TV or Not TV

Dick Clark

What is the deal with ABC and this Lambert guy?

I tend to lump all “American Idol” contestants in the same pot. Black, white, straight, gay, male, female, and Clay Aiken — I have no interest in any of them. And when they apear on the AMAs, an award show I worked on for several years, I have even less interest in them.

20091205_lambert_146x97I seem to recall a few months ago (maybe a year ago… not really sure) that Adam Lambert came out of the closet. And I recall not caring much, since someone’s sexual orientation really only matters to me if it is a woman using it as an excuse not to go out with me (happened to me once in college during a live radio show where my attractive female cohost outed herself rather than agree to date me*, but I digress).

Lambert seemed on a crusade to prove that men can objectify themselves and prance around provocatively just like Britney Spears  (of course, I’m paraphrasing). britney-spears-vma-stills-06Again, I don’t know why Lambert felt this point needed proving, or why Lambert wasn’t more focused on a more worthy (by his or anyone’s standard) cause. Nevertheless, Lambert wanted to prove men could act like moronic sluts, and now he seems to have been blacklisted by ABC for his troubles. So, was he proven right? Wrong? Is this all just grandstanding or some sort of publicity game?

Perhaps (and this “issue” has become so muddled it is hard to tell) Lambert believes the objectification of female pop stars is wrong, and his AMA performance, in which he objectified himself and his gender, was meant to call attention to the gender divide. But somehow it backfired and he now finds himself targeted. What does seem clear is that he believes men are somehow being held back in the world of pop because they aren’t allowed to express themselves physically the way women are (yes, another example of women repressing the men of the world… when will men ever get the rights we deserve?).

Reacting to the drummed up controversy, ABC has banned him from appearing on 133497several of their shows. I guess ABC assumes the next logical step for Lambert is to wave his reproductive organ in Jimmy Kimmel’s face (or possibly Dick Clark’s, since they’ve also nixed his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve appearance… which was, I believe, pretaped and SFW). He can still theoretically wave his private parts in front of the gals from “The View” on Thursday, since ABC has yet to intercede on that scheduled appearance.

Considering the excessive amount of disdain and contempt I feel towards anyone associated with “American Idol,” I find it hard to admit that this Lambert guy might have a point, but he does. However, I’m not entirely sure that it matters. Are we more accepting of females jiggling around on TV than we are of men doing the same? I would say that we are, but I would not say men need to fight for equality in this case. Nor do I believe that men attempting to break the jiggle-barrier will lead to a more progressive attitude towards the perception of women on television.

ABC_logo_gloassThen there is the issue of Lambert’s sexual orientation. Was it, in fact, the issue? Is ABC reacting to Lambert because he is a man, or are they reacting to Lambert because he is a gay man? Once again, I’m not entirely sure that it matters. Making an ass of oneself is not something to be aspired to by folks of any gender or sexual orientation. Whether Lambert believes he is breaking ground for man or gay man, he loses ground because his cause is ridiculous.

As Americans, we all have the right to parade around like jackasses, but having that right and exercising it are two different things. Lambert wants equality in being able to do whatever his heterosexual female pop counterparts do on television, and he does, technically, have that right. But he shouldn’t have any interest in exercising that right, as it belittles him and whatever he claims to be fighting for. Which makes this another situation where I find myself not rooting for either side. ABC should feel free to allow Lambert to exercise his artistic freedom the same as any pop diva would, but Lambert should have no interest in looking like a skank on ABC. Neither side should be acting (or reacting) as they are, since whoever wins, society loses.

* No, that wasn’t the reason she outed herself. I wouldn’t even speculate why she chose to out herself at that time. But it did effectively ruin my chances of dating her, so it might as well have been the reason she did.

Kevin and the Peacock – Part Nine

If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can check out the photo album I posted featuring several pictures of NBC’s Burbank facility. But I took the pictures to show my students, and I don’t want to risk disrespecting those who allowed me to take them by blindly posting them on the web. Nevertheless, I did make another trip to visit the peacock. Though, one hopes a phoenix might be a more fitting bird for the place.

Once more, with feeling…

Despite my beer gut and extra chins, I consider myself in active person. I prefer movement to being sedentary. I prefer to participate in things rather than watch them. In other words, I am a horrible audience member.

Even if I wasn’t a horrible audience member, years of working on television shows has conditioned me not to clap or cheer loudly. Working on a production crew, you are not supposed to stand out on camera.

img_07281All this is my explanation of why I got yelled at by a moron at yesterday’s taping of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” I decided to go and say goodbye to the crew members I’d come to respect over the years. I still have my NBC ID, and the security is so inefficient my name is still in their database as having “walk on priveledges.” Nevertheless, I didn’t just want to stroll idly. I wanted to see the show.

I never got to attend a live taping of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.” In the 1980s, when other kids thought about sneaking out of the house to drink, have sex, and do drugs, I preoccupied a lot of my formative years sneaking to the one television set my family owned to watch Carson. In later years, my family had a VCR and I recorded a lot of episodes of “The Tonight Show,” but there was something special about tuning in at 11:30 p.m. and knowing millions of others were going to share and enjoy the same program at the same time. The next day at school, other kids would talk about WWF wrestling, Go-Bots, or the Laker game, but none of that interested me (well, OK, I did own a few Go-Bots). (more…)