Saturday, October 07, 2006

Revisiting The Clay Fans the Media Conveniently Forgets

In honor of the absurdity that is the Bernie Alexander article on AskMen.com entitled 5 Things You Didn't Know About Clay Nation - I thought I would buy Bernie a clue. I can afford it . . . I'm a professional woman - with a good paycheck. So Bernie - if you are going to write an article about the Clay Nation - I've got a few things you might want to include. First and foremost, I'd suggest that you don't use gossip sites that have no basis in reality as your resources. How about actually talking to a Clay Aiken fan for information about Clay Aiken fans? Gosh what a concept. Oh, and Bernie - how hard did you have to look to find a picture of Clay that was less than appealing? I've got a better one for your next article.


So - for you Bernie - I'm revisiting an archived blog from May - all about Real Clay Aiken fans and who we are. If you get to the end of this article, Bernie, I'll be happy to go over the list of 5 Things You Got Wrong About The Clay Nation.

Where did the idea that the majority of Clay Aiken fans are conservative Christians, homophobic, miserable, lonely old women come from? Who created this fantasy that fans of Clay only listened to Barry Manilow (or Liberace) and stopped listening to music until American Idol came on the television? How did this nonsense that Clay fans think he’s the next Pat Boone or Perry Como become the mantra of the media? Is it lazy journalism? One reviewer or reporter writes up his misconception and other writers decide that person must be correct? Do these “journalists” actually speak to fans? Do they filter out anything that doesn’t meet that misconception? Could it possibly be something else that contributes? American Idol created a competition and, although the competition is over and many of the contestants have moved on to successful careers – some fans seem to think it’s important to keep the game going. Why do so many people who dislike Clay Aiken bother analyzing his music, his life, and his motives? Why do people actively work against Clay Aiken by pretending to be Clay fans or ex-Clay fans – spreading the extraordinarily inaccurate vision of Clay Aiken fans to anyone who will listen? It’s a mystery why this misconception is repeated over and over. But for any writer who is actually interested in something more accurate . . . a story that isn’t a rehash of the same old-same old . . . you might want to take a look at some real fans of Clay Aiken.

Amazing – but true . . .what I've found is that the Clay fandom is much more diverse than many others. Is the audience predominately women? Yes. Just as it was at the beginning of the career of many popular artists from Elvis, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles. What’s extraordinary is the range of ages. I see youngsters, teenagers and young adults at all his concerts. Unfortunately, the insistence of the media that his fan base is a bunch of old ladies - makes it difficult for young girls and especially young men to admit they are fans. Is a large segment of his audience middle-aged? Without a doubt. About the same age as the audience I saw when I attended Eric Clapton’s concert at Madison Square Garden just last year.

What many of these reviewers and writers miss is who these middle-age women were 30 years ago. Contrary to popular media opinion . . . we didn't grow up from a fungus behind the Wal-Mart counter. Many of us were part of the Woodstock generation. Some of us wore flowers in our hair and danced in the mud that glorious summer of 1969. We were part of the sexual revolution in this country. We marched for civil rights, women's rights, gay rights. We worked for equality in the workplace. We organized marches and protests and sit-ins at campuses across the country. And throughout our generation, some of the best music was born. Why do journalists think we suddenly developed lousy taste? Are they so limited in their own knowledge of music that they cannot recognize where we came from? Our generation had the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Our soul music was Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. Who would have heard of Pink Floyd if it wasn't for us? Or Cream or Blind Faith. Or Led Zeppelin or Fleetwood Mac or the Eagles or Jimi Hendrix. And we didn’t need to listen to only one kind of music to “be cool”. We could mix it up - go from Bob Dylan to Jefferson Airplane to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to the Doors to the Butterfield Blues Band to Donovan to Bruce Springsteen. To dismiss people of our age is to deny the musical and social foundation of our generation.

Were we all hippies and punks and rebels? Of course not. But you’d be surprised how many of us were. What I've found in this fandom is people are drawn to Clay Aiken for all kinds of reasons. And while there are certainly a large number of Christian fans – to leap to an assumption that this means ultra-conservative and homophobic is a leap that is completely unjustified. Extremes exist in every group - but the overriding quality I've found in this fandom is tolerance and generosity. There are many many fans of different religions - or atheist or agnostic - who simply love the voice. There are people who are inspired by his charity and desire to serve . . . but are first and foremost fans of the entertainer. The women (and men) I've met in this fandom are a wonderful representation of the population. . . people whose lives were never empty. They are mothers, daughters, grandparents, fathers and sons, teachers, doctors, secretaries, lawyers, executives, librarians, salespeople, scientists. They didn't turn to Clay to fill an emotional void in their lives - they turned to Clay because he filled a musical need . . . a way to reconnect with a time when music was exciting - when singers had interesting voices, when concerts had energy.

My husband, in his youth, played in a rock and roll band. After he discovered Clay Aiken, he pulled his guitar out and started playing again. When I asked him why he's a fan of Clay's - he said "because Clay makes me feel hopeful". Now -- that's the kind of story I'd like to see the media write.

In honor of age - This blog's quote is: No wise man ever wished to be younger. Jonathan Swift

Oh, and Bernie - here's a brief rundown on your 5 items and the truth behind them.

1. The Clay Nation DID NOT sue anyone. Some anonymous people decided that they wanted to get some press by posting a hoax about Claymates suing the record label. A press release went out days before an anonymous letter was sent to the FTC. Using only first names and no addresses - the FTC was unable to look into the matter - even if they ever thought it had any merit. The fact that no contact information was given is proof enough that no one expected anything to be done. Considering the thousands of Clay fans on the internet - the fact that 9 first names were used to write this bogus complaint should hardly be worth a sentence - much less #1 on The Bernie Alexander List. The fact that a press release was written and sent to the media only shows that a majority of the media is completely unable to participate in rational thinking -- something that shouldn't really be surprising given the amount of nonsense the "media" spews.

2. Clay Nation Made Rush Limbaugh Apologize. Well, probably a few nuts who happen to be Clay Aiken fans contacted Rush Limbaugh. I wouldn't exactly call them Clay Nation -- any more than I consider you and your ridiculous article representative of real men. Surely within a fan base - there are always a few nuts. Here's an example of some at a sporting event - not sure if they are readers of AskMen. What do you think?

3. Clay Nation demanded a bridge be named after Clay - sorry Bernie is this supposed to be something scandalous? There was some joking around with Clay and the Governor and some fans decided to put up a petition. Am I supposed to be horrified at this? Sorry - I'm much more horrified at the price of gas.

4. Clay Nation bombarded his alleged lover with threats. Well at least you used the word "alleged" - but here's a question for you Bernie? Did you ask the police about Mr. Paulus's claims of harrassment? His incessent whining about losing his job because of the big bad Claymates? Or did it just fit your article better to write this crap without seeing if any of it held any merit. Oh and the apology? Did you buy that one as well? Bernie, Bernie, Bernie . . . you're really not a very discerning man are you?

5. Clay Nation planned independent release parties. Oh My God! Did they really do that? Oh My God! That's nuts. That's crazy. That's insane. Thousands of fans from the US, Canada and Asia actually got together to eat, drink and mingle and buy a Clay Aiken CD! I've never heard of anything so scandalous. Really. Those fans should be taken out and shot for doing such an insane thing. Do the fans of Bradley Walker know this? They had a CD Release party for his first CD. Of course, Walker's CD was produced by a Grammy winner, Carl Jackson. Maybe that's why it's not so damn silly as Clay Nation having a party. Jackie Ryan - well she's a jazz vocalist so maybe that's why her CD release party wasn't so silly. Greg Smith too. But I guess in the musical world of jazz - people aren't so condescending about what fans choose to do to celebrate artists they like. Bernie if this is the extent of what you can find to make fun of the Clay Nation - you really had better get moving. I'm just not impressed with your rehashing the same old junk. Next time, try to find something interesting to write about - like maybe Clay Aiken.

Addition: Just found a really great website who's mission is meet the unserved need for innovative, topical, relevant and entertaining programming of particular interest to women - Greenstone Media.

Gloria Steinem was recently interviewed in a phone conference by 10 women bloggers - they talked about the state of broadcasting, women and the conversation missing from the radio. Check it out at Greenstone Radio


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68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog! I wonder why men can not see how foolish they look? Thank God for rational male Clay fans! They give me hope for the rest of their gender.

Anonymous said...

Terrific analysis of fact and fiction. Can't convince those with preconceived ideas even though you are telling the truth about clay and his fan base!!

Anonymous said...

excellent blog !!!

Anonymous said...

Any chance Askmen.com has an editor to whom you could send this? Love it. Great job - from one of those old rebel ladies!

Pam

Anonymous said...

Brava! Brava! I think Bernie is beyond 'buying him a clue' -- but I'd pitch in to send him an a week's vacation to a deserted island with some of his loyal supporters and the purveyors of less-than-accurate info.

Anonymous said...

I don't fit the standard profile of what the media thinks it means to be a fan of Clay's. My hair isn't blue yet nor do I have a walker or cane. I am female but an agnostic. It does seem odd that so many in the media appear to despise older folks. Gee I thought their money was as good as other people's money. The real kicker is how poorly these so-called journalists write and their complete lack of fact checking. It must not matter because the only thing that apparently does count is more hits and greater revenue from ads.

Anonymous said...

Bravo

Personally, it appears if you gift wrapped a clue & gave it to him, he still wouldn't get it.

lizzybutts said...

excellent!!! I am copying this and making copies for my male children(adults)to read when they come home for Thanksgiving this weekend...well done!

Anonymous said...

That is an outstanding piece of writing. Your reply really needs to be seen.

yeahthat said...

I hope you send this to that idiot masquerading as a journalist.

Anonymous said...

one of the most intelligent media rebuttal's i've read to date. thanks for sticking up for this democratic, female, CEO, clay fan, who is married to a liberal-minded jewish heavy-metal enthusiast and too young to have experienced woodstock, but old enough to be open minded about not sterotyping anyone. ;-)

Anonymous said...

STANDING OVATION!!!

***me clapping***

Very Good!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this .... thanks for saying what I've been thinking for so long.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for speaking up for this lifelong Liberal Democrat. Gee just to think back in the 70's when I was part of the Flower Power Generation, listening to Pink Floyd's, Dark Side Of The Moon, that someday I would be a Liberace Fan. That when I marched in Anti-Vietnam Rallies and worked on George McGovern's Campaign, that someday I would be a Homophobic Religious Conservative.

But mostly, I wonder WHY you have to stop enjoying music after you hit 30?

The Concerts of Clay that I have attended have had old, young, male, and female attending. Why is Clay the only Artist that is insulted for having some older fans? Have you ever seen the age demographics for a Rolling Stone Concert? Or Bruce Springsteen, Josh Grobin....and on and on and on....

Anonymous said...

Please send this to Bernie! Or would you take donations to buy a full page of USA Today or the NY Times, etc.? People need to get a clue!

Anonymous said...

You speak the truth! I hope you find some way to get this to Bernie, although it probably would not change his mind. Thank you for writing this!

Anonymous said...

HOoray for you! Professional woman here. Middle age yes but I am a dynamic creative person. Active and on the go. I know what I like and go for it. Married 29 years to a wonderful man. Raised 3 grown boys. Love all kinds of music. But Clay is my fave ever. He is a great person, so much fun and can sing so beautifully and is so passionate, is an amazing performer. I support not only his career but his vision to help children and have done some fundraising activities and given personally as well to his foundation and Unicef. I am active, definitely not lonely. And Oh by the way am a Christian and love all people as Jesus does. Am not a prude or a miserable meanie, LOL. Oh yea also I prefer blonde over blue, hair that is thank you. Age is a state of mind. I would say that I may be much more open-minded and young at heart than some of the critics. I love music and buy all kinds: punk especially emo, loved alternative, always have loved Pop music, jazz, Folk, dance mix kind of like disco....and Contemporary Christian. What artists do I like besides Clay of today: Kelly C, Mayer, Pink, Lavigne, Aguilera, Mercy Me, Faith Hill, Twain, S.C.Chapman, Buble, Mraz, 5 for Fighting, Jimmie Eat World, Green Day, Moby, the Coors, etc and Oh yea a lot of Oldies...but I did not like the Who, Heavy Metal or Alice Cooper and I was not a Woodstockie though I did like Baez and Mitchell and some of Dylan. I liked the Carpenters, the Beatles, Some Elvis,the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, Donny yes Donny, Moody Blues, Steve Miller, Elton John, Carole King, john Denver, the Monkees LOL, Eric CLapton, ELO, Boston, Queen, Barry Manilow, Harry Connick, GLoria Estefan, etc many more. LOL I promised my son I'd go to a mosh pit concert hard core punk with him and he said he'd come see Clay with me LOL.I have to get in some better shape which I am working on. But I am gonna do it!
But you know, so what if Clay gives us the love and fills us with happiness and joy when he sings. He has a way of becoming the song when he sings, he is not just singing. He touches our hearts with the beautiful song. Yes like the song says, he is killing us softly with his song. What a way to go. Yep I chose to spend my 50th birthday at a Clay concert in Charlotte.LOL If that is odd to anyone so be it. But is that not what music is for, to express and share feelings and ideas. to lift us up and make us feel think and move?
By the way I have Clay fan friends of all ages including teens. Though I have friends in real life I talk alot to wonderful women of all ages in the fandom. I think it's cool that we of all ages can talk with each other the generation gap forgotten. From 8-80. We all have a great time.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you. A wonderful blog that needs to be sent to Bernie whatshisname, pronto!!!

Pink Armchair said...

This was FANTASTIC. I wish somehow that asshat Mr. Alexander would read it. So much more accurate and better written than his lazy "journalism." Great stuff!

Shadylil said...

I am forever your minion!

*bows down*

teresa said...

Excellent!

stargazer said...

Thank you for this concise and thoughtful blog. If writers of articles, interviews and reviews would actually do a little research and stop rubber stamping someone else's blather then we might get more fact than fiction. It's all for sensationalism and it's just too bad.

I've reached the point where I scroll reviews and articles to see if it's the same old rewind. If it is, I move on. Hopefully, at some point, a writer will actually use fact checkers and present a thoughtful and truthful article... hopefully.

celebhith said...

Brilliant! And so very eloquent! God bless you for being able to say, like a sane, grown-up person, what most of us cannot seem to find the words to say to the people who easily trash both Clay and his fans. Our frustration knows no bounds when other, less worthy celebrities, are held up as great examples of celebrity, or as you say, when men do their ridiculous football thing. Once again, thank you soooo much for speaking for most of us (I dare not say "all" just in case), and you certainly speak for me! I think you should send this to every newspaper that's ever published something negative about Clay and his fans!

celebhith.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

My beef continues to be that conservative christian = homophobic. I AM a conservative Christian, and I NOT HOMOPHOBIC. I am 30-something, and have never listened to Perry Como in my entire life. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and listened to ALOT of different kinds of music. I still do. What cracks me up is that most of these writers and reviews are probably OLDER THAN I AM. So huh? What is with the disdain? I don't get it. I never will. Clay will never win with these people. They don't respect him, and they don't respect us as music buyers and consumers. It's insulting. I don't think that the music can really AFFORD to discount the buying power of the 30+ set. They'd do well to play up to them, seeings as we are the ones with the expendable income.

Carolina Clay said...

ConCLAYve-Nan,

Standing-O all for such a comprehensive, well-written reply! This excellent blog should be on the desk of this man's editor. Perhaps "man" is too high a species for the writer.

Again, bravo!

Caro

Hotforclay said...

WOWWWWWW, is all I can say... BRAVOOOOO on a well written reply.. You are such a talented writer. I really hope you sent this to the editor of Askmen.com! And for all those people who think we're all old bored housewives who has no taste in music, they can kiss my HOT ass!!

Anonymous said...

What a great blog!

What has been obvious to me from the start in Clay's fandom is that none of us are absolutely alike. We are as different from each other as snowflakes, but we love the man, his voice and his heart.

Wonder if Bernie would ever consider linking THIS blog to his story so that readers could make their own conclusions.

Nah...what was I THINKING????

Sharon said...

Fantastic Job! As others have said, Bernie wouldn't get a clue if it bit him in his butt. He already had his preconceived notion about Clay and his fans without having any facts. But that is typical of today's media, as they have shown us over and over again.

What a shame that some of these so-called journalists couldn't really sit and talk to a fan to find out the TRUTH (an oxymoron when used with today's journalism). But I guess it's easier to just spew words on a page, collect a paycheck for it and call themselves a writer.

This blog does speak the truth, and should be seen and picked up by all. Maybe some media that would get ahold of it would finally see what the TRUTH is.

Congrats on a fantastic job!!!

Vox Vixen said...

Terrific blog. It makes me sad that women have not come as far as we thought we have. What do you bet with a name like Bernie that Mr. Alexander ain't no spring chicken himself. Double-standards are alive and well. I guess middle-aged women and fat people are the last two groups that it is okay to bash with no repercussions from society. Pox an Bernie.

Now I hear Blender magazine, another source very Clay friendly *snerk* is looking to do a fan article. These writers are so boring and so imaginative. Don't they know we have been analyzed every which way already.

gothedistance said...

Wonderfully well-stated. I'm not much on emotional letter-writing but this really deserves to be sent directly to Bernie. Who knows.... maybe it might help him buy that clue he needs.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! What a wonderful blog!! It's one of the best things I've read in quite some time!! BRAVO to you!!!!!! This blog comment really does need to be read by EVERYONE!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing blog! Please make sure Bernie sees this. His article was SO full of inaccuracies. I would really like him to see this so he knew how wrong he is and reconsidered EVER using gossip blogs as sources again. I mean, seriously - WTF?!?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better. Thanks.

AutumnRed said...

Reasonable, rational, intelligent and thoughtful - as well as truly brilliant. Concepts I've been starved to identify in almost all the media I've seen about Clay and the fans. I suspect I'm not alone.

Unfortunately, what Bernie Alexander's article (and many others) represents to me, in the bigger picture, is beyond disheartening. It appears to be seeping into our overall culture today to be as stingingly nasty and contemptuous as possible in order to sway opinion - one's own of which is, beyond any doubt, the correct and rightous one. And truth, honesty and good faith? As far as Bernie goes, pointless, unnecessary and irrelevant - and would certainly not serve his purpose, which is to denigrate Clay and his mad horde of crazy, undiscerning, ultraconservative, litigious, and ominously threatening fans.

So thank you, ConCLAYve-Nan! To know that this blog, which is reasonable, rational, intelligent and thoughtful (not to mention, well crafted and brilliant!), is out there, has made me feel so much better. Even if Bernie and his ilk, miserable and insufferable little s***s that they are (see, I can be reasonable and rational, too *g*), never lay their eyes on it!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE send this to Bernie what's-his-name.

And to every other 'journalist' out there who doesn't know crap about Clay and his fans because they don't bother to research their stories. Much easier to just copy and past from a tabloid site, isn't it?

Whatever happened to journalistic integrity?

Ooops, sorry that must have gone out with the generation of little old blue haired ladies....you know those ones that follow Clay Aiken. The only fans he has.

TommysMommy said...

I am thrilled to death to see that there is someone, out there, with intelligence and the wherewithall to set the record straight.

Not only for and about Clay but for and about us as fans.

I am only 40 years old. I do not listen to Liberace. I was woken up every Sunday morning, well ok, afternoon, by Johnny Mathis.

My taste in music is incredibly diverse and I'm proud of that. I am teaching my 8 year old son the way I was taught. To give music and specifically artists, a chance.

To stereotype a fan is to stereotype the artist.

I'm pretty sure its safe to say that most of us aren't old bitties. I, personally, don't shave my chin (yet). I would like to think that most of us find sunshine intoxicating and generally greet the sun every 6 or 7 days when we can pull ourselves away from our computers long enough to do so. Most of us were born and raised in a time when music was at the forefront. I know a lot of my life was set to music. I had and still have my very own personal soundtrack.

Thank you for being articulate and funny and most importantly, factual. You have made my day.

Besides ... tomorrow is my day to go outside. Cause, you know, its been 6 days since I've seen the sun. So I will greet the day with a smile. Secure in the knowledge that Clay is a keeper. His voice, his intelligence, his perseverance, and kindness are all that matter to me.

I just wish that there were more out there with the same opinion.

York, PA Clay Fan said...

Finally an article about Clay I could stand to read. Thanks! I am in the much denegrated demographic of middle aged women. I love Clay's voice. *PERIOD*

I don't send rabid emails to ridiculous reporters. I don't stalk Clay in malls. I do watch every TV program possible that lists Clay as a guest. I do buy every album that's released. And gee I even went to one of those decadent CD release parties.

I've been married for 26 years and counting. I have raised 2 sons. I love gardening and occasionally join a bowling league.

My son is a trumpet player, so I love classical and jazz music as well as good old fashioned Rock-N-Roll and even contemporary stuff with good lyrics.

I consider myself a charter member of the Clay Nation.

The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

Thanks to all for the kind comments about this blog. My husband sent his comment to AskMen letting them know that he, a straight male is a proud member of the Clay Nation. Keep the comments coming. It's great to know that Clay has a unique, intelligent, diverse, smart, funny, creative and *enthusiastic* fan base.

Anonymous said...

You have spoken my very thoughts and I shudder to think what might happen to the world of journalism if such insight were to become common place!

My greatest concern is that Clay or his "people" may very well believe the tripe that is often written about his fan base and therefore he may never feel he can declare his true sexuality. While I certainly believe it is non of our business nor do I actually care, it is an emotionally crippling position for anyone to be in. And most harmful for those in the public eye who are constantly scrutinized. I would hate to think he might decide to leave the spotlight for good for his own sake or worse yet suffer further emotional trauma do these individuals. If he is gay or can't decide I don't think the majority of his fans would do anything short of support him loudly for him accepting who he is. As he matures I hope to see him become more comfortable in his own skin and say "to hell with you" to the media!!

The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

Anonymous at 11:59 AM I believe that Clay has already declared his true sexuality when he said that he was straight and that answer was not the one that the media wanted - which is why he is no longer responding. I think Clay understands his Fanbase much better than the "media" do. I also think he is completely comfortable in his own skin - which is why he doesn't worry about how certain things he does may be misconstrued by those looking for stereotypes. It takes a real man comfortable with himself and his own sexuality to take the path that Clay Aiken has taken.

Anonymous said...

I hope they read this loud and clear.
I am a forty something who prefers Green Day to Manilow. I buy the very music they think only my daughter would venture into. I still pay good money to attend concerts of artists I would bet this writer has never heard of. So who are we, this so called "fan base"? I'm willing to bet we are all over the board and Clay is going to make a fortune to put toward his charities if I have any say in the matter.

EthelB said...

Just to let Bernie know...Clay even has female fans like me who are veterans of the Armed Services.

I proudly served 20years in the Air Force...lonely old woman...not me!

Anonymous said...

ARTICULATE and BRILLIANT...

And by the way, some of us are even MUSICIANS!!!!

CB said...

How about sending a shortened version of this to Newsweek for the My Turn section.

Anonymous said...

SUPERB! Finally, something positive...I'm sick and tired of hearing negative things about Clay. People just don't know how to handle it when someone "good" comes along. Some people always have to dig for something negative to say, even if it's untrue. We know no one is PERFECT, not even Clay but as a celebrity, Clay IS almost perfect! That gives some of us positive people some hope that life can be good and there are nice entertainers still left out there!
Sunshine

Anonymous said...

If you want to see the REAL Clay, watch this montage!

http://www.4shared.com/dir/704942/69f5a90f/sharing.html

Anonymous said...

I forgot to type in the name of the montage.

It is called "ASK THEM."

SORRY!

Lidija said...

Exellent blog. My english is not good for this conversation and I apologise for that, but I wont too say I have for children from 22 to 32 years old, and everibody in our houshold love Clay including mu husbend and me, and we are from Croatia. Thanx for your suport and love for the best person and best singer - Clay Aiken.

Jo said...

Outstanding blog!

Fountaindawg said...

I have been blessed to meet some amazing people through this fandom. The majority of them have been women, but the men I've met have been just wonderful! They are confident, opinionated, funny and each has had a huge helping of self-awareness that allows him to see past the 'media spin' and into the worth of the performer/person. They don't hide their fandom. They celebrate it along with us. If I want a real man's opinion, I'll ask one of them rather than read a poorly ... I was going to say 'researched', but I see little to no evidence of that even existing so I can't call it anything but a 'slanted report in support of a pre-existing opinion'.

Thanks for refuting his comments, point by point, and for clearly conveying some 'truths' about the fandom!

Anonymous said...

This is excellent. Wonderfully organized..clearly stated...thanks for posting it. Clay is a most fortunate man to have some of the most articulate, intelligent fans.
He is not called the thinking women's popstar for nothing.

Anonymous said...

priceless, this information needs to be drilled through some people's heads.........but, even then...

thanks again. brilliant, just brilliant

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I am a young woman(29) who listens to a whole range of music(not a manilow or liberace among them) I will proudly say that my Clay Aiken CD is nestled in between my AC DC cd and my metallica CD's. I also have Vivaldi, I have Celine, Elvis, I love myself some John Fogerty. How about my Simon and Garfunkle, or my reba cd's George Strait is cool in my books but Clay is By far the singer that has made me truly stop and listen. Like no other. (my 13 year old son has no problem listening to Clay, but then his musical tastes range from ACDC to Green Day all the way to Garth Brooks, Ritchie Valens and the BeeGees)

I can't understand the mentality of the media, and I will say that being a Clay fan has truly opened my eyes to a lot of things. Mostly the lack of effort, Integrity and truth on the internet. I now refer to a lot of internet news as "POINT CLICK" jounalism. no research, no truth, just point click. I could do a better job in my Business communications class than most of these jounalists.(can they really be called that?)

Clay is a star and there is no denying it, I see that shine through him and there is no stopping it. Singing, acting, hosting, it's there for him. He'll likely have to fight for it, But in the end Clay will be around for a LONG time. and I look forward to every minute, the good and the bad.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!

EXCELLENT blog!! Can we make this required reading for all the lazy, too-cool-for-school crowd journalists who accept the words of demented bloggers and hate mongers without even bothering to check the facts?

Miscogyny and ageism are alive and well in the good old US of A, and one has only to read the discussions about Clay's fans in the media to know it. Pretty appalling, actually.

Signed,

A "middle-aged," former flower child/rocker/punk/metal/ left-wing/liberal Christian Clay fan.

Rock on!

Anonymous said...

I'm a conservative Republican and love Clay Aiken and his talent. I can't understand the disdain from people in the newspaper business (I just can't say journalists). It doesn't apply.

Anonymous said...

I am a middle-aged professional woman and had mild interest in music--till this beautiful man came along. I bought CD's for the usual one song I might like from an artist. I caught onto Clay halfway thru AI--had never watched it before. Started to like that voice and spirit and the cutie attached to it. Then really got into Clay after AI. He is my stress reliever! He is my guilty pleasure! I love the guy and don't care what people think about it. He's better than therapy!

Chardonnay said...

Yay to this blog! Word! Thumbs up! Love, love, LOVE how you got on a roll with that one. It was perfect. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I wish he could read this... *sigh*

DianaDS said...

About time someone said this.

I see a lot of sexism in the criticism of some Clay fans. A lot of us are not young women any more, so our opinion about music (or anything else for that matter) is meaningless. I have to wonder if, according to Bernie, my appreciation of artists like Eminem and Alice Cooper makes them less valuable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for so accurately pointing out a perfect example of shoddy journalism & use of inaccurate spinning to promote one's hidden agenda. People believe what they want to believe & could be hit over the head 1,000 times with real info they just don't want to see or acknowledge.

No two Clay fans are alike. While some may like Springsteen, others like Depeche Mode. While some love Jimmy Eat World, others listen to Jack Johnson, Gavin DeGraw or Taking Back Sunday. My collection of CD's includes over a 1,000, with all of the above. Plus Clay Aiken.

No blue or purple hair here, but would like to know when the latest God appointment was given for others to admonish or judge what or who should be considered legitimate fans? I just don't get alleged journalists trolling the back highways of blogs to find what suits their particular motive.

In a duel of minds, honesty, integrity and humor, there is no doubt in my mind who the victor would be.

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog. Some less than manly men are aftaid of Clay Aiken. It's obvious, they do everything they can to bring him down. Truth? What truth? They wouldn't know it if it smacked them up the side of the head. I love the way Clay goes on about his business and doesn't "Pander" to the low lifes. They don't deserve one minute of his time. I too am a younger fan, and am appalled by the so called Journalism in our country. They are sheep, lazy and afraid.
Keep your mojo workin Clay!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this forthright and intelligent blog!! Viva the differences which flourish among the fans of Clay! Somehow it's reassuring to contemplate that, in the midst of so many differences, a unifying motivation expressed and/or inspired by a coincidental shared musical appreciation, exists and provides, in the process, a common ground for learning and growth. Diversity stimulates growth and the philosophy of inclusiveness expressed by Clay Aiken nourishes and promotes growth.

It's sad that some individuals, such as Bernie, make such ill use of the opportunities afforded them and use their platforms in total waste. If one cannot honorably speak truth in such a way as to educate, and hopefully also inspire, or at the very least spur a meaningful, albeit even thoughtfully subjective, discussion or questioning, then perhaps one should openly direct their energies to fiction ... but at least make it well-constructed, well-written fiction, and make it clear where one is supposed to laugh ... or not. Whatever Bernie was aiming for, he missed the mark; perhaps a course in journalism would be in order ... it most definitely could do no harm. Perhaps when he grows up that is what he’d like to be ... a journalist.

pax said...

Well done! I hope someone leads Bernie by the nose to read this.I loathe shody journalism.

Anonymous said...

I'm a middle-aged fan who was shocked at the sneering at women in our society by the media. Based on what I've been reading the last 3 years it is not only the age but the sex that is being denigrated. The last several years, I've been so busy working, studying, and most importantly focusing on my family that I had not realized how dismissive the media had become towards women and how accepted it is to malign others. They may deny it but as an outsider there is also an obvious, underlying theme of homophobia in the media and in the entertainment world. For proof just look at the schtick of well-known comics in their 40s and 50s who are predominate on TV and radio. Browse articles for one day on the internet to see the word "gay" thrown around as an insult. I find it despicable that some in the media gets away with such a pretense when they are slowly poisoning our society with hate making it acceptable to throw insults at anyone who is different.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for the truth!! Very well written. As another of those maligned middle-aged Clay fans, I just don't get the mindset of today's society that finds it acceptable to denigrate women. I've always loved music, all kinds. But had fell away from the music scene because I just could't listen to the generic pre-tooled music out there anymore & I was too lazy to search around ( yes, heaven forbid a really busy working professional woman here )for GOOD music. Then it hit me between the eyes when I heard that voice. His voice speaks to my soul like no other. And no amount of lazy journalism will ever change that. I refuse to be bullied by them. As they say- "stupid is as stupid does.

YesI'mEthel said...

Thank you very much for this wonderful blog.

I just want to add that I am very much a fan of Clay Aiken as well as a 20yr Veteran of the United States Air Force....lonely middle aged woman...not here!

lolita said...

I salute you for this beautiful blog. This is the kind of writing that should be published in a well read magazine such as TIME. Alas someone from the women group can relate well what we are thinking.I have spent my waking hours wondering why people like those useless journalists spend time hating Clay and his Fans.I am 64 y.o. retired nurse but forever a music lover ... good music that is And Cla'ys music tops all.

Arlene Harmon said...

I just want to say that was a great blog. You need to get it in ALL the newspapers and magazines. If there's even a way to get it on some entertainment television shows. I am 31 years old and I love Clay for his music, the humanitarian that he is, looks, sense of humor, and SOOOOOOOOOOOO much more. I have friends who are 14, 15, 16, 17 and so on that LOVE Clay. Has anyone ever been on Myspace OH MY GOSH. The critics need to listen to Toby Keith's song The Critic. He tells the truth about the critics. I love Bon Jovi, Poison, and alot more rock music. I will have to say though Clay is my favorite. The reason the so called critics don't like Clay are, they're jealous. They want to be him young, good looking, talented, a decent human being, a man with a great sense of humor, and SOOOOOOOOOOOO much more. That's EVERYTHING they're not. Critics don't like the truth, they only like lies because they like to hurt people. Everyone should send all those critics Toby Keith's song. I wonder what they would think about that? Clay is a man, they're just rats. Thank you.