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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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adam lambert, youtube, and the perils of post-shopping posting
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Okay, so, day three of Adam Lambert is awesome, which--okay, the thing is, I have been reading AIRPS since like last year because well, that's what astolat was writing and seriously, and what was I supposed to do, exert myself for entertainment? This is why I have an flist! To bring the entertainment to me!

Speaking of, quick rec from American Idol 7 RPS, and I say this with complete honesty, if you like to read, that's really all you need to read this one.

Real Forever If by astolat, David Cook/David Archuleta. Okay, I want to give a concise explanation of why I love this, but it comes down to, I really, really liked the blend of reality with a single radical difference that's handled in stride, and this single radical difference is not only cool as shit, it's unbelievably hot and involves pseudo-collars. Just, and I do not say this lightly, read it, if for no other reason than to watch the seamless handling of worldbuilding through show, not tell. And because it is hot like burning.

Right, Adam.



I'm seriously into his performances, and I--don't like performances all that much. I like videos, but fandom vidders have spoiled me and I don't want a video anymore unless it has at least three layers of subtext and a dual plotline with an emotional arc. And performances are--okay, I guess? I like music. I like music best when a vidders already vidded it and reinterprets it--I mean, come on, Circus is not a deep song, but I wrote an almost-novella from the idea that Jim was trapped on an eternal stage until he didn't know life isn't always twenty-four hour performance art. And don't even get me started on Poker Face--I had that on repeat while writing pon farr and how Jim doesn't get love unless it hurts and Spock shocks himself realizing he likes it. I mean, this is why I watch vids. After that, MTV and VH1 are like popcorn. And performances are kind of another version of that.

So color me surprised that I got the same reaction out of, of all godforsaken things, the Early Show and David Letterman, where halfway through the night I'd assembled between the two and his performance at the AMAs this long-ass plotline about how he's stuck in the uncomfortable and sometimes shitty position of being a hugely popular, cross-appealing, ultrahot role model/example/guiding light/pioneer for young gay performers as well as straight and other variations on sexuality, gender, and gender roles, and there is nothing he has done, is doing, or will ever do that someone won't use as an example of immoral/unprogressive/homophobic/evil/too-conservative/ultra-liberal blah fucking blah. Every time he steps on a stage, in front of a microphone, in front of a camera, an interviewer, a fan, it going to be a political statement,and unless we radically speed up our learning curve, that's his for life. Even if he walked into it knowing this is what he'd be, even if he wanted it, that won't make it less difficult or less painful at times, no matter the perks. He's a superstar, a rockstar, and that may be what he wanted all his life, but he had to give up a lot to get it, and some of those things aren't what straight male performers at his level had to sacrifice.

Seriously. I ended up on youtube and google watching and reading and so pissed and not just about ABC being insane--Chris Brown, are you fucking with me? I'd let my son watch Adam nailing half the male Idols on national TV before I'd let him anywhere near that. And I told him that, and I told him why, and then I showed him why.

I've been thinking about his comparison with Madonna and Britney kissing on stage, and the other racy-esque acts that have been done by various performers that were a shitload more edgy in a sane world than making out with a male member of his band, and while I get the arguments that it's not a good comparison, considering the differing power dynamics and Adam's white maleness, it--weirdly, does work for me in another way. Women can and do make out on stage, in videos, turn on and turn up sexual tension with other women, because a straight male finds that hot and thinks it's for him. The voyeuristic gaze on most (not all, but most videos that sexually charge women with women are still read by a lot of men as women acting because they want men watching with the presumption its a prelude to fucking (him, that is. Maybe her, too, hopefully her, too, but definitely, definitely him). Even if they don't.

(There is also the weird feeling I sometimes get, personal anecdata time, that there's a complex combination of preference for a woman to be theoretically bisexual for reasons that are pretty obvious, as long as it's leashed to a woman preferring cock. But that's like, an entire universe of sexual and queer theory that I don't have the necessary reading to get into with anything more than to say, yeah, anecdatally, that was something I noticed in college and moreso when clubbing.)

The AMAs were I suppose a shock on that level; two men kissing and it doesn't have anything for the straight guy. Worse, it was a guy who didn't read as their idea of a gay cliche they could laugh off, or someone too old to be considered threatening. This is also hitting gender theory I can't on any level speak about with authority, but--Adam walked through the AMA performance carrying a cane with gold-painted nails, wore eyeliner and made out with a guy, and was never less than in perfect control of the stage, the audience, the world that watched him that night. And somewhere very small and terrible, they know, everyone knows, he could do it in a miniskirt and heels, carrying a purse, putting on lipstick, and they think, maybe, he could do it to them. Like the straight band member who kissed him, like Kris hugging him, like the women who love him, like the people who scream for him at every concert and every appearance, the answer stops being, I wouldn't go on my knees for him if he asked, but he may not need to ask.

So when I listen to Whataya Want From Me, I sometimes read it as a question being asked and the way I think so many of us are trying to answer it, and how we want to answer it.

*throws up hands* I don't know. There was turkey and Starbucks involved, and trying to get an HD version of the Letterman performance wihout the .8 seconds of glitch that threw the vocals off, and finally doing it myself in Premiere Elements (don't ask. It took all night, and I'm still recutting footage to make up for the .24 second lag between video and audio, but I got it synched by lip reading), and I don't think I'm entirely sane. I ended up with like, thirty minutes of footage from that and The Early Show in various states of quality and recut them together, and it was six in the morning and I got all teary and also, singing along.

I blame vidders. Goddamn interpretation.



Speaking of, Easy YouTube Video Downloader 1.8 is pretty much perfect for all your download needs. 2.0, however, had 720p and 1020p HD and the HD is, to my eye, fantastic. I think the audio may not be as great, but I couldn't tell last night since I didn't have my headphones and laptop speakers aren't ideal. It won't, however, put the extension on when you download to HD, and that was a fun and frantic ten minutes tracking down the correct extension for importing to premiere (avc, btw), though it will play in avi just fine. It also does FLV, 3GP, MP3, and MP4, all of which I think are identical in quality to the original--at least, I didn't notice a glaring difference and my computer screen is HD. Again, I can't verify how the sound is--laptop speakers--but I have no real complaints so far. The interface will appear on the youtube video page beneath the URL link and imbed links, and you can pick which you want. HD downloads a lot slower, but MP4 can be done in under three minutes.

Seriously, if someone know about this and didn't tell me? I am going to be so put out.


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Oh my god, yes. To everything you said. The stuff about gender and sex and violence and homophobia is just... so blatant. Grrrr.

This, this is just so very true:

Every time he steps on a stage, in front of a microphone, in front of a camera, an interviewer, a fan, it going to be a political statement,and unless we radically speed up our learning curve, that's his for life. Even if he walked into it knowing this is what he'd be, even if he wanted it, that won't make it less difficult or less painful at times, no matter the perks. He's a superstar, a rockstar, and that may be what he wanted all his life, but he had to give up a lot to get it, and some of those things aren't what straight male performers at his level had to sacrifice.

I think -- I *hope* -- that Adam is more equipped to deal with this type of pressure than almost anyone. Due to his personality, his experience, his family, his friends, his worldview. But still, the pressure, wow. I thought he was close to tears at the end of that performance, and seriously, who wouldn't be?

I just posted more fic recs, fwiw.

I adore you. RECS!

I don't understand why people fear that (or I do, but I think it's insane), but I mean, watching him perform, I'm a little in love with him too. It's not that he owns his sexuality--it's that it doesn't seem to occur to him that he shouldn't, that anyone would feel they couldn't. The AMA was performance sexuality, but that didn't make it any less than an expression of Adam taking for granted that he owns himself, and that faint sense that everyone watching should, too.

It's kind of startling to think about. I'm not sure anyone since Madonna slammed down so hard on that particular weirdness in human sexuality. I mean, others have, but not many did it so comfortable in the skin they owned and with no apology because they couldn't imagine there was anything to apologize for. Sure, it was shocking, the entire performance, but I'm not sure many of those protesting admit they were shocked because Adam wasn't just performing.

God, yes, this.

I was talking with my dad yesterday about why I'm such a big Adam Lambert fan, and I told him that yes, I love his voice and I LOVE FYE, but I also love everything that Adam causes people to think and talk about. I want to stab my eyes out at some of the things people write or say about him, but Adam is absolutely right when he says that there's a generational gap in the gay community - I'm 29, and it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be out about being bi. He's 27, and it's clear that it was never really a decision for him to be out vs. closeted - of course he was out, of course he's sexual, and he's not gonna apologize for being sexual and being gay at the same time.

There's a lot to be said about the male gaze, and broader points of feminist theory about overt displays of sexuality, blah blah blah, but the biggest thing is that he is insisting that being gay is a part of him, and he's not gonna ignore it or hide it to make people comfortable, but he's also not gonna tailor his gay to make 'the gay community' or anyone else happy. Is it idealistic? Yes. But it is also way more common in people under thirty. I've got a lot of gay friends, but that has more to do with the fact that I have a lot of artist friends and weirdos, and they tend to be gayer than the general population. I don't shun straight culture. I like it both.

Anyway. That was just me ranting at you, with practically no through line. But I like what you've said, and I agree that there's a lot of depth to Adam that's not there in a lot of artists. He's actually the first pop singer or band that I've really been a fangirl of in this way - it's a totally new experience. I feel like it's a new era for me.

*nods* I've never fangirled a band or performer really; I can like their music and everything and own a lot of it, but I've never been driven to seek anything and everything about them out, or in fact care much about them when they aren't playing, you know? So yeah.

There's a lot to be said about the male gaze, and broader points of feminist theory about overt displays of sexuality, blah blah blah, but the biggest thing is that he is insisting that being gay is a part of him, and he's not gonna ignore it or hide it to make people comfortable, but he's also not gonna tailor his gay to make 'the gay community' or anyone else happy. Is it idealistic? Yes. But it is also way more common in people under thirty. I've got a lot of gay friends, but that has more to do with the fact that I have a lot of artist friends and weirdos, and they tend to be gayer than the general population. I don't shun straight culture. I like it both.

*thoughtful* Change is generational because that's the average of the fast learners and basically, people who don't change dying. Someone has to be idealistic, even when it's not practical. I think it's easier to be idealistic than live the consequences of it, and stick to it. And you really have to want it, and somehow, I think he does. Though it's got to be exhausting.

And yeah, I think--I don't know the age cut-off?--but I think for a lot of people, it can be hard to realize that Adam's sexuality and his performance aren't considered as part of the norm yet. Child didn't even blink (he wanted that snake on the video so badly that I worry he may become a fan in hopes he can write fanmail and Adam will send it to him or something), but I raised him watching Torchwood and Queer as Folk and around fangirls and slashers, and this isn't something it ever occurred to me to censor from him.

I mean, we're all raising our kids to do better, but God, Child's complete lack of understanding of why kissing a guy was a big deal wasn't a surprise, but the realization that for a lot of people still it would be horrible that he doesn't even blink (though granted, he's twelve--he thinks anyone kissing is still gross. It's kind of hilarious).

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Thank you very much! I took a nap and woke up with that incipeint morning-after (at eight at night) feeling of knowing I'd written something but not sure if it was actually in sentences. *G*

*amazed*

You said all my exact thoughts on the case of Adam Lambert. You have got it all down so perfectly.

Personally, I'm getting sick of the straight males seemingly being the default audience for music awards, and certain genres of books and movies but that's a bit of different topic altogether.

Or is it?

I am exhausted with default-male-gaze on every goddamn thing. I am not like, a huge fan of Twilight or anything (though I did see both movies and read the books), but every time some commentator expresses shock that a girl movie is slaughtering all others in the box office? It kind of makes me love Stephanie Meyers.

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My thoughts are disjointed from too many sales. *glee*

Yes! To all of this. Also? I would love to hear and see the explanation you gave your son about why letting him watch Adam commit live sex acts is preferable to him watching Chris Brown ~exist, because I imagine that talk would be inspirational, and also very useful in the future.

Me too, please! I totally agree re: Chris Brown, of course, but I'd love to know what you said.

♥ in lieu of actual words because I am coding like a madwoman and have no brain left over O___O

I keep thinking you should start doing Yuletide from like, the Bahamas or something. On the beach. With foot-rubbing pool-boys.

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Ooh, my vidding skills are very, very subpar, so it's not very good and the quality isn't very high. It was just very, very calming to focus on after hours of google reading on the events this week. but thank you! If it does get into a form that's watchable, I'll post it.

I bought For Your Entertainment and I *love* it. I've got it on loop.

YES! THIS! I like backgrounding it so much, but it does become problematic when I'm in Pottery Barn for Kids pricing a princess bed for my niece and singing random snatches of "For Your Entertainment" and I think "Broken Open"? I sometimes memorize lyrics without knowing what song they belong to.

he's said that he did it all on a whim, that none of it was planned or thought of ahead of time.

if - IF - that is true, then he is the luckiest motherfucker on the face of the planet. or his management knows him way better than he thinks. because the perfect synchronicity, the SERENDIPITY of having those two songs be the first two singles, and adam getting to perform WWFM on CBS and letterman immediately after performing the FYE controversy... like, i just can't believe that's an accident. i CAN'T.

I--hope it wasn't? I mean, I say this from a fan pov and from a do-not-want-to-see-him-on-a-roof-with-a-bottle-a-shotgun-and-something-to-prove, you know?

That was kind of hilarious. I keep meaning to see what the ratings comparison was for the Early Show. I"ve never actually chased Child down before to rant at him. It usually happens like a sitcom and he shows up looking for a game while I'm fuming and I couldn't wait. *grins*

your thoughts=A+

my current fav interview w/ him (I feel like interviews are part of the ~narrative):
http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/11/25/adam-lambert-cbs-gay-kiss-elisabeth-hasselbeck/

*Loves you* Oooh link yes!

I think another thing about sexually charged scenes like Madonna and Britney kissing is that it was with the audience knowing full well that they are straight. That kiss wouldn't have been on any level about some sort of emotional or sexual component for the two people doing it, but simply all about the audience. Now with Adam's kiss...everyone knew he was gay, a lot of people probably assumed the guy he was kissing was at least bi, and that made it something icky and wrong because, hello, only playing at being gay is cool. *rolls eyes*

Guys don't want to see lesbians kissing--most lesbian porn is made for guys and ends up with the lesbians having sex with a male, because that's the male fantasy, that all lesbians are just straight chicks waiting for the right man to come along and show them the error of their ways.

The Chris Brown thing drives me insane. First of all, almost every single person talking about Adam's performance lumped his face-humping in the same category as the kiss, which is ridiculous, and now they're saying that he's not as good as Chris Brown? O.o That's perverted and wrong.

Well, to be fair, guys don't want to see unattractive lesbians kissing, so to speak, as attractive women aren't really Lesbians, just--yes, you said it. They're waiting for cock to show them the right way.

The Chris Brown thing drives me insane. First of all, almost every single person talking about Adam's performance lumped his face-humping in the same category as the kiss, which is ridiculous, and now they're saying that he's not as good as Chris Brown? O.o That's perverted and wrong.

You know, if they'd stuck to that, at least it has plausible deniability that it isn't based on homophobia. But seriously Chris Brown? What the hell ABC?

And don't even get me started on Poker Face--I had that on repeat while writing pon farr and how Jim doesn't get love unless it hurts and Spock shocks himself realizing he likes it.

Is this a hint about the upcoming 100K story that's out to your beta readers now? o.O

*G* It was in teh prequel. Though I wish they could pon farr yearly. *sighs happily*

You can add my agreements to the Adam Lambert thing too, but I'm really jumping here to say YES, OH YES to "real forever if" being a perfect example of worldbuilding through show, not tell. astolat is always amazing at that, but that particular fic is a shining example.

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