Respecting David (and His Fans)

This fanbase is funny.  Remember way back when David did his very first vlog and the fan community was up in arms (over his pet fish Conditioner of all things)?

I knew very early that, no matter what David did, what he said, how he said it, and – most importantly – no matter how much David works at being innocuous and generalized enough to please his diverse audience – somewhere in his innocent vagueness, a fan (or contingent of fans) finds some subtext that suggests that David really means this, or David really means that.

It’s become a standard and routine David Fan response. And I’ve been guilty of it myself.

I’ve never really been able to analyze this fan response, except to say that, for David and every other public figure, we don’t really want the actual person to represent himself. We want that person to represent ourselves. Why else do we constantly second-guess his motives?

That said, I’ve enjoyed the reputation of my fan site as an “open” and “accepting” place for all kinds of fan responses.  No “group think” encouraged here.  Even when I disagree with posters – and even when said posters feel like I’m chastising them when I disagree – I don’t do “group think.”

BTW, folks, if you really want to know if I disapprove of you, I do the following:

1. I WARN you not to post your offensive posts again.

2. I DELETE you on your second offense.

No TROLLS allowed here!

Having said that, I feel the need to clarify my comments from the previous thread and the ensuing argument it may have encouraged.

When a suggestion was made that the new music David promised his fans before he goes on his mission would be subsidized by and for his Church of the Latter Day Saints, it felt like cold water splashed in my face.  I was basking in the glow of the promise of new music – I don’t care if it reflects the “direction that his life is headed,” as David told us. All I care is that he leaves us good music: sacred music, inspirational music, romantic ballads, Spanish covers, R&B covers, I don’t care! I want me some Voice, and I was truly touched that David, knowing how much we were going to miss him while he’s on his two-year mission, was cramming in as much time as he has this month to leave us with some goodies.

I was touched and warmed by this gesture, I tell you!

So, yeah, when someone comes on here, warning us that this special music David was working extra hard to complete in this short period of time was going to be a bunch of Mormon propaganda, I was pissed!

Pissed, I tell you!

It was like someone telling me the diamond ring I’m expecting is really made out of glass!

Well, that metaphor may not work completely, but you get the picture: someone was trying to devalue David’s efforts, and that’s where my immediate gut-reaction kicked in and I started yelling, “Give me proof! Give me evidence! If you don’t have it, stop spreading rumors!”

Now, just because that was my gut reaction, that doesn’t mean I think regular posters here are being “bigots” or “bad fans” or whatever language those of us in disagreement routinely use to silence other fans.

No. It just means that different fans are processing the news of David’s eventual departure for a religious mission in different ways. I’ve made peace with David’s decision (we shall see if I’m still at peace at the end of March – Ugh!).  Others seem to be cushioning themselves for the eventual revelation that David isn’t the open-hearted, open-minded kind and generous person he’s led us to believe he is.  That, with the stereotypes of Mormons as homophobic racist bigots (yep, the LDS is fending off charges of racism as of late), somehow that stereotype weighs large in their minds, and they somehow can’t process that David could willingly serve such a faith and come out unscathed.

As if Mormons are the only Christians (yes, I believe they’re Christians) who have problems with homophobia and racism: what with Sunday being the most segregated day of the week and what with folks tweeting the most ignorant things I’ve ever had to read when they were watching live the Baptist funeral service of Whitney Houston (if what I take as customary – shouting, rejoicing, clapping, general noise-making at a funeral – seemed alien to non-Baptists and non-black folks who don’t know the way African Americans do church worship, then it goes without saying that folks who don’t know the LDS church believe they’re “strange” at best, “dangerous proselytizers” at worst).

As a person of faith – less the David-type who “wants to be like Jesus” and more the type who’s usually asking Jesus to forgive her for her latest sins – I recognize David. I know folks like David. Heck, I used to be that young and that devout myself. As you get older, some people grow out of it, and some people don’t. At 21, David may continue down this path, or he may not. Either way, I don’t care. Whether he develops a crisis of faith two years later, or continues to follow the rules of his faith community and marries young and has tons of babies with a fellow Mormon, that’s his choice to make.

What I care about is: will he still do music?

He’s given me enough hints to suggest that he will.  David’s passion is too much enmeshed in music to imagine he would drop it altogether, so I keep the faith that he’s coming back to music…and to us! And that right there is what had me feeling all fuzzy inside:

1. He left us an address so we can keep in communication with him.

2. He’s leaving us with music.  MUSIC!

If he had plans to drop us like a hot potato – a year or two from now – he would have done neither.

I respect David, and I also respect his fans.

But let’s all give David the benefit of the doubt and accept this last gesture of music-making before leaving on his mission as a promise that he still loves us and will return to us, once he’s done what he feels called to do.

Singing a song about Jesus is simply baring his soul to us (I thought we liked that about David). But I seriously doubt those are the only songs we’ll be getting, and I seriously doubt that any of his songs will be telling us about the greatness of Joseph Smith!

David has always been true to himself, and I happen to respect that self.  It may not always jibe well with my own projections onto the young man, but I respect him too much to walk away when it doesn’t.

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Posted on March 3, 2012, in fans. Bookmark the permalink. 133 Comments.

  1. well with some of the so called fans who post here david shure does not need any enemy,s.like postening rumors,and all other untruth about his team,and nobody asked any one to sing a code of fandome .so lets leave it at that

  2. Shanny…David’s fans do not disallow David from doing anything in his career including choosing his management, his projects, who he sings with or where he goes. He is independent and is certain of his own decisions. Fans might gripe and write but we don’t guide his career. If the internet did not exist then that might be for the better sometimes. When there is an opening to say what we feel, then that is what follows. No one is going to convince David of doing anything he doesn’t wish to do. People have many opinions and he knows that.

    His influences come from way beyond the fans. He is free.

    SB

  3. I have antoher point want to say but have been hesitated for a while because it is a very sensitive topic, so if it is make anyone uncomfortable or feeling offense I apologize first.
    I agree with Marie that religion should not be mentioned because it always brings up division or arguments at fansites. I believe no one want to bring it here at first hand, but unfortunate it is always here and will happen again. My opinion is it is because David. If David is not a davoted faithful man this will not happen. But this is not his fault. In fact I really respect him for this and want him doing well when he follows his heart. But the consequence is that being religious means you choose to believe something and disagree some other things. The truth is that there are many different religions out there and some people choose to be unreligious. David’s fanbase is so diverse that we can find fans share very different believings. This makes arguments and makes some fans really upset. It is difficult for LDS fans to understand why David’s decision to serve a 2 years mission being so unacceptable to some other fans, at the same time some fans still can not understand why David is so devoted to something they can not understand or even disagree with strongly. This is religion. If there is no religion or everyone in this world believes only one religion then most wars should not happen.
    I came from a country which is used to be very riligious with Buddhism, Taoism, Confuciou and Moslem. Then it was and is still governed by a communist party.I was taught that every religion is evil in my early 35 years’ life. After I immigrated to Canada I was allowed to approach and listen to different believings first time in my life and finally choose one. I am happy to be religious now and deeply understand how difficult to be converted from unregilious to religious and how difficult to choose one to follow even I still can not understand totally. I enjoy to have this human right and enjoy to see other people enjoying their believings. In fact I always think this is my pleasure to understand why there are so many spiritual conflictions happened in North America. This is one reason I like to come here to see all these different ideas and guiltily enjoy to see all the arguments if they are not too nasty.
    I can not control David’s mind and other fans’ thinking. Remember David chose to sing the third version of Imagine on AI in stead of the first one? What a wisdom decision! I also remember one comment on FOD which said one should think it is more important to speak out your idea or more important not to speak out to avoid hurting someone else before speak or comment. Both David and the fan are my inspiratists. Thank you.

    • what you said was very thoughtful and heartfelt.

    • A lot of sense on this post …. thank you 🙂 . And i take the opportunity to add that when i read about the rumor i was not upset tbh, actually i found it funny, because at this point i guess nothing in David career can surprise me anymore, everything can be expected , i don’t not though if that is good or bad. :/

      I respect the right of people to react to anything who can be perceive like alienation or manipulation, but i guess that what cause that strong reaction is the fact the David and his Church aren’t being shy on their efforts to use his image to sell his beliefs … to me he’s right now a poster boy , and he’s happy in that role , certainly he has the right to back his community proselytism efforts and actually is not the first artist either to do it , but then the consequence is people reaction, and his normal, and is not in any sense an act of persecution or hate like some people try to put this all episode …. is just live, people agree or disagree all the time ….. the reality is if to follow or enjoy an artist work and talent i should agree with everything the artist in question believe, probably i would be alone in my house without any kind of communication with the world lol. 🙂

      • “And i take the opportunity to add that when i read about the rumor i was not upset ” Exactly. Here is the dilemma. David is going on a religious mission for 2 years and it is difficult to believe that there will not be some fans posting about that. Both positive and negative in regards to the effect it has on his music career. Not to put down his religion but to point that out. My concern is that posters and regulars at SD that I enjoy will no longer post due to others being so critical of them. That will not happen with me because I still will write what I think. lol But while David is gone I just do not see myself posting as much as there will not be as much to comment on career wise, unfortunately. Which is probably a good thing in some ways. lol Good for David for following his heart but the mission does not interest me. His music career does.

    • Love these guys. I will be watching “The Voice” tonight. Thanks for posting the vid, Peter.

  4. Tibitibi…Once again I think you have misunderstood what I meant by saying…”I am so sick of people judging him based on his religion. Can’t we have different religions”? I was not siding with LDS or any certain religion. THE POINT WAS DAVID’S RELIGION SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AT ALL! ONLY HIS TALENT, HIS MUSIC IS ALL THAT MATTERS…

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