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Thread: Clay as "God" in the aftermath of AI2

  1. #21
    FORT Regular cindylu's Avatar
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    I post / lurk at a lot of AI boards, and I must say the Clay fans here are probably the most normal I've encountered.

  2. #22
    see below caliqueen16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grisabella
    A lot of people simply "fell in love" with Clay's voice and persona, and trying to explain why is kinda like trying to explain why people fall in love in the first place.


    Exactly. If you don't get it, then you just don't get it. Someone may like Clay but just don't see the love- just like one person may just be friends with somebody that another person may be absolutely in love with. It's there or it's not and it's an extremely hard thing to explain, IMHO.
    *Lacey

  3. #23
    FORT Fanatic ilean4clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nausicaa
    Yes, it's all well and good to quote him as saying how he wants to inspire people through his songs "to love, think, feel and act" [not exact quote], but he is only 24 and, so far, hasn't shown the sort of profundity, brilliance, and social conscience that exemplifies the best of heroes. I'm thinking people like Gandhi or, musically-speaking, John Lennon - people who either challenged society or set it aflame. Clay is a wonderful entertainer that sets hearts flutter, but let's not try to elevate him to the skies.

    Furthermore, Clay is not a musical genius, and isn't even the be all and end all of musical talent. Painful though it is for me to admit it, OBC frequently oversings, and seems - in many of his songs - to go for the glory notes for melodramatic effect, instead of subtlety for true poignancy. This is *just my opinion*, of course, but all I'm trying to say that excellence in music doesn't require a big voice and technical proficiency...

    Furthermore, it's not like Clay can play an instrument (like, say, Jimi Hendrix ) or write original songs (like Tori Amos, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen...the list goes on and on.) In fact, all of the songs he sings on his album are kind of ...corny (*dodges tomatoes*) So, while he was definitely one of a kind on AI2, what makes him so special in the real music world that he justifies *this* much commotion?

    I'm puzzled, truly.
    If anyone can enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.
    Ugh. I'm going to pretend you are serious and try to comment.

    Clay has been inspirational to his fans. They've been challenged to donate to causes they might not otherwise. At least one poster wrote that thinking of Clay caused him not to over-react in a situation as he might have otherwise done. Sorry but that *is* challenging people to be better than who they have been. Good for Clay.

    I say, "pff" to John Lennon. Dylan is being heavily scrutinized for "plagurizing" (cribbing because this is Dylan afterall) lyrics. This time his source is apparently a Japanese book. Apparently Dylan has often been "noticed" to have been "inspired" by this or that in his lyrics.

    So far as I know Clay does write songs. It's been said more than once (on Oprah, for example) by the women who convinced Clay to audition for AI. I've never seen this disproven.

    I've seen more than on post that Clay *does* play. I'm not sure I see how any of this matters.

    I enjoy his "oversinging". Certainly as a male act, he's a breath of fresh air in a musical scene that is more stale than month old bread found in the Egyptian desert.

    Who is Clay? He's a contestant from a TV show. Not a despot, not even a political candidate. He's not set himself up to be a Savior to humanity (for that he humbles himself by his unending wearing of his WWJD bracelet). I don't see what your issue is with how, in a world of phonies and full-grown tyrannical toddlers, excited people are by a genuinely decent *adult* human being who happens to have an upliftying singing voice and easy personality. We love the performances. He's seems to be a fun fellow. Do we all know the full, unabashed, alone in his private bedroom Clay? No! And we're glad for it as fans I'd say. Who isn't tired of the whining, laundry airing of celebrities?

    There's nothing wrong with him having a genuinely founded public persona (rather than a target demographically crafted one) and (hopefully) maintaining a healthy private self as well.

    On another level, Clay shows us that *omg* it's "ok" to be an adult rather than a total brat. And, whyever any would want to suggest otherwise, being a brat--being a "diva" has been transformed into a "good" thing--has been more en vogue in recent memory than being a responsible adult to the point where if you're not acting out, you're downright alien. Not only with celebrities but with high ranking officials as well and that's *really* offered a "good" (actually, negatively permissive) example to middle schoolers according to studies. I'm impressed that Clay cares about the public example he offers to kids around him in his day-to-day life.

    I just don't get the obsession with people who are bothered with fandom's affection for Clay. Even he has suggested this whole thing will "play out" in a year or two. We're not daft. We're all just enjoying the ride and the all too infrequent joy that we get from his performances. Let us have at least *that* in peace!
    Last edited by ilean4clay; 07-17-2003 at 04:21 AM.

  4. #24
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    Ilkean4Clay said:
    "I enjoy his "oversinging". Certainly as a male act, he's a breath of fresh air in a musical scene that is more stale than month old bread found in the Egyptian desert."
    Wish I'd've said that!

    wishinI was 24 said
    "There are many of us that understand he's human, not a saint, and need some more voice training , but we discuss it mainly in pm's so as not to disturb certain inmates."
    That, too.

    nausicaa said
    "...I realize that the reason why we like a certain person cannot always be justified. However, I think that there is a difference between "falling in love" w/ a significant other and "falling in love" with a celebrity. Fans are notorious for being fickle, and if Clay loses his elfin looks, his soaring voice, or his wholesome image (say, he gets into drugs like Leif Garrett once did), than what's going to stop a certain # of his fans - those who were attracted to his "persona" more than his actual singing - from dropping him like a hot potato?
    But, of course!
    I'd go so far as to say you can't really be "in love" with someone until you've really had the time to get to know them. Most of what we call "falling in love" is really infatuation. (Which in real life can develop into true love if folks give it time and energy.) But I wasn't kidding when I mentioned the hypothalamus. A lot of what we call "being in love" has to do with brain chemistry, and some sounds can trigger the same (just as, apparently, chocolate does -- much to Clay's chagrin, as he's allergic to it!)
    ...
    Now, I'm going to use a wack analogy to describe why I infatuation, taken to extremes, isn't good. ...Sure, you guys are in love w/ him now, but what happens when the novelty wears off? In the history of music, I'm guessing that there's only 10% of artists who had fan-mania work for them in the long run; the rest are flash-in-the-pans.
    Well, how the heck would I know?
    But in Clay's case, I don't think it's as much a matter of "novelty" wearing off as it is of his getting the training he needs to develop that superb instrument and getting the right material to showcase it effectively.

    I like Clay - don't get me wrong. That's why I'd rather have him go through an unremarkable beginnining as the tradeoff for a durable career.
    Me too!
    That's why I get perturbed by some "Claymates'" overzealous attempts to push TITN into the #1 spot, to vote for Clay's video on MTV before we've even SEEN it, and to "recommend" Clay's album before anyone has heard it!
    Clay's debuting at #1 was quite an achievement, and IMO largely a tribute to the dedication of his large fan base, since I don't think the song, the arrangement or the recording is worthy of his talent or style.
    But does it really matter how long he's in the top 40, as long as he keeps recording and doing concerts?
    (To put things in perspective, "Unchained Melody" has only ONCE been #1 in the charts, and that was an instrumental version in the early '50s. But Simon echoes the sentiments of many when he calls it "the greatest song of all time.")

    Barbaramarie said:
    "I am not infatuated with Clay, and know that many of my fellow "claymates" aren't either...sure we are having a good time talking about him like we're 16 again (half of the fun is coming to sites like this to share and talk) - my God a good chunk of us are over 40 married with kids and grandkids. It's not like I've been reading Tiger Beat and this is my flavor of the month...I don't think I've had a flavor for over 25 years...but for some reason I find myself here."
    Now, THERE'S a woman who "gets it!"

    ilean4Clay said:
    "There's nothing wrong with him having a genuinely founded public persona (rather than a target demographically crafted one) and (hopefully) maintaining a healthy private self as well.

    ...On another level, Clay shows us that *omg* it's "ok" to be an adult rather than a total brat. ...I'm impressed that Clay cares about the public example he offers to kids around him in his day-to-day life.

    I just don't get the obsession with people who are bothered with fandom's affection for Clay. Even he has suggested this whole thing will "play out" in a year or two. We're not daft. We're all just enjoying the ride and the all too infrequent joy that we get from his performances. ...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkieparrot
    Ah yes, but don't forget the picture of Clay/Julia.. Oh look its your avatar! lol
    I honestly prefer the Shakin' Aiken avatar, but so many have that one.....(sigh)
    Why is it that kamikaze gnats always aim for my drink?

  6. #26
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilean4clay
    Ugh. I'm going to pretend you are serious and try to comment.

    Clay has been inspirational to his fans. They've been challenged to donate to causes they might not otherwise. At least one poster wrote that thinking of Clay caused him not to over-react in a situation as he might have otherwise done. Sorry but that *is* challenging people to be better than who they have been. Good for Clay.

    I say, "pff" to John Lennon. Dylan is being heavily scrutinized for "plagurizing" (cribbing because this is Dylan afterall) lyrics. This time his source is apparently a Japanese book. Apparently Dylan has often been "noticed" to have been "inspired" by this or that in his lyrics.

    So far as I know Clay does write songs. It's been said more than once (on Oprah, for example) by the women who convinced Clay to audition for AI. I've never seen this disproven.

    I've seen more than on post that Clay *does* play. I'm not sure I see how any of this matters.

    I enjoy his "oversinging". Certainly as a male act, he's a breath of fresh air in a musical scene that is more stale than month old bread found in the Egyptian desert.

    Who is Clay? He's a contestant from a TV show. Not a despot, not even a political candidate. He's not set himself up to be a Savior to humanity (for that he humbles himself by his unending wearing of his WWJD bracelet). I don't see what your issue is with how, in a world of phonies and full-grown tyrannical toddlers, excited people are by a genuinely decent *adult* human being who happens to have an upliftying singing voice and easy personality. We love the performances. He's seems to be a fun fellow. Do we all know the full, unabashed, alone in his private bedroom Clay? No! And we're glad for it as fans I'd say. Who isn't tired of the whining, laundry airing of celebrities?

    There's nothing wrong with him having a genuinely founded public persona (rather than a target demographically crafted one) and (hopefully) maintaining a healthy private self as well.

    On another level, Clay shows us that *omg* it's "ok" to be an adult rather than a total brat. And, whyever any would want to suggest otherwise, being a brat--being a "diva" has been transformed into a "good" thing--has been more en vogue in recent memory than being a responsible adult to the point where if you're not acting out, you're downright alien. Not only with celebrities but with high ranking officials as well and that's *really* offered a "good" (actually, negatively permissive) example to middle schoolers according to studies. I'm impressed that Clay cares about the public example he offers to kids around him in his day-to-day life.

    I just don't get the obsession with people who are bothered with fandom's affection for Clay. Even he has suggested this whole thing will "play out" in a year or two. We're not daft. We're all just enjoying the ride and the all too infrequent joy that we get from his performances. Let us have at least *that* in peace!

    I think you spoke for a lot of Clay fans. I feel the same way you do. Me liking Clay has nothing to do with infatuation, it has to do with the fact that I love his voice.

  7. #27
    Ruben is "Soulful" pillbeam's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, Nausicaa, for this thread. I too have felt uncomfortable with the reaction by some Clayzies. In fact, I think that my natural inclination to like some of Clay's music has been squelched a bit by the overwhelming fixation of some of his fans at the FORT. I'm so turned off by the unreal expectations that it's hard for me to focus on the real Clay: A naturally talented, attractive HUMAN with charisma.

    I and other Ruben fans adore Ruben's music as much as Clay fans adore Clay's. And Ruben fans are very impressed with Ruben's warm, spiritual personality, keen knowledge of music and sexy dimples. But we do not worship him and are not particularly obsessed with him.

    Here's my theory about what is partly fueling the Clay "obsession": Simon. Cowell early on set up Clay as the underdog with his negative comments, and any viewer who liked Clay naturally felt very defensive and more adamant about supporting Clay. A lot of Clayzies now are still really anxious to "prove Simon wrong." I honestly think that if Simon had supported Clay from the beginning, today there would still be a lot of big fans of Clay, but they might not be as obsessive.

  8. #28
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Hmmm, interesting point re Simon.
    I think a similar thing happened in Pop Idol when he showed an instant and obvious dislike of Will Young.
    Will fans don't support him in the gushing "oh my God did you see his hair", but the fact that Simon didn't like him did increase his appeal with the voters during the show most definitely.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by pillbeam
    ...In fact, I think that my natural inclination to like some of Clay's music has been squelched a bit by the overwhelming fixation of some of his fans at the FORT. I'm so turned off by the unreal expectations that it's hard for me to focus on the real Clay: A naturally talented, attractive HUMAN with charisma...

    Here's my theory about what is partly fueling the Clay "obsession": Simon. Cowell early on set up Clay as the underdog with his negative comments, and any viewer who liked Clay naturally felt very defensive and more adamant about supporting Clay. A lot of Clayzies now are still really anxious to "prove Simon wrong." I honestly think that if Simon had supported Clay from the beginning, today there would still be a lot of big fans of Clay, but they might not be as obsessive.
    First off, you shouldn't let others' obsessiveness squelch your natural inclination to like anything, much less Clay's music. I sometimes find that reading the bickering between the two factions (and this is what it has become at times) irritates me with everyone, but it doesn't change my taste or inclinations. I just typically try not to participate or hang around while it's going on. All of us should stop the bickering. Clay and Ruben are not really going to even be competing in the real world. Their music styles are just too different for it to make a difference. And folks from both camps have been EQUALLY responsible for the bickering. I've watched it. It's been ugly folks.

    Secondly, I have no doubt that Clay's fans became more obsessive because of Simon's treatment. I'm not sure that it was so much about proving Simon wrong (I think that would have happened anyway, the fan base was already so big), but I do think it was about trying to show Clay how much he was loved. I only bought one single. I must admit that when the full-length comes out I will be buying at least two. I wouldn't buy my daughter her own single. I just couldn't justify spending the extra $ for 2 songs when she could borrow mine. I do realize that lots of people have purchased multiples. Many, no doubt, were making a statement of some sort or the other. Is this a bad thing? Probably not, as long as you can still pay the bills.

    Pillbeam, I totally agree that Simon initially pushed many Clay fans from being normal fanatics to being totally obsessed, but I'm not sure that totally explains the current phenomenon. I do think that his voice is what grabbed us initially but his charisma makes the total package just "harder to put down".

    If the obsessiveness starts getting on my nerves I just don't visit the boards and I'm a Clay fan. I would think it would be much easier for those who aren't.

  10. #30
    On My Way Here Grisabella's Avatar
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    Pillbeam, I'm sure the underdog thing helped Clay, especially right after the finale. (Clay and Ruben both may have sold more single CDs because of the "continued battle" to see who was "the real Idol.")
    But I don't think it explains the effect Clay's voice has on a lot of people or the fact that so many females find Clay sexy, ador(k)able, gorgeous, etc.
    I pretty much "fell" for Clay when he did DLTSGDOM--a night when ALL the judges, including Simon RAVED about Clay's performance and his look ("fly," "memorable," etc.) But if that and Motown night (when Lamont Dozier said Clay owned the stage like he was "already a star") didn't do it, Clay really "had me at Somewhere Out There" -- the night Gladys Knight cooed about Clay's "magical" look and Simon said that performance made Clay "the one they've got to beat."
    In other words, I was totally smitten before Simon and the media began to show their pro-Ruben and/or anti-Clay bias. I'll bet the majority of "Claymates" would say the same.

    Clay's "underdog" status (Simon's intermittent put-downs and the media slanting toward Ruben) DID have a lot to do with Clay fans VOTING fast and furious as they could for 2 hours every Tuesday (especially in the last few weeks). The pro-Ruben media blitz, I think, made fans of ANY of the other contestants feel like they had to bend over backwards to get THEIR "idol" the recognition they deserved. (That probably helps explain why Carmen lasted as long as she did.)

    But the only sense in which the "underdog" thing enhances the zeal of Clay's fan base is that he's a dork, kid next door, ordinary guy who seems much more vulnerable, more accessible than the standard "Hollywood hottie." He's more Jimmy Stewart than Mel Gibson. More like the young, scrawny Frank Sinatra than an oh-so-buff Bruce Springsteen or the kind of pop/rock star who has groupies for snacks. (Ruben's got a lot of that same kind of charm, too. But I think most women are more attracted physically/sexually to guys built like Clay than to guys built like Ruben.)

    ------
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