Official Political Website for Charlotte Laws - Member of the Greater Valley Glen Council

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Charlotte Laws
Member of the 
Greater Valley Glen Council

21781 Ventura Blvd., Suite 633
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Tel.  818.346.5280
Fax.  818.985.1690

drlaws@roadrunner.com

Photo of Charlotte Laws in March 2005

Adam Lambert and the Partisan Divide

 By Charlotte Laws


I am a greenhorn in the music world. If you gifted me an Ipod, Iíd probably mistake it for a remote control. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift are names I have heard, but faces I could not place. I canít operate a CD player and have always thought of concert-going as an activity other people do.

Until now. American Idol contestant Adam Lambert seems to have awakened my long lost music gene. It happened on a Tuesday in March when I coasted by the family room TV on my way to nab cashews from the kitchen. This male Elvira had cool, black nail polish, a Clark Gable confidence, an androgynous sex appeal and the ability to emote like Iíve never seen.    

Heck, this is a concert I could attend, I thought.    

With an alluring combination of pure talent, charisma, unpredictability and eccentricity, Lambert will no doubt go down in history as a superstar, not to mention American Idolís greatest success story.

Commentators call Lambert a polarizing figure: you love him or you hate him.  Could this stem largely from the partisan divide in America ?

Lambert is a blue state. He is Hollywood , glamour and bigger than life. Using struts, vocal acrobatics, and bizarre song renditions, he sticks it to ďthe manĒ and orthodoxy. He upsets society, chastising manners and mores, much the way Elvis Presley did on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. Lambert is a comic book hero for those with an anti-establishment bent, such as 70ís children like me who learned early on to distrust government and convention.

His competitor, Kris Allen, is a red state. He is good ole boy from Arkansas who attends church and married his longtime sweetheart. On stage, he is as placid as a lake, even against the raging waterfall, Lambert. Allen is humble, casual and could live in Pleasantville. Lambert would be the Picasso of Pleasantville, upsetting the status quo.

In many cases, Lambert clearly transcends the red-blue divide, as evidenced by the statistics presented on ďDial IdolĒ and other websites that estimate the percentage of votes each competitor receives by state. But I have to wonder if some of his angry detractors are those with a deep-seated dislike for all things liberal and idiosyncratic. 

The controversy surrounding Lambertís sexuality also plays into this theory. Bill OíReilly, for example, thought it newsworthy to ask his Fox News viewers if they thought the singer was gay. Successful same-sex marriage initiatives are sweeping this country, and opponents may see Lambert as a poster boy for alternate lifestyles and as a threat to conservative values.

Could an Adam Lambert victory represent a new level of acceptance for difference? Would a Kris Allen win reinforce communitarian values and the familiar? Some may see this seasonís contest as a battle of hope and change pitted against tradition and custom.

Win or lose, Lambert will be a music icon. And win or lose, I guess Iíd better figure out what those shapes on the CD player mean.

______

Published in Westside Today on May 17, 2009  
Published in Counterpunch on May 19, 2009  
Published in Opinion Editorials on May 19, 2009 
Published in California Chronicle on May 19, 2009 
Published in The Simon on May 19, 2009
Published in OpEd News on May 19, 2009