Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Romeo San Vicente
Deep Inside Hollywood
Adam Lambert’s Make-Out-Gate
When a conservative stalwart like Peggy Noonan (former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and George Bush) declares a pop star part of the decline of American civilization, then you know that pop star is doing something right. And that’s what recently happened with “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert. The most successful of all gay former “Idols,” Lambert kicked up a storm with little to no effort by simply coming out, overseeing crazily gay cover art for his debut CD and then fake-shocking everyone at ABC with his American Music Awards performance in which he did nothing that a thousand other pop stars haven’t already done. Except he did it all with other guys. Someone had to go there first, so it’s more than a little brave of Lambert to cannonball it like he has. And anyway, maybe Noonan was just talking about that song he sang for “2012.”
‘Glee’ sings out loud
“New Moon” made sex objects out of its male stars like it invented the idea of lusting after beautiful young men. “Precious” presented lesbian teachers as warm, caring surrogate moms to a child in desperate need. “A Single Man” explored the silence and secrecy surrounding gay spousal grief in the early 1960s with deep sensitivity and deeper style. But for sheer gayness and unadulterated joyful pleasure, nothing touched “Glee.” Arguably the biggest TV phenomenon of the most recent fall season, the all-singing, all-dancing show took the “High School Musical” template and turned it on its head, adding sass, sarcasm and swagger to the formerly uncool scenario of showtunes-obsessed teens in show choirs. All it took was an evergreen Journey song and one boy brave enough to perform “Single Ladies” in a leotard. Take that, jocks.
Meredith Baxter speaks out
The culture at large is obsessed with youth. Everyone knows this. But one of the problems with that is the perpetual myth that to be gay is to be always 22 years old. So when one of America’s beloved TV moms came out, it felt like a touch of revolution. Witness Meredith Baxter, Alex P. Keaton’s “Family Ties” mother, warm maternal presence in countless TV shows and TV movies, actual mother to her own kids off screen, and an actor who’d already been living openly as a lesbian before ever opening her mouth about it. But when she decided to say the words late in 2009, she re-entered the public consciousness in a way that spoke volumes about the dignity inherent in gracefully allowing life to lead you to a new kind of love, no matter what form it takes and no matter the stage of life. Next step: her memoir, due in bookstores sometime in 2010, a capitalist move of which Alex would approve.
Carrie Prejean tries to sour gays on beauty pageants
All she had to do was fib just a little. It’s worked for countless church-leaning disco divas over the years. A simple “I love my gay fans” is sufficient to sidestep thorny, career-endangering political or religious beliefs. But Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean, goaded into a response by judge Perez Hilton, quickly became not only a poster child for the religious right, but a too-easily-mocked figure of English usage sticklers (“Opposite marriage?” Huh?) and logic-loving citizens nationwide. Worse, for a second there, she threatened the symbiotic nature of beauty queens and gay male pageant viewers. Who would spoil the fun like that? And then keep on spoiling it with more and more scolding and uptight talk show appearances? And then create a whole new delightful category of schadenfreude with multiple sex tapes? No one but Carrie P., the gift that kept on giving. Here’s to more wackiness in 2010.
Lady Gaga takes over everything
Back in the day, cult performers like Grace Jones, drag-monster Leigh Bowery and actor/singer Divine ruled dance clubs with a weird sort of majesty. They were imperious, mysterious and sometimes just plain raunchy. But after Madonna, the goal became superstardom, not eccentricity. Enter Lady Gaga, a pop star who absorbed those influences and created a marketable – wildly marketable in fact – synthesis of mainstream hit song-sense and extreme personal style for a new generation. From outfits made of Muppets to greeting Queen Elizabeth II in crazy red makeup to shrouding herself entirely and freaking out Eminem at the VMAs before accepting an award on behalf of “God and the gays,” Lady Gaga took the wide open space that was 2009 and inserted herself into its interesting-female-pop-star-shaped void. She was everywhere, almost maddeningly ubiquitous. And while her latest million-selling single is called “Bad Romance,” the gay love affair with this nervy diva is just beginning.