I used to think that fans are crazy. That anyone claiming that (s)he is someone’s number one fan is not really in their right mind. Well, that Stephen King novel might have something to do with that – a woman kidnapping a writer and telling him over and over again that she is his number one fan while making him write a book she wants him to.
I somehow managed to get through my teenage years without even really falling for a rock star or any other celebrity. I could never understand people screaming at concerts or throwing things to the stage – teddy bears or panties. And why on earth would you want to meet a celebrity??? Of course I had me walls filled with band pictures and I had my favorite of the band members of Kajagoogoo or other one-hit wonders. But I never really had a crush on them. They played music I wanted to hear and that’s it. No need for anything more.
And so the years passed and the year 2003 arrived. It started out as any year, and it was not until May that I learned that I had been wrong. So, so wrong. I was no teenager anymore (like you didn’t know that already from the Kajagoogoo thing), I had this wonderful miracle toddler, a nice job and my life was going rather well at that time. Then I was reading the mails in one yahoo group I used to belong to where the other participants were from USA. Many of them were actively following the happenings in American Idol 2, which was not showing on this side of the Atlantic. Some of the women were teasing one of the members on following one of the contestants very closely. She replied with posting a link to claytonaiken.com (not functional right now) saying that his performance of To Love Somebody was really something.
So I was curious. This was a woman I had met in a usenet group a few years earlier, and she always seemed close to me because her mother is Finnish. What would make her so attracted to a singer performing in a TV show? So I clicked. The picture on the front page did not make me convinced. That boy did not look like anything special. The next page was not much better. But I remembered that she had said that I can see the performances on That Voice. Not that I believed that someone who looks like that could really sing that well. OK, so now I should right click/ save as the file. But what’s the point, as I’m not going to watch it more than once anyway? Right? So I put my headphones on and chose the low bandwith version of the file and gave it a left click.
I saw him walking down the side of the stage. And he began to sing. I started feeling cold and wondered who opened the window to make me have chills like this. But I could not help but to stare at the poor quality video. When it ended I did look up just to see that no windows were open. Then I wanted to see that clip again. Now I downloaded it, a somewhat larger file but still not something too great.
And someone opened that damn window again. Why do they keep opening it when I’m watching this video clip? And then I downloaded another clip. And another. And yet another. Then I wanted to know what the judges said and downloaded some of those, too, only to find out why Simon is so hated. And then I just downloaded all the rest of it.
By now I had figured out that nobody had been playing with that window. But this was my first ever physical reaction to hearing someone sing, so how was I supposed to know? My first thought really was not that the music gave me those chills. It took me a while to realize that I only felt them while watching the videos. That Clay was causing me this, not an open window.
And then a week later I got kicked out of my job. It was a Thursday; I remember that because my only concern that morning was to find out if Clay was still in the game. I really did not see that coming. I still worked for a few weeks after that, but most of the time was spent on looking around the internet on any Clay related information I could find. The one that got me infected did not realize she had done that so I was on my own.
I ended up in places I’d rather not talk about. They were about the equivalent to places in IF world that are filled with baby dust and blind optimism. Places were you could not say “eyefuck”, you had to say “come hither look”. Everything was so nice and clean and polished. I did not really feel at home there, but the information over there was still information. And I was so thirsty for that I would put up with it to get what I wanted.
Later I found a place more suited for me: http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com . There was a Clay thread with my kind of people. Lots of humor. Lots of grown ups, all acting twelve. The People’s Republic of Clay. And when kicked out of TWoP, I found my home at the Clackhouse. And I’ve never been to a place where I would have laughed more. I’ve snorted coke through my nostrils more times than I care to count. I tried to find just one funny post to link to, but there are too many. And you usually have to know quite a lot of things about Clay fandom before you understand why it is so funny.
Bored yet? Maybe I’ll just continue in a later post. If anyone still cares to read, that is.