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    David James Archuleta (born December 28, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. At ten years old, he won the children's division of the Utah Talent Competition leading to other television singing appearances.[6] When he was twelve years old, Archuleta became the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2.[6] In 2007, at sixteen years old, he became one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol.[7] In May 2008 he finished as the runner-up, receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes.

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Archive for January 8th, 2010

A High Speed Heart Connection

Posted by yjfanofdavid on Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo by Genevieve Wang ("gengen") 2009 Christmas Tour

A short time ago, Angelica posed a question on The Voice in the comments:  “Was David reserved to come along at a time when the Internet was here, in order that we could have so much access to him? And love him more than was possible before this technology arrived?”

The answer I arrived at is, yes and yes!  I too like to think it was cosmic design that he was reserved to come to us when the technology had finally caught up with the human capacity for sharing life and love.  The Internet is the difference between “Oh, he’s got a great voice” and having him inhabiting our entire psyche.  I don’t know about other artists, but a search of him in YouTube shows 4,370,000 results; Google shows 4,210,000 results.  AI brought him to us, but it is in cyberspace where our fondness turns to love and inexplicable attachment.

As Angelica said, “If not for the internet, we would have all returned to our usual lives before AI, not forgetting him, but not obsessing over him either.  Everything would have turned out so differently.  But it didn’t.  Why?  I believe, without deifying him, he has a message of love and healing the world needs to hear and in order for that message to be disseminated, he needs the Internet and all the angels it has gathered to him.”

Thanks to the Internet, he shares the story of his life with us, in real time.  The story is profound at times and trivial at others.  We know when he gets up because he says good morning to us.  We know what he eats for breakfast because he tells us he is eating oatmeal with blueberries.  He informs us he mixes up the conditioner and lotion in the shower.  We know when he wakes up from a nap.  He bids us good night before going to bed.  The Internet breeds familiarity but, rather than contempt, familiarity with David breeds love, for to know him is to love him.   Although he doesn’t tell us, we find out he sneaks out of his tour and goes visiting some of the lonely and forgotten souls among us.

We have reassessed our priorities.  When packing essentials for a trip, a power cord is as indispensable as a tooth brush and we fuss about reliable WiFi.  At home when our power goes out, we lament not the thawing of the refrigerator but the lack of internet access.  Priorities, schmiorities.

Our most vital body part is now our index finger.  He shows up with the slightest touch, materializing from nowhere and everywhere, singing, humming, dancing, jumping, running, sweating, laughing, talking, rambling, and just being.  Click.  He is a romantic figure, leading us through Fields of Gold.  Click.  He is a devout choir boy.  Click.  He is solving the existential riddle.  Click.  He is telling us the greatest story ever told.  Thanks to the Internet, he stands by ready to soothe, lift, comfort, and exhilarate, depending on what our heart requires at the time.

VIPs play havoc with our senses, because he leaps off the Internet and bounces into the room.  The three by three inch, two-dimensional David from our computer screen is now a 3 dimensional warm body, wrapping his big hand behind our back.  But oh, where is the replay button after he sings Crazy?  We greet him like a friend because, surely, we know him.  But why does he treat us like old friends too? Standing before that ILAA screen, we touch him, hug him, and just try to hang on to the flesh-and-blood David for as long as we can, and he happily indulges us.  After he looks at us and touches our hands, we are satisfied for the moment.  We return to our computers, and wait, with increased longing, for the next encounter…

Of modern celebrities, W. Somerset Maugham said:  “It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes.  They are easily disillusioned and then they are angry with you, for it was the illusion they loved.”  David is the anti-celebrity.  There is no illusion and no disillusion about him.  He lets us behind the scenes and bravely shares his life.  And here is the irony:  He makes use of the latest technology yet his life and story hark back to a simpler time.  He shares with us the excitement of seeing a giant grape, a guy rollerblading down the street, a parade going by; the pleasure of eating roasted corn on the cob and cherry limeade.  He is amazed by the first snow on the mountain tops, the yellow hills against the blue sky, and the ocean and the stars in one glance.  He takes us back to a time when life was less complicated, when the beauty of the world was appreciated; when art still touched us, and when how we treated each other mattered.  Is our addiction actually a yearning for a time when goodness was good enough?

Does the Internet cause ODD?  This much we know:  the Internet tells the story of David so we read on, unable to put the book down, and with a click, we turn another page.

Photo by Genevieve Wang ("Gengen") from the 2009 Christmas Tour

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