ldyjocelyn

Clay Chat for summer 2007!

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I say until he gets a CD hit that will get bigger buzz than AI...it will always be a part of his story. Look at Kelly...you would think that after Breakaway, she would really be able to stand on her own...but she still had to be so involved in AI this year.

That Kelly was still involved with AI this year just proves to me that Clay will never be able to shed the label. I think it will be on his tombstone. I'll have to work on that wording, though. *g*

That also means it influences how the public - the not just us types - see him and what kind of music they expect him to sing. While that may infuriate some who think Clay is destined to be Rock!Star!Clay!, I have a feeling its not too far from the real Clay!

Incredibly good point. And I think his connection with AI will also influence a lot of his future marketing. (ACK!!! I said the "m" word!!!)

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And yes sometimes the judges get on my nerves with some of their comments but really, do they single out Clay? And Clay gives back as good as he gets. Another case of Clay is a grown ass man and can handle the littel disses. But they have all also said some wonderful things about Clay. It's not one sided.

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I think Clay will always have idol mentions...as where he became famous. I have no problem with that. His story is the runner up who did better than the winner. He has friends from idol, and talks about it being a group that went through the same experience...which is cool.

Beyond that, I consider idol rather irrelevant to his life and career. He may appear there again. I'll watch.

I got here late and wanted to answer the Q about fans and gnats in a way I don't think anyone has responded. I think some fan behavior is more about the internet than about Clay Aiken. I've never been in an online fandom before, but from reading about others it's become clear to me that "we" have followed a familiar pattern. There are some fans who like to fight and there are some fans who don't. Some like the online drama to the point of making up stories, posting as more than one person, making online personal attacks and dramatic board arguments and board "suicides" and whatnot. That's about the anonymity of the internet and participating in a community in essentially a solitary (typing on a computer) activity. IMO, YMMV.

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I really don't think Clay has a problem with Idol, I remember him mentioning in his book or an interview, that he and Kim Locke said they would do it again in a heartbeat.

Also, he seems pretty fond of using that 5230 number. I think he knows where he got his big opportunity, but it doesn't mean he has to love everything about the show or everyone who is connected to it.

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3 more minutes....

I think, many of these topics boil down to some fans thinking that Clay needs protection -- big bad AI, the pesky gnats. I'll say it along with couchie -- Clay is a man, and he'll be fine, no matter what is said or done to him.

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OK, I'm calling it.

Question 4:

4) How has your fandom evolved in the past 3 years?

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Thanks, Nelle - my previous internet experience was with just watching shows and moving on (big brother, survivor, flavor of love charm school (heh) - my interactive use was basically business or political.

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I got here late and wanted to answer the Q about fans and gnats in a way I don't think anyone has responded. I think some fan behavior is more about the internet than about Clay Aiken. I've never been in an online fandom before, but from reading about others it's become clear to me that "we" have followed a familiar pattern. There are some fans who like to fight and there are some fans who don't. Some like the online drama to the point of making up stories, posting as more than one person, making online personal attacks and dramatic board arguments and board "suicides" and whatnot. That's about the anonymity of the internet and participating in a community in essentially a solitary (typing on a computer) activity. IMO, YMMV.

Mine doesn't vary. Totally agree. This medium allows for much more involvement that's for sure. Everything is much more intense. If you had to sit there and type of a letter and drop it in the mail..how many would do it. Now you can click and post before you even have time to think about it.

ETA does and doesn't are two very different things heee

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Hey y'all!

Clay and AI? Forever, unless he stars in a "Godfather" or "Gone With The Wind" or "Star Wars" equivalent. Clay represents AI more than Kelly simply because with Kelly, it was a little breakout summer hit. With Clay, everybody watched. It's like Jennifer Aniston and "Friends". Hell, I never watched Friends but I know she was one of them. And a lot of it is because he came in second - frankly if he had won, I really see his career on a different trajectory.

Eeep! We're on four!

Hmmmm. You mean changed from "Always and Forever"?

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I think Clay will always have idol mentions...as where he became famous. I have no problem with that. His story is the runner up who did better than the winner. He has friends from idol, and talks about it being a group that went through the same experience...which is cool.

Beyond that, I consider idol rather irrelevant to his life and career. He may appear there again. I'll watch.

I got here late and wanted to answer the Q about fans and gnats in a way I don't think anyone has responded. I think some fan behavior is more about the internet than about Clay Aiken. I've never been in an online fandom before, but from reading about others it's become clear to me that "we" have followed a familiar pattern. There are some fans who like to fight and there are some fans who don't. Some like the online drama to the point of making up stories, posting as more than one person, making online personal attacks and dramatic board arguments and board "suicides" and whatnot. That's about the anonymity of the internet and participating in a community in essentially a solitary (typing on a computer) activity. IMO, YMMV.

great point. Really before the internet it was really unlikely that such a varied array of people from so many location and environment can form a community and engage in such discussions. That is why we see all kinds of people. I really think the reactions we are having occurs in all kinds of internet community.

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Hey y'all!

Clay and AI? Forever, unless he stars in a "Godfather" or "Gone With The Wind" or "Star Wars" equivalent. Clay represents AI more than Kelly simply because with Kelly, it was a little breakout summer hit. With Clay, everybody watched. It's like Jennifer Aniston and "Friends". Hell, I never watched Friends but I know she was one of them. And a lot of it is because he came in second - frankly if he had won, I really see his career on a different trajectory.

I agree with this KAndre, as disappointing as Clay's second place finish was, I often wonder if he had won would the fans have felt such a need to "support" Clay, if they hadn't felt he got shafted.

I think, even with all of the flack Clay has gotten over the years, most media outlets still mention AI 2 as the best finale yet.

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Great point about the internet, Nelle....

My fandom, and how it's involved? Well, shoot -- I'm an admin at a Clay board. Never thought that would happen. *g* Seriously, I think my fandom has settled down to an acceptably intense level. There's a clear boundary between me and Clay -- I don't mess in his business, he don't mess in mine. I just buy stuff with him on it, and talk about him a lot with my friends.

I think the biggest change for me though is from this past year -- from considering one board the only place I would EVER post into a place where, while I still liked many of the people there, the attitude just dragged me down and I had to pretty much give it up. Bummed me out for a few weeks. As I said, I still like many, many people in the fandom -- but I just needed to step away for a while and find something that was less stressful. And isn't fandom supposed to be fun instead of stressful?

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I'm not sure my fandom has evolved. Still love clack, still read the boards (although different boards), still go to concerts, still listen to his CDs. All of those, lots! I'd love to say I'm more enlightened or less intense, but probably not.

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My fandom....

I have to differentiate two things...my fandom with regards to my feelings about Clay...hasn;t changed much except now...after 2006, my expectations have been tempered. But I still love Clay ...maybe even more because I feel as if I know him more and I learned more about him to love.

with regards to the internet community...I think my fandom changed a lot. In the beginning i was more idealistic and feeling the love and harmony for everyone. Now...lots of issues have happened..and I have accepted that there will always be factions...as they said birds of a feather...so I have accepted that and do not stress too much about what other people think...cos I find they have become predictable anyway.

I think without FCA I probably have drifted away from all the angst...but now, I have found my niche.

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Yeah, I remember a "letter" that was posted at the CH telling people how to deal with the fan's fandom - and one line in it said "you know how I said after AI was over, everything would go back to normal? Well, I'm pretty sure this is the new "normal". Deal with it." That's me. And I'm cool with it. I've changed some of my favorite places to hang out but this is still my crazy, intense fandom. I don't think I was ever over the top - but then again, I think that the double digit number of concerts I'm attending this summer is normal.

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Well I was there on the beginning at TWoP week after week as Clay performed on the show. Actually I was fans of more than just Clay as the show went on. But the sheer amount of information/posts/pictures/articles/news about Clay after Idol ended fed my enormous appetite for the man. I spent a lot of hours roaming from place to place making sure not to miss a single thing. I got involved doing websites. And once I went to see him in concert I became a concert junkie.

Over the years I haven't lost one ounce of enthusiasm for Clay. I'm as big a fan as ever. I have made many friends because of him - yes most are casual. But some are more than that like Ansa who I haven't even met.

All these years later he still makes me smile and laugh and his voice still gives me chills. I still want to go to as many shows as possible.

What has changed? I don't feel the need to read every single word written by Clay. Yep I still get the google alerts but I can mostly tell what they have to say by what they hightlight. I simply don't have the desire or inclination to read what every body under the sun feels about Clay. I am no longer chained to my computer from 6-midnight. I had pretty much given up all tv in 2003 and 2004 keeping up with Clay. I think 24 was the only show that would make me actually get up off the computer and go sit down in the living room and watch.

I spend less time on Clay but still a lot of time..it's just not doing fan board stuff. I feel comfortable with the silences. I love to read FCA and see the great discussion but if a day goes by with 10 posts I don't have a heart attack. Clay is living his life we should be too.

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I probably enjoy the online fandom less (FCA excepted). I used to laugh a lot more and have a lot more fun--at least I think that's not just selective memory.

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My fandom....

I have to differentiate two things...my fandom with regards to my feelings about Clay...hasn;t changed much except now...after 2006, my expectations have been tempered. But I still love Clay ...maybe even more because I feel as if I know him more and I learned more about him to love.

with regards to the internet community...I think my fandom changed a lot. In the beginning i was more idealistic and feeling the love and harmony for everyone. Now...lots of issues have happened..and I have accepted that there will always be factions...as they said birds of a feather...so I have accepted that and do not stress too much about what other people think...cos I find they have become predictable anyway.

I think without FCA I probably have drifted away from all the angst...but now, I have found my niche.

I think I can respond with a big "yeah that"

I know I spend less time on the internet than I once did, but that will probably change when the tour starts. I still feel the same about Clay.

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OK, I'm calling it.

Question 4:

4) How has your fandom evolved in the past 3 years?

For me, I have gained perspective. In the beginning it was all Clay all the time. I collected every magazine that mentioned him. I bought all the tour merchandise. I spent waaaay too much time on the boards (ok, some things never change!). I never missed a TV appearance live - no matter what.

Now I am much more selective about what I buy and where I hang out online. It doesn't both me if Clay doesn't blog for a month. I prefer the pace now than in 2003/2004 because it lets me breathe and emjoy other things besides Clay.

I think its a lot like a real relationship (although its been so long, who knows if I am remembering right!). In the beginning it can be all consuming. You can't get enoug of each other. The little things don't bother you. But eventually things calm down. They have to. And then the true test begins. Can you love him in spite of your differences? In spite of his faults? Even when he gets on your nerves? Or through bad hair?

I never subscribed to the loving him uncondionally. That is reserved for real people in my book. Clay is not a real person in my life. He is a fantasy. I can see him. I can hear him. Sometimes I can even touch him. But I will never know him. I can't say I can love someone unconditionally when I don't even know them! And I don't love him like I love a real person. I love him like a fan. I care about him and hope he's happy, but in reality he is a stranger to me.

And I think that is what I know now that I lost sight of in the beginning. If Clay disappeared from the scene tomorrow I would be sad to know I would never hear him sing again, but to be honest, what I would miss most are things like this - sharing a community. I have made friends through this fandom I believe are my friends for life - with or without Clay. But this kind of community, this kind of interaction is what I would miss most.

Clay is a great guy, a great person, a great singer and is hot as shit - at least that is how I see him. But who is Clay really? Got me! And I will never know. And that's ok.

Clay is a hobby. He is not my life. In the beginning I wasn't so sure. NOw I am and I enjoy the fandom more because of it.

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I learned to not react/over react to things other fans did online. I take things with a grain of salt.

I don't post as often nor do I write treatises. I don't feel as if I'm trying to convince anyone of anything. I have groups of online friends with whom I interact off the public boards.

I don't fret for/about Clay. I remember watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon, and weeping, because I was sooooo concerned about Clay singing when he was worn out from the ai tour. I feel more appropriately distant from those sorts of feelings now. He can still make me weep when he sings, though, and I worried about him during his vertigo shows, but it's just a different intensity.

I stil d/l most things. I still have loads of photos and videos and online articles stored. I enjoy watching everything he does, and I still love to hear and see him sing and talk.

I'm willing to spend the money to travel to see him without hardly thinking about it....I remember when that was such a novelty for the IT!

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All these years later he still makes me smile and laugh and his voice still gives me chills. I still want to go to as many shows as possible.

Yes, that is me too -- although I know realisitically, no more than 2 or 3 a tour is for me, just from the financial standpoint.

What has changed? I don't feel the need to read every single word written by Clay. Yep I still get the google alerts but I can mostly tell what they have to say by what they hightlight. I simply don't have the desire or inclination to read what every body under the sun feels about Clay. I am no longer chained to my computer from 6-midnight. I had pretty much given up all tv in 2003 and 2004 keeping up with Clay. I think 24 was the only show that would make me actually get up off the computer and go sit down in the living room and watch.

I spend less time on Clay but still a lot of time..it's just not doing fan board stuff. I feel comfortable with the silences. I love to read FCA and see the great discussion but if a day goes by with 10 posts I don't have a heart attack. Clay is living his life we should be too.

Yes, that's it! I'd also add to that if I don't find out about something Clay did until, say, the next morning, I'm not totally upset. I don't have to know everything IMMEDIATELY. My "short attention span theater" has been tempered. I can deal with not knowing stuff right away. If nothing else, there's usually clack.

CG, loved your entire post. And yes, I've likened my "relationship" with Clay like a marriage -- IMO we're now in the "after the honeymoon" stage, and things just aren't as passionate. Again, I feel like some people are thinking that things should be hot and heavy forever. Sorry, it just doesn't happen that way!

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I think I have become more critical of my fellow fans.

At first it was all fun and wonderful, until Hockeygate, where i took a several month break from the fandom. That came after I returned to a job I hated from being on short term disability caused by working at the job I hated - I could not take the grief.

Since then I started to see how some fans held Clay to a higher standard than anyone else anywhere. Asthe idol years go on, you could see that Constantine could be an ass and that would be OK, but Clay says something innocent and it would be read in the worst way,I think a lot of that is settled down now.

Then when some mods went a little green ink crazy over the covers (I got edited because I said I didn't care, I was still happy to get a CD from Clay!?! - apparently you had to keep posting that you hated covers or you were edited - I startedback door PMing some people instead of posting at boards and mostly posted at the CH because at least I didn't have that editing problem there), I had to switch around a lot where I was posting in the last year just to keep my sanity -

Unfortunately, I spent way too much time on the internet since I no longer worked - that led to volunteering I am still weaning myself from the fandom (to a reasonable amount) and expect that should be effected when elections get nearer in the fall.

As for Clay - still like the guy - and mostly I admire him for all the reasons that piss others off -Music is not his life, it is a part of his life - he does other things -perhaps he could be more successful if he concetrated on music, but then he would not be Clay.

Edited by playbiller

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I think without FCA I probably have drifted away from all the angst...but now, I have found my niche.

ITA! I was on the verge of giving up the internet fandom before I came here (thanks, muski!). I was so tired of the angst and the conspiracies and the crap. It just wasn't fun anymore.

I don't think I was ever over the top - but then again, I think that the double digit number of concerts I'm attending this summer is normal.

It isn't???

I probably enjoy the online fandom less (FCA excepted). I used to laugh a lot more and have a lot more fun--at least I think that's not just selective memory.

I don't think it is selective memory. It did use to be more fun. Maybe it was the innocence that comes in the beginning of any relationship. You know, sometimes I think the fans need to know all ended up shooting them in the foot. There is something to be said for ignorance being bliss in a fandom!

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I got here late and wanted to answer the Q about fans and gnats in a way I don't think anyone has responded. I think some fan behavior is more about the internet than about Clay Aiken. I've never been in an online fandom before, but from reading about others it's become clear to me that "we" have followed a familiar pattern. There are some fans who like to fight and there are some fans who don't. Some like the online drama to the point of making up stories, posting as more than one person, making online personal attacks and dramatic board arguments and board "suicides" and whatnot. That's about the anonymity of the internet and participating in a community in essentially a solitary (typing on a computer) activity. IMO, YMMV.

I totally agree. Everyone came in to the fandom through a different chute. People who fought in the Ru/Clay fights are STILL fighting, etc. People who came in to vote and be on the street teams are still in competitive mode, and so on. People are here for Clay, or here for fun, or here to troll around, or here to be part of Clay's world.

And sooo..... because this leads into how MY fandom has changed... I started out totally naive to any of this. Came in after AI, just cuz I was looking for more Clayyyy. I found TTC of all places and was fascinated by the whole Internet fandom thing. Never saw anything like it before. Don't watch much TV -- but, I'd been an Internet junkie for years and never saw anything like this... All I wanted was more info and I thought, what a bunch of nice people. I think I'll just hang around and have nice innocent fun with this and my mom. We surfed together (3000 miles apart) and giggled at the fun everyone was having. Then I joined a board.

I hardly slept for two years! I was obsessed with the boards and being a fan/playing fandom WAY more than I was obsessed with actual Clay. It was all new and wonderful at first, just like any new relationship/experience. Weeee. It never occurred to me that there was such a thing as trolls or anyone that wasn't full-on face value. It never occured to me that some people have zero integrity. I took a lot for granted. I learned a few lessons. :) We probably all did.

As for Clay, at first I was smitten like a teen in love, loved his fresh-scrubbed cute boyness and awesome voice, graduated into :DoClay: , moved on to having the time of my life with new friends, got over :DoClay:. I used to LOVE everything he did... I loved to hear him breathe. I got over that too, quite awhile ago. I still adore him and love seeing him, but I don't always like the music, and I don't always like the appearances, I don't always like his voice, even. When I do though, it's still SEX! I have real perspective and I think that's good for both of us. :lol:

I don't collect all the trinkets anymore (but I do have every electronic piece of clack that exists!)... but I still want front row and I still want more pictures and I still LOVE being a fan, especially with the diversity that exists... as much as I bitch about it... I love it. It's a real peek into a slice of humanity. Love it.

:allgood:

Aww, thanks for being part of my day and my life, ya'll! :F_05BL17blowkiss:

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OK, I'm calling it.

Question 4:

4) How has your fandom evolved in the past 3 years?

For me, I have gained perspective. In the beginning it was all Clay all the time. I collected every magazine that mentioned him. I bought all the tour merchandise. I spent waaaay too much time on the boards (ok, some things never change!). I never missed a TV appearance live - no matter what.

Great post CG...I feel much the same...although for me..I love the community but think I love Clay more. I was in one other fandom that has ended...and most of that community also disappeared. I count 3 people left that I still stay in contact with. This one is bigger, I've met more people and I'd have more life long friends after but I think for the most part it would go down the drain like the other. I go to concerts to hear Clay sing and the community is a side portion - a wonderful tasty portion but not the reason I buy the ticket.

But YES YES YES to perspective. Clay is not my relative or my friend or my boyfriend. I used to hurt at every slight so I guess in some ways it is less intense. And yes I have a lot of stuff with just a picture or a paragraph about clay - in multiples. Those days are over. LONG over. heee.

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