February 23rd, 2009

The Curious Case of David Archuleta

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Forgive me for just jumping right in here. Having been gone for a week, and wading through tons and tons of messages, I get the sense that I may be speaking out of turn on this new blog. Yet, after much reflection over what has transpired this past week – the loss of a crucial voice and an important space for the mature fans of David Archuleta, as well as a personal loss that I’ve felt when going overseas to bury a loved one – I feel compelled to address the moment and to jump into the fray and speak my mind immediately.

You see, I’m still adjusting to this significant change. How we went from Noting David to Distinguishing David to “Just David” in a matter of days. I swear my head is spinning! And curiously, keeping up with David’s ever changing image from one day to the next gives me the same feeling of vertigo. I very much look forward to David’s future like everyone else here, and since I won’t be able to attend his solo tour, I eagerly anticipate the fan community’s eagerness to share our love for all things David. I believe the David that we see revealed in these upcoming concerts will be the “Just David” a number of us felt was being compromised in some of the marketing turns that were taken.

I believe in progress. And there was a brief moment when it seemed like we were not moving forward, but rather, moving backward. Last weekend, I had a chance to finally see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was a bit disappointed that the Academy Awards barely showed this exquisite film any love. Perhaps it was the image of a person aging backwards that kept many from embracing its melancholic message: that life cannot be frozen in time, that we can’t turn back the clock, and that the loss of memory is a truly tragic thing because, without memory, without history, we cannot make progress.

My great-aunt was a full library, and with her death, the last of her generation in my family, there goes an entire history I won’t have access to. She died with all her memory in tact, contrary to poor Benjamin Button, who – even though he aged backwards – suffered dementia and had no memory of his life towards the end. Whether he aged forward or backward, he died a helpless baby (sorry for spoiling the ending for you) with no memory whatsoever of the life he lived.

Those of us who voiced our concerns very loudly that David, as a vibrant young, joyous, and energetic 18 year old who loved to sing and raise his voice in sweet seduction with all the expertise of a man twice his age, was somehow being forced into an artificial construction of “youth” – Disneyesque or Nickelodeonesque – that did not quite ring true to his own version of youthful innocence and experience, we did so because such constructed images of youth felt like a trap, an unthinking attempt to “turn back the clock,” as it were, to some fabricated idea of innocence. When some like Rascal objected, he was targeted with hate mail, to the point where we no longer have his blog. But we move forward with “Just David,” just as I expect David to move forward with his music and public image.

I like the age 18 because it represents that incredible moment of standing on the precipice between youth and adulthood. Who better to take the plunge and redefine young adulthood than David Archuleta? Who better to remind us that innocence can be sexy and sexiness can be innocent? Somewhere between Hannah Montana and McFly is a young man who can move us forward in rethinking our concepts of “cool,” “sexy,” and “pop music.” And that’s what’s important to me. To move forward, not backward, with David Archuleta, a young man ready to embrace his legal adulthood while reveling in his youth. A young man who will quickly tell us that “nothing’s gonna change waiting for yesterday.”

Still here one year later, and waiting for tomorrow.

- Hello Gorgeous

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