Adam Lambert on the Early Show

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 25 2009 11:26 AM

Adam Lambert on the Early Show

 

As far too many people know all too well, ABC's Good Morning America disinvited the newly minted pop star Adam Lambert from appearing on its stage today. Lambert had been found guilty of committing lewd and lascivious acts at Sunday's American Music Awards, which also aired on ABC. His crimes against common decency which, surprisingly, some people believe still exists included handling the head of a male dancer in pantomime of what the standard text calls Auparishtaka, or mouth congress. That the brash tackiness of the performance should have roused our moral guardians to action and our entertainment press into a frenzy was slightly, very slightly, peculiar, given the general lewdness and lasciviousness of the context the American Music Awards, America, etc . The scandal of course has to do with Lambert's being gay and male and, as the L.A. Times ' Ann Powers shrewdly observes , a rocker (as opposed to an R&B Romeo).

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His GMA gig cancelled, Lambert instead spent his morning on CBS's Early Show , which, being largely unwatchable, is largely unwatched, and thus had nothing to lose. To my mind, 7:30 am is a bit early in the day for leather pants, but Lambert was encased in a pair, chatting easily as the bottom of the screen crawled with news of troops in Afghanistan and murder in the Philippines. He explained himself as he had in other venues the day before. Question: "Now that you have had time to think about the children , your child fans, do you feel that you need to apologize to them?" The reply was an adamantly casual and eminently reasonable nope . What a relief to hear someone not apologize. At the end of the Early Show , he did a couple of numbers, inoffensive in all respects, his voice as big as his hair. Then Lambert glided outside to sign autographs for any number of nice ladies with firm perms and honest Ohioan faces. They seemed very supportive.

For the record, Sunday's instance of simulated oral stimulation was, to judge by the standards of the genre, not bad. It seemed minorly less calculated than Madonna's many forays into faux fellatio, but somewhat less authentic than Karen O's frequent attempts to swallow her microphone. We can credit David Bowie and Mick Ronson with providing the unsurpassable high point of music-related pseudo-penilingus. That was a bit of rock-erotic theater recreated in Todd Haynes' excellent Velvet Goldmine wherein Ziggy Stardust falls, face first, on Ronson's guitar as he plays it right-handed. Lambert, by contrast, was just making love with his ego.

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Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

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