Sunday 10 March 2013

Outlaws of love: Adam Lambert, teachers and sex in the stairwell

Pop quiz, hot shot:

What exactly are “outlaws of love”?

Could they be people who love Candy Crush Saga so much that they risk alienating their Facebook friends by spamming them with constant requests for “lives” and “boarding passes”? Unfriend!

Or could “outlaws of love” be people who love the 10-cent Ikea meatballs so much and bought so many on Friday that by afternoon, Ikea stopped takeaway sales?

Maybe someone was buying the meatballs to fill the sinkhole in Clementi Road.

I’m asking because Outlaws Of Love is the title of one of two songs by singer Adam Lambert highlighted by the Media Development Authority (MDA) in its “arts classification database”.

Before Lambert’s performance at The Star Theatre on Friday night, MDA posted on its website:
“The concert has been given an advisory rating for those 16 and above with the consumer advice, ‘some mature content’ as it will feature two songs from Adam Lambert’s audio album, Trespassing – Outlaws Of Love and Shady whose lyrics are based on the singer’s personal experiences and lifestyle.”

Following this rationale, this column should also be given an advisory rating for those 16 and above because it’s based on my “personal experiences and lifestyle”.

And if you’ve read my past columns about my misadventures in Thailand, you would agree.

But wouldn’t that mean that all art should also be given an advisory rating since isn’t just about any piece of creative work is based on its creator’s “personal experiences and lifestyle”?

No, it seems MDA’s beef (not horse meat) is only with the specific “personal experiences and lifestyle” of Lambert.

MDA had received feedback from people “expressing concern” about the concert and the National Council of Churches of Singapore also received a complaint that “the gay lifestyle may be promoted at the concert, and that the concert venue is owned by a church”.

The Star Theatre is located at The Star Performing Arts Centre, owned by Rock Productions, which is part of New Creation Church.

In response, Lambert said: “My show doesn’t promote any lifestyle except the lifestyle of love, acceptance, positivity, joy, connection. And that includes everybody, that’s my message.”

Of course, “everybody” doesn’t include “great actors PRETENDING to be singers” in the movie Les Miserables. Take that, Russell Crowe!

So could the Outlaws Of Love in Lambert’s song be about gay people since the singer is openly gay, and because of Section 377a, homosexuality is technically illegal in Singapore?

Nah, too obvious.

I know! Maybe “outlaws of love” refer to the married 30something female teachers who have been jailed for having sex with underage male students in 2009 and last year.

Last week, another married 30something female teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse with an underage boy.

They reportedly had sex at a park shelter and HDB staircases.

Putting aside the whole underage sex thing – let’s say it was between two consenting heterosexual adults – isn’t it illegal anyway to have sex in public areas like a park shelter and HDB staircase landings?

So they’re “outlaws of love” in more ways than one.

And putting aside the legality of it, isn’t it also rather uncomfortable and even painful to have sex on the hard surfaces of the park shelter and HDB staircase landings? It can’t be good for your back and knees.

So they’re not only “outlaws of love”, they’re also risking physical injury.

I’m assuming, of course, they didn’t bring along any form of cushioning.

Hey, any port in a storm, right?

Last month, a guy pleaded guilty to having sex twice with a different underage girl each time at two different HDB staircase landings. Another “outlaw of love”?

It should be noted that most of these HDB staircase incidents reportedly happened on the landings between the staircases and not – as one might mistakenly imagine – on the staircases themselves.

While the sloping nature of a staircase may provide certain ergonomic advantages, from my own experiments, I have found that the sharp right angles of the individual steps cancel out the benefits.

But my biggest beef (not horse meat) with people having sex in HDB stairwells is that I live in an HDB block and I use the stairs quite often.

While a couple may fear getting caught having sex in the stairwell (though that may be part of the thrill), it would be far more traumatising for me to chance upon you having sex in the stairwell (especially if I don’t have a camera phone with me).

So I have a small request for these particular “outlaws”:

If you must have sex in the stairwell, please make some noise – not loud enough that you’d get caught, but loud enough to warn approaching passers-by so that I can at least rush home and get a camera.

Judge me if you want, but as Lambert sang: “They say we’ll rot in hell, but I don’t think we will. They’ve branded us enough – outlaws of love.”

Actually, I prefer Led Zeppelin. My favourite song? Stairway To Heaven, of course.

- Published in The New Paper, 10 March 2013

UPDATE: I got angry e-mails from Lambert fans