The recent discussion surrounding David’s own personal Twittergate has brought to the surface, yet again, the political differences that lie among David’s fans. This debate has prompted heated exchanges and caused hurt feelings.
As crazy as it sounds, that only means that David must be doing his job.
In the course of David’s young, incipient career, he has accomplished the highly unusual feat of bringing together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and viewpoints under a single umbrella. His enigmatic appeal draws in young and old, socially conservative and liberal, men and women, straight and gay, and people from different cultural backgrounds and nations.
Many of us were struck by David’s performance of “Imagine” on American Idol, and felt his hope for a better world. But what was that world we imagined? It was a world “without religion.” Or a world with religion. Or a world of peace and cooperation. Or a world without the injustices that divide us. Or a world that upholds principles and morals. Or a world that embraces change and diversity.
In a word: a million-and-one things.
A song is not a conduit to a spiritual world that lies outside of this one: it is a call upon our imagination. It is a channel—in David’s hands a powerful, direct channel—to thoughts and emotions we otherwise could not access. When David sings a song such as “Imagine,” we feel connected once again to our own hope in humanity, our own courage that we once thought lost, our better natures.
David’s greatest crime is that he does this so well, for so many. And the kicker is that David’s extraordinarily generous and compassionate nature means that his fans project all of their hopes not only onto his music, but onto him—he becomes each fan’s paragon of virtue. And so, in each fan’s eyes, David becomes that disciple who can most effectively spread to those who would otherwise live in darkness the “good word,” whatever that should be. He becomes that person on whom we can project our deepest and sincerest hopes for the world.
And so it should surprise absolutely no one that David walking into a gay bar and then responding to rumors with some inartful statements have aroused passion. Not only were fans’ differing political views placed in direct conflict, but hopes we had kept in our heads had slipped away as well. While there remains much disagreement, there is one thing everyone can agree on: no side can lay exclusive claim on David as their angel, which he never was in the first place.
The ongoing exchange here at TDC has not been without some hurt, but it has also fostered greater understanding among people who otherwise would never talk so frankly, let alone be in the same room. That would never have happened, had David not initially united us. Thank goodness that David, when communicating, is not limited to 140 characters.
Perhaps the process of creating a more harmonious world is nowhere near as harmonious as singing “Imagine.” But in our case we did get somewhat closer. And starting us on this journey did require a boy to sing.