Do you know who’s a problem? Peggy Noonan. The Wall Street Journal columnist, who’s somehow employed by Harvard University, and regrets America acknowledging that we torture people, claimed her last paycheck with the headline, “The Adam Lambert Problem.” Ever the family values woman, who would rather sweep up America’s ugliness than let the world — and, uh, America — see our flaws, Noonan is now tying together America’s belief that we’re heading down the wrong track with Lambert’s American Music Awards scandal. Though she doesn’t “mean to make too much of it.” Still with us? And ready for a terrible logic exercise?
“Sure, Americans are worried about long-term debt and endless deficits,” she writes. “We’re worried about taxes and the burden we’re bequeathing to our children, and their children. But we are concerned about other things, too, and there are often signs in various polls that those things may dwarf economic concerns. Americans are worried about the core and character of the American nation, and about our culture. It is one thing to grouse that dreadful people who don’t care about us control our economy, but another, and in a way more personal, thing to say that people who don’t care about us control our culture. In 2009 this was perhaps most vividly expressed in the Adam Lambert Problem.”
Deep end? We’ve arrived.
Somehow those two wars in the Middle East, our health care debacle, and the brink of financial ruin can all be summed up with a little same-sex kissing and fake blowjobbing from a reality TV singer. So take one for the team, won’t you, Lambert?
In the great scheme of things a creepy musical act doesn’t matter much. But increasingly people feel at the mercy of the Adam Lamberts, who of course view themselves, when criticized, as victims of prudery and closed-mindedness. America is not prudish or closed-minded, it is exhausted. It cannot be exaggerated, how much Americans feel besieged by the culture of their own country, and to what lengths they have to go to protect their children from it.
It’s things like this, every bit as much as taxes and spending, that leave people feeling jarred and dismayed, and worried about the future of their country.
Truly, 2009 was a bad year for public behavior.
Adam? You’re right up there with the party-crashing Sahalis and, uh, Bernie Madoff.