Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Cult of the Clay Aiken Internet Message Boards

There is no other fanbase on earth (or in the universe? ;) ) like the Claymates, a primarily middle-aged and older group of women, most of whom infest the Internet. They are rabid, obsessed beyond reason and many listen to no other singer than Clay Aiken.

They are a fanbase who are intent on forcing the world to see Clay Aiken in the deluded way that they do and will go to extreme efforts to achieve this goal, tirelessly policing every corner of the Internet to defend Clay from all naysayers.

Some even resort to harassment and intimidation of people in real life in an effort to suppress anything negative about Clay, especially insinuations about his sexuality.

No one is immune from their wrath: DJ’s, Program Directors, Internet bloggers, Gossip sites, and legitimate media, not to mention fans, ex-fans, non-fans and anyone who has the audacity to utter even a perceived slight or insult. Ridiculously paranoid conspiracy theories abound about people out to "get" Clay that are actually taken seriously by the Claymates.

So, as you can imagine, being a Claymate is an extraordinarily stressful, troublesome and angst-ridden existence, all centered around the literal worship of someone based on a false image.

Without doubt, the Claymates are a cult and their behavior on the message boards reflects this. Here is a humorous (yet frighteningly true) take on the rules for posting on one of the most cultish of the Claymate message boards, the “Clayboard” by one of the more illustrious members of the Fraud Squad, Calliyuck.

“How to post a message on the Clayboard:

1) Begin by genuflecting in front of the mods. Choose one of the following to start your message:
a) Mods, if you don’t think this posting is accurate, responsible, or true to the Claynation, please delete.
b) I have a comment about OMC and hope our hard-working mods will approve of what I have to say.
c) Mods, please delete the following if you think it will hurt the feelings of any of our wonderful fellow Claymates.

2) Show your love for Faiken with a bit of extraneous praise:
a) I feel so blessed to be a member of the Claynation.
b) Clay, if you’re reading this, I LOVE YOU!
c) As a proud Claymate since January 19, 2003....

3) Get to the main point of your message:
a) Does anyone have any Clack that includes a good view of Clay’s right elbow?
b) How would you best describe Clay’s current hair color -- chestnut pony’s mane, autumn-leaf brown, or moon-kissed auburn?
c) I was just thinking that it would be so cool if Krispy Kreme created a Clay Aiken donut. Let’s start an e-mail campaign to make this happen for our superstah!

4) Add more extraneous praise that includes over-the-top claims and uses the letters “cl” to prove your love for Faiken:
a) My hubby had a quadruple bypass today and I told the nurses in the clintensive clare unit to call me if his condition worsened, but I’ve been listening to the cellcert all evening so if they called me, they got a busy signal. Oh well!!!!
b) Listening to Clay sing Lover All Alone on tonight’s cellcert made me feel all orgasmy inside. I haven’t had so many hot flashes since twenty years ago when I went through clenopause.
c) Clay, I’d divorce my dh and put my kids in foster homes just for one cliss from you!

5) Sign off with zany emoticon:
a) Dancing banana.
b) Thud.
c) A smiley-face because it’s so hip, so cool, so happening, so seventies,!

6) Repeat zany emoticons over and over to shown your enthusiasm and because you have nothing else to say:
a) Dancing banana, dancing banana, dancing banana, dancing etc.
b) Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud ad infinitum.
c) Smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile”

Hard to believe that “mature” women, most of whom are 40+ years old could behave like this? Think that this is a joke? An exaggeration? Decide for yourself by visiting the Clayboard:

One thing more. Don't for a moment believe that this is just a harmless obsession. For so many, Clay Aiken has become their life, to the exclusion and detriment of family, friends and anything that will interfere with their devotion to a fantasy.

True, other celebrities have their share of nutsos, but without doubt, Clay's fanbase has the highest proportion of rabid, abnormally-obsessed fans of any other celebrity, including Michael Jackson. And, that's a lot.