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File this one away under “What the …?!”

The Style section of The New York Times informs us of a strange happening in an increasingly strange land during very strange times:

Teenage Boy Miffed By Kiss ….. ………. From KATY PERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No. At the outset I will say I do not think he’s a homosexual. Could be though I rather buy his “conservative family” line. I think that can mean puritanical. Not sure. Not sure about any of this…

With apologies to the Times, Carlos Slim, and Katherine Rosman (who writes a mean piece), I have to fair use the whole thing, here, now, for it’s massive value, and to easily insert my thoughts and reactions (BOLD):

When Benjamin Glaze, at the time a 19-year-old cashier from Enid, Okla., auditioned for “American Idol,” he had hoped his big moment would come as he belted out “Stadium,” a song he wrote himself. That or Nick Jonas’s 2015 single “Levels.”

Instead, it came when the popstar Katy Perry, a judge on the show, surprised him by kissing him smack on the lips, moments before his audition. He had never been kissed before.

“I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” Mr. Glaze said by phone this week, after the incident aired on the season premiere. His first kiss was a rite of passage he had been putting off with consideration. “I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he said. “I wanted it to be special.”

How much more special can you get than kissing KATY PERRY!? At her insistence!!

And, honestly, how long is he planning on waiting for that first relationship? 19 … going on 40?

“Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no,” he said. “I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special.”

Again – it’s KATY PERRY! Had she asked me for a kiss last October, and then preemptively put the moves on me, I’d like to think I’d still be slobbering on her right now.

The scene with the kiss was part of the two-night season opener for the new “American Idol,” which is now airing on ABC after a 15-year run on Fox. It is being judged by a new panel of celebrities — Ms. Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan — and is hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who hosted the program on Fox, and is a creative consultant for the show as well.

In the segments that featured Mr. Glaze, he was shown waiting around in anticipation for his audition with other hopefuls.

After he entered the studio, guitar slung over his shoulder and looking a bit star struck, he said he enjoyed his work as a cashier because it let him meet “cute girls.”

Okay. Good thinking, kid!

“Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” asked Mr. Bryan, making a coy reference to Ms. Perry’s first hit single, “I Kissed A Girl.” Mr. Glaze said that he had not. “I have never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.”

The lovely California Gurl immediately proved him wrong about that one.

At that, Ms. Perry stood up. “Come here,” she said to Mr. Glaze. “Come here right now.”

She told me to come but I was already there. (Brian Johnson’s voice).

Ms. Perry motioned for him to come over to the judges’ table and stuck her face toward him. “One on the cheek?” he said and she smiled. He quickly touched his face to her cheek. She asked for another kiss, complaining that he hadn’t even made the “smush sound.” As he moved toward her cheek again, Ms. Perry swung her face toward him and kissed him quickly on the lips. “Katy!” he yelled, as he stumbled backward. “You didn’t!” Ms. Perry raised her arms in victory.

I’d also like to think I’d later have her yelling my name… Victory!

Mr. Glaze then asked for a drink of water, delivered a lackluster audition and was kindly rejected by the judges.

Is it possible Perry blew his groove? Harshed his mellow? Whatever the kids say?

Even though it aired earlier this week, the audition itself took place last October and this has given Mr. Glaze, who is now 20, some time to consider the event with perspective.

20 and can say he kissed, hell, made out with, KATY PERRY!

The kiss did result in his getting more screen time, which has helped draw attention to his music. “So in that way,” he said, “I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out.”

Yeah. In that way…

When he returned home, Mr. Glaze worked through his feelings about the kiss by talking to his friends. “They agreed with me that it didn’t really count,” he said. “It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about. That’s what a real first kiss is.”

Alright. I’ll go out on a limb and speculate the friends may be closeted.

He said he does not feel he was sexually harassed and is grateful to Ms. Perry for tweeting about him.

Ahem. I’d like to think! I’d say I didn’t feel Twitter harassed and am grateful for the kissing… I come from a different time and place; forgive me…

The show’s producers embraced the footage, using it in televised promos and on social media. On the American Idol website, Mr. Glaze’s performance is posted under the headline, “Benjamin Glaze’s First Kiss and Audition.” The show’s Twitter feed also posted a photograph of Mr. Glaze and wrote, “This journey has just begun, Benjamin. A kiss for good luck from @katyperry and you’re on your way.”

The first kiss of an aw-shucks teenager from Oklahoma, delivered by a superstar singer, might have made for a sweet pop-culture moment in a previous era. But as the nation re-examines sexual conduct and power dynamics in workplaces and in the media, the kiss didn’t land well with all viewers. “It was a forced sexual act,” one viewer posted in reply to American Idol’s tweet: “Imagine if this was from a male judge. Has @katyperry not taken anything from the #metoo movement?” In the same thread, another viewer wondered if Mr. Glaze’s religious convictions had been disrespected. And many other viewers mirrored the sentiment of one fan, who wrote, “Lucky son of a gun.”

Okay, in the interests of fighting plagiarism I left off the last sentence. Read Rosman’s work. Hell, subscribe to the Times. And I hope the mass quotation (for educational purposes as much as to highlight excellent journalism) indention carried over. Problems with the interface I’ve noticed… Anyway, more thoughts:

I kind of miss that previous era. What was it called again? Oh yeah. The Age of Sanity! An age when a kiss wasn’t a “forced sexual act.” It was just a kiss. Unless, of course, it was from KATY PERRY!!! Then, it would be considered legendary. Pop/Rock lyrics all over the place tonight:

It was long ago and it was far away and it was so much better than it is today.

Now, for the young and/or stupid: what you call a “hashtag,” this thing, #, was first known as the “pound sign.” So … #metoo? No, Katy, I’d pound you first. Erudite? No. But honest, if vulgar. It’s KATY PERRY!!! we’re talking about!

I get where the kid, the young man, rather, is coming from. It’s almost nice to see a reminder of naive innocence in these darkened times. I don’t follow his or his family’s thinking on the relationship / “real” first kiss association but I respect it. The friends’ perspective, not so much.

I’ve seen entire websites, with more traffic than this one, that pontificate about boys or men like this. They use words like “Gamma,” “Soy,” and “MGTOW.” Not me. But I get it. I think. I think I can almost wrap my (warped) mind around this incident.

Some of you know that I myself have a conservative side. Whichever side that is, it is not concerned with stopping a kiss from KATY PERRY!!! I’ll admit to being as jealous as flabbergasted.

So, in conclusion:

Young fellow: Learn from this experience. Reach for the stars.

Katy: Shame on you, you love bipolar, hot and cold, dirty gurl.

Busybodies: Get a life.

NY Times: Please don’t sue me. I really think I have a DMCA fair use thingy…


L-R: Awkward Yokel approaches with guitar; some guy with a chain starts to puke??; Katy …. mmmm Katy – that hair may not do it but, Lordy, the rest of her; hick in green shirt yucks it up. ABC/NYT.