Theodor Seuss Geisel holds an honored place in my pantheon of writer/illustrator gods who got into my heart in childhood, took up a place in my head, and never left. Thank goodness for Dr. Seuss! (My other deities are Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Charles Schultz).
Geisel had a special technique, a way of communicating with children about critical adult issues long before they had to wrangle those issues in the real world. As many of us know, he explained the follies of racism gently and masterfully to a generation of both children and adults in the powder keg dawn of the 1960s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sneetches_and_Other_Stories).
You know the story: Some have stars, some don’t, a social struggle ensues to define which is superior and worthy, and a capitalist extraordinaire rolls into town to make a profit off the – pointless – argument. He does; the sneetches are physically, morally, psychologically and financially spent; and in their mutual exhaustion and confusion, find they can’t remember who was better and why, and decide they really don’t care. They have a shared perspective on what they all have lost to their fight for status.
An earlier post, “An Unexpected Place,” examines the Adam Lambert phenomenon. Lambert became more interesting to me as an illumination of the ongoing -- and in my humble opinion, ridiculous – cultural obsession with each others’ sexuality. (See this truly fun piece in the Baltimore Sun, Ricky Nelson vs. Elvis, http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/bal-zontv-column-0517,0,2532025.column) The rumor is thousands of folks spend hours in the American Idol voting process trying to defeat Lambert because he is gay. The best part is he has made no such claim.
He’s got a lot of drama, he wears eyeliner, and he’s been seen kissing boys. Good for him. I hope he keeps it up and makes people’s heads explode, in true spent-sneetch fashion. I hope he makes all those crazed anti-voters so confused about who he is and what he’s doing that they forget to remember who they are and what they are doing and why, and decide the whole thing is a complete waste of time and energy.
"I'm quite happy to say
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars
And whether they had one, or not, upon thars."
Whether he’s the next American Idol or not, I don’t think I’ll forget him.