The Adam Lambert Problem: Is “Excuse me” a request or a command?

The title above is taken from what I think is the choicest quote from Peggy Noon’s WSJ opinion piece today, “The Adam Lambert Problem.”

I agree with her — and most of you likely would, too — that something deeper than the economy or health care is at the heart of what’s currently wrong with America.  However, I don’t know if I agree that the majority of Americans are truly aware of it or not.  I hope she’s right.

Her article is worth a read, though I should warn that she does describe in brief specifics some of the vulgarities present in Mr. Lambert’s recent television performance, though in doing so she is only quoting news sources that covered the perversion the next day.

As for Mr. Lambert’s complaint about the complaints, his “idiot’s logic that was nonetheless logic” (as she terms it) is worth pondering for those who seem to somehow feel as though the only problem with the perversion on display in his performance was that it wasn’t within the realm of publically acceptible perversion.

Her final comment (my emphasis): “But maybe as 2010 begins and the 00s recede, we should think more about the noneconomic issues that leave us uneasy, and that need our attention. Not everything in America comes down to money. Not everything ever did.”

Sister, you ain’t just whistling Dixie.  In fact, we have a television program and a free magazine devoted to that very idea.

For now, I will add to her commentary only this short comment:  “It doesn’t stay in New York.  It never does.”

3 thoughts on “The Adam Lambert Problem: Is “Excuse me” a request or a command?

  1. Norbert

    Anne Lambert asked a set of questions near the ending of her article that caught my attention, I found them thought provoking.

    “Are we coarser than, say, 50 years ago? …”

    Youtube can be an amazing tool at times, there’s an abundance of much older TV broadcasts, played in short snippets on that site. Compared to today it can be concluded that America is MUCH coarser. However if you wiki some of the prominent characters and rolemodel stars of that era, there were also some coarse things going on in their personal lives as well. And indeed if the history of the nation is searched, America or for that matter any nation. They also historically fall far short of the righteousness that is being asked by the word of God and through programs like “Tomorrow’s World”.

    She also asked, “Is there something called the American Character, and do you think it has, the past half-century, improved or degenerated?”

    It could be said it is both improved and degenerated because much of what is broadcast on the airwaves now, can be likened to “coming out of the closet”. That the people or at least a certain amount of the people have enough character to shed their many hypocrisies, which could be concidered an “improvement”, but in doing so have degenerated at the same time. Where now there is a shameful honesty of discarding the outter appearance of a previous and superficial public righteousness, having now been freed to dress up the dead mens bones in fine linen.

    So when I hear questions like the above, it makes me wonder about the scripture “Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.” (Ecc 7:10) To ask myself, what would a wise inquiry of ancient Israel show? They seemingly had a polictical leadership zealously centered on their interpretation of the commandments of God, yet even they had the heart of their nationhood torn down in 70 AD.

    I believe going back 50 years or to 1776 will not correct what’s wrong with America, the issue is much deeper than that!

  2. Great comments, Norbert. (Though it’s Peggy Noonan, not Anne Lambert. Adam Lambert was the fellow who put on the “show” on television that prompted the article.)

    Your point about hypocrisy is interesting, and you’re right — it’s a shame that while there is less “hiding,” so to speak, this change has been accompanied by a growing lack of shame (or shamefacedness) and a bold pride in one’s sins.

    And mentioning 1776 stirs to mind a topic that I have longed to write about, but I have held back as I just don’t feel ready to commit the time to do it justice. But I do think you are on to something, and I appreciate your comments.

  3. Norbert

    One reason I mentioned 1776, why it strikes my mind, is a word is mentioned within the preserved writings of that time period. A word that is rarely mentioned even among the popular religious community now. That word is “providence”.

    From what I have read of the documentation from that period, there are times when that word is used, it gives me the distinct impression that some of the Founding Fathers were very aware of the lesson king Nebuchadnezzar had to learn. “until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses”.

    Which compared to some of the other writings from that period, numerous other men still didn’t understand. And concidering how the national conscience hardly if ever uses that word today and when it does it may also lack any regard to that lesson. I imagine an entire booklet can be written about the question, “What do you mean by ‘national repentance’?” 🙂

    Because when the national conscience is raised in the public forum today, as it always has been debated in which direction the nation should go. Even among the politically active Christians, it can come across like this… ‘Is not this great America, that “we the people” have built for a royal dwelling among the nations by our mighty power of democracy and for the honor of our moral majesty and Christian heritage?’

    I believe Grace and favor towards any nation of people is something that is given and not something we can acquire of and by the people, not in 1776 and not in 2009. As it is written in Job 41:11 “Who has given me anything and made me pay it back? Everything belongs to me under all of heaven.” (CJB)

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