Okay, first one of those “pop culture FAIL” moments: I’ve never, until last night, watched American Idol. No interest. But, last night, as FOX has, in its wisdom, decided that TV schedules are made to be messed with, I caught the last few minutes, while waiting for Fringe (yes, geek here: wacky science, a daft scientist, poorly acted romantic interest, and, bonus, a cow in the lab. See, what’s not to love there?) to start.
And, I saw this gentleman singing Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild.” –>
The fellow’s name is apparently Adam Lambert, but when I glanced at the TV screen, I yelled, to G’s unutterable surprise and momentary discontent (he’s accustomed to the outbursts, but I usually reign myself in before 9pm, because, well, I’m usually nearing unconsciousness by then due to that whole 5am wake-up routine):
“Holy Fuck, it’s Darby Crash!”
When the hell was Darby reincarnated and why wasn’t I informed? Worse, why is he on American Idol? This is clearly irrational.
I recognize that Lambert, like oh so many others, is adopting a look that is intended to convey rebelliousness; this particular manifestation of the leather look has been synonymous with such for decades. Sid and company did it with the Pistols; Duff and company…yep, them too (heck, Loaded is still doing it).
What, exactly, in American Idol screams rebellion? The fact that the whole freaking show was apparently centered around film songs? Was it merely costuming to go along with the song’s theme?
Image versus reality–Crash lived inside that sphere, manipulating it as he saw fit until it either (pick your poison here) spun out of his control or he acted on the most significant manipulation of his short life in commanding his own death (even if his timing was a bit, in the end, poor, what witch Lennon dying a few hours later). I’m vaguely troubled by the idea that Lambert deliberately mocks (as in makes a copy of, not ridicules) Crash here, but I’m even more disturbed by the very real possibility that he doesn’t have any clue whatsoever.
Didn’t anyone else look at him and shriek obscenities about Crash? Or was this a me thing?
G. votes that it was clearly a me thing, as the odds seem to be stacked against a horde of Germs fans watching American Idol, a suggestion I am inclined to support, as I clearly had no business doing so either. Is punk appropriated and controlled in this show on a regular basis or did I happen to run across one rather bizarre instance? Yeah, yeah, I know that the guy in My Chemical Romance* is equally likely to be the source of Lambert’s inspiration, but I didn’t yell anything about Gerard Way (yes, I did have to google that, *sigh*); I saw Darby writ small across my minuscule TV screen.
And why am I troubled by the vague, nagging sensation that Crash might have used this kind of pomp and preening to his own end, should he have lived in this era?
*WTF #347152372156396: The title of the book in that link is terrifying…*shudder*