Archies Anonymous and Withdrawal Symptoms
Remember back in the day – those promising exciting days in 2008 – when David was all the rave and we Archies were in the full throes of ODD (Obsessive David Disorder)?
It was crazy back then. So many of us found ourselves completely attracted to David Archuleta and we couldn’t explain why he had this powerful hold over our lives. I remember my friends making fun of me because I couldn’t stop talking about David Archuleta, and then Noting David followed by David Chronicles, Fans of David, Snarky Archies, and a host of other fan blogs gave me a safe space where I could indulge my ODD without the ridiculing glare of those who had not yet discovered what we all knew to be true: that David was the Voice, the next Big Thing, the salvation of music for this millennial generation!
Remember our strong convictions? And remember how we eagerly, incomprehensibly, and feverishly fed our David addictions?
When’s the next album coming out? I’m not only getting it but I’m gifting it to everyone I know!
What? There’s a tour coming up? I’m going to as many stops as I possibly can!
He’s got a book coming out? T-shirts? Bracelets? Charity causes that need donations?
Yes! Yes! Yes!!
David inspired wholesale GROUPIES among an age group that should have grown out of it, that’s how powerful his hold on us was.
It’s like we were part of an Archies Anonymous club (others not so anonymous), where we could converse about the urge for David, the need for David, the fulfillment of David among people who would understand. And like good addicts, we never condemned anyone for going overboard – we just simply understood the urge.
We also, like real addicts, got belligerent when anyone suggested that there might be something not quite so compelling about the source of our addiction – David himself.
We became the true definition of FANATICS – because that’s what a fan essentially is.
I remember back in 2008, when David’s music video for “Crush” dominated VH1’s music video countdown, how one of the hosts of the show commented on the “strange” phenomenon of fans showing up for a live David show, as if we were in a trance over his Voice – she described us Archies as a “cult.”
The mainstream thought we were funny, which is why we retreated further into our Archuniverse where all the other addicts understand what ODD is and why it’s not so hard to overcome.
Fast forward to 2012, with a 2-year Mission looming over us, and all of a sudden, some of us who could not go one day without our David fix are getting along without him.
I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s how it’s been feeling for me. I actually feel myself withdrawing, not necessarily from the fan world or even from Soul David, but from David himself.
Even watching his Nandito Ako series, as fun and surprising as it has been, has not been feeding my ODD fix. Maybe it’s because of the foreign language or because I’m watching David the soap actor and not listening to David the Voice.
The few leaked songs promised on his Forevermore has no trace of the “Soul David” I fell in love with (it’s the production of quickie sentimental songs, which doesn’t really capture the greatness of David).
For me, my ODD peaked at the My Kind of Christmas tour, the pinnacle of his live performance. I’d rather he went out on a high note and leave us with a sumptuous feast than leave behind a few crumbs, but that’s just me.
Or maybe because I’ve already subconsciously begun my David Withdrawal.
Do I still believe in the “Trust the Archulator”? Of course! His talent can’t be denied.
But I’m not lowering expectations because the music industry is hard or because David has refused to play whatever “crossover” game is needed to survive and thrive as an artist and entertainer.
I’m lowering my expectations because any other artist with a tiny bit of ego would have gone in for the kill when he had a ready-made Cult full of ODD addicts. David’s decision to leave the public eye for a religious mission is quite the noble deed, and I respect him for it, but it’s also obvious that he’s not exactly comfortable with being the source of our addictions.
I got that when he questioned my “Hello, Gorgeous!” with his quizzical, innocuous “Whaat?”
I got that when one of the bloggers over at The Voice shared that story about #manincap letting them know that David was not at all happy with being referred to as “The Voice” (which I still call him because, quite frankly, in my David-centric world, he is!).
I got that when he consistently denies his greatness or his good looks or anything that might suggest that he might somehow be “above the rest.”
David may not yet be ready to be a “rock god” or “music icon” or whatever it is we may have had hopes of him embodying (and perhaps he will never be), so I’ve learned to lower my expectations and just accept that the Voice that I adore just doesn’t think he’s the Voice.
That means that, since he doesn’t think he’s all that, he’ll pull disappearing acts on us and perhaps retreat into the background, maybe write a few songs here, maybe support a few causes there, maybe get back on the road and give us a live show, and that’s that.
At some point, the drug that you’re addicted to loses its kick, and you begin to withdraw.
I’m probably withdrawing before that “drug of choice” is pulled off the shelf and won’t be made available for a long time.
Eventually you find other interests, but once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.
At least there’s a community of current and former ODDs who will at least understand what you’ve been through and are going through.