be part of something that is artistically good. The fact that something sparks controversy doesn't make it good art (or even good trash pop), and some artists think they can compensate for a lack of artistic quality by distracting people with a lot of controversy. This performance would be a good example of that. Visually, it's a complete mess. No solid idea behind any of it, just as many different dancers as possible thrown together, doing as many different things (on multiple levels) without any conceptual thread tying it together. Lyrically, what is the idea here? I'm going to entertain you! You are going to be entertained! I'm fine with simplistic lyrics, but I have a real problem with someone "entertaining" us by just telling us that we are being entertained. So, no, I wouldn't think Let Me Entertain You from Gypsy would make a good rock song, either. And musically I can see that there are moments where they might have thought they had a competent melody, but there's certainly nothing in here that constitutes a decent hook.

Compare Adam Lambert's performance to Lady Gaga's that same night. Now, her performance had at least as much going on over the course of it, but there was a real visual idea in each part of the performance, and it was always focused on one particular part of the stage. Adam Lambert, on the other hand, seems to think (or someone connected to him seems to think) that the way to make an impression is to just have as much stuff going on as possible, simultaneously. That and her music is vastly superior to his.

PatCa: I'm against the idea that, in artistic representations of gay people, it should be done in a politically correct way with the message that gay people are "normal," well-adjusted, and asexual. The main problem with that whole approach is just that it's boring and unartistic. But it also doesn't allow gay people to be complicated, or even whole people. If straight people can be disturbed, why can't we? I'd rather see representations of gay people like those in Heavenly Creatures or Monster than like the one in My Best Friend's Wedding, for instance.

PatCA said...

I agree with much of that, Chris, but I would add that, more than boring, Lambert's performance was aggressive, insulting and fake. He is adopting the "I'm here, I'm queer, get over it" trope that says this is gayness and you rubes should just get over it. I think if this took place in a gay club, it would be authentic, and we would be over it, but it was on ABC TV with Middle America of all ages watching. In artistic terms, how an artist addresses his audience is significant.

The other main trope, that gay is no different from straight, we are all Ozzie and Harriet, contradicts Lambert's position. But right now activists provide no coherent gay rights philosophy that unites these two conflicting ideas. And that is a problem for everybody.

Methadras said...

Lambert is using his "homosexuality" as a cudgel to beat over the head of an unassuming public. Most of the American public views homosexuality with a bit of ambivalence and for the most part, a live and let live attitude on a basic level. Americans in general do not want a series of protected classes to get any preference above themselves and yet the 'shock' and 'horror' of a Lambert entertainment portrayal of a homosexually charged performance is the ammunition that homosexuals don't want to be standing in front of. This is a slow moving bullet and yet people within the homosexual community somehow find a way to get hit by it or have one of their own fire the gun. PatCA quoted someone from Huffpo that elucidated to many the perceived nature of homosexuality in general "degrading, rapacious, empty."

Isn't Lambert cool? Look what he did for you? Oh yes.