McAdams On: Indecent Exposure

I wonder if the Parents Television Council wouldn’t be better served by a less overt response to Adam Lambert’s performance on last Sunday’s “American Music Awards” on ABC. The group issued one of its all-points bulletins, very publicly urging members to complain to the network, the producers, advertisers and the FCC. I know righteous indignation is the charter of the PTC, and more power to them. Someone ought to be monitoring for TV dreck, but the resulting publicity just serves to draw attention to something most of us would prefer to ignore. And what could be more horrible for a performer than to be ignored?

Not much, or so it appears in Mr. Lambert’s case. I have to agree with the PTC on the point that Lambert’s performance was “vulgar” and “tasteless.” I’d have to toss “disgusting” in there as well. He held a guy’s head to his crotch and at one point sucked the tonsils out of his male keyboardist. If the youngster could actually sing, it was very hard to tell. If he hit a single note in that “song,” I missed it.

Mr. Lambert dismissed the objections to his display as discriminatory. Madonna kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during the VMAs didn’t raise such a ruckus, he reasoned. Well guess what, little man? That was six years ago. Janet Jackson’s flash dance? Five years ago. Madonna’s first sexually charged, awards-show hijinks? Try 1984. Here’s the deal: It’s been done. Again and again and again and again. So the most truly offensive thing about Lambert’s performance was how boring it is to watch yet another Hollywood sausage-made celebrity exercise his marginally developed emotional intellect on stage.

Please give it a break, already. Playboy’s going broke because boorish, overt sexuality is shoved in our faces all the time. We are Clockwork Oranged, not sexually repressed as a few wee-minded ones would like to think. We’ve just had enough of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder “shocking” us.

Ho hum.

Maybe Hollywood continues to encourage this type of thing because of a propensity of NPDs running the business. Meanwhile, they can’t for the life of them figure out why ratings continue to sink through the floor. Hmm... better add something even more controversial to the mix. Let’s stage a B&D club with the new kid who just revealed his sexuality, even though that, too, is something most of us no longer care about.

I remember when Cindy Crawford came out as heterosexual. No, I don’t. And neither do you, because it’s not a big deal.

From what I understand, Mr. Lambert possesses a notable set of pipes. He’s been singing on stage since he was a kid, and he made it past that Simon Cowell guy, who’s not known for coddling off-key yodelers. He’s likely worked up a sweat to get where he is, and deserves more than to be cheaply showcased for his sexuality.

I wish the PTC luck, by all means, but I hope it’s response doesn’t make young Mr. Lambert even more determined to allow exhibitionism to overshadow his skill. He needs to remember... Madonna can’t actually sing.