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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunny's Sunday Soul Sermon

I've been watching the 'factioning' of the Fandom in the Land of Taylor Hicks over the course of the past several months. I guess being a Sunday, I'm in the mood to sermonize somewhat over my observations in my travels around the Idol scene, in particular the Taylor Hicks' scene.

I've followed Taylor Hicks since his famous initial audition on American Idol, Season 5. I was one of the many addicted viewers who were treated to this man's unique and star-making moment when he entered the Pop Culture media.

Taylor's footage includes a segment in which he hammed it up - footage normally included by the producers for those contestants that they initially think will be a draw but not a long term contender. It also contains the footage of an unlikely contestant who wound up making some reality television history. His Sam Cooke's rendition of "A Change is Gonna Come" a portent to the season's unforeseen outcome.

Taylor proved the producers and the moguls behind the show wrong week after week, becoming the Underdog who became the Runaway Train. Curve balls were hurled in his direction by the show a few times; his song selections canceled last minute, the judging panel, especially Simon Cowell verbally attempting to sway public opinion. At time I thought perhaps Randy and Paula were not clued in on the machinations behing the scenes as they provided Hicks with praise that Cowell would deride, and slam down in his dry, authoritative British manner. Each week the man's campaign to win the title ensued more aggressively. Aided by a group of familiars who posted his past music here and there on line for viewers to find and listen to - Taylor carried on a good fight. Performances like this one - a favorite of mine and a song I campaigned for on the A.I. Boards for him to perform:
"In the Ghetto"
(courtesy of Keebob...)
Ironically that may sum up the direction the Taylor Hicks fanbase may be headed. So-called "Soul Patrol" sites and their forums may need to heed a lesson in the meaning of "soul" in their treatment of one another on the boards. I stopped going to any of them out of disgust at the number of personal attacks certain members of each group felt they were entitled to delve out to others on the boards who possessed differing opinions than their own. I'm frequenting a few websites currently that don't have forums but am beginning to see some similar infighting popping up within those as well. Recently one poster who contributed interesting commentaries was verbally slaughtered by the others writing on the board. This site recently provided this 'tribute' to this victim, "Secret Stare". Apparently she has experienced some sort of encounter of the eye-ball variety or more perhaps with Taylor Hicks and the other commenting parties took umbrage jeolousy attacking her and her previous claims. I mean please, so she takes with her a memory of the man and talks about it - no need to hang the gal on the cross over it. I say get a grip folks. I've had a few close encounters of the celebrity kind myself, but through time and trial and error have learned to keep my mouth for the most part shut.

Currently there are a few Taylor Hicks' website news-makers that are offering opinions on the personal life of Mr.Hicks. Their opinions spawned opposing viewpoints on other sites. Being a celebrity, this sort of thing can be expected from fans to a degree.

In no way comparing poster child for Why-We-Need-more-Education, Britney Spears, to Taylor Hicks or his situation, but rather utilizing her notoriety as she hangs on the Cross of Example of how not to live life large. ( One note, as I briefly wander into the Hell that is Ms. Spears foibles, regarding shaving her head, the best thing she could have done is wear that melt-down-do proud and loud and let her sheared head speak for itself. She may have been on the right track in shaving it if only she'd had the balls to carry it off. It would make a powerful statement and be a much better look than the fugly weaves she sports. That's another sermon I'll be back on sometime.) Hicks need heed the example of walking the talk and treading the truthful line in his career and his personal life. Like poor Spears his world is an open book now for the media and we folks at home to dissect and review and judge.

The internet is a great place we can voice our thoughts and opinions as we see fit. Like my Momma use to tell me as a child, 'if you can dish it out be ready to take it in turn'. Sadly with the turn of events happening in our national government, our schools, our corporate structures, personal freedom and individual expression is becoming a negative thing. Conformity the new norm and goal. I volunteer at my youngest child's school and I see examples of this on a daily basis. I volunteered at my eldest child's schools as well and the times have changed much in the 12 year difference between these two, but I digress again.

On the topic of 'soul', the Soul Patrol, and Taylor Hicks, there is most likely no solution that the fans themselves can hammer out. There are way too many differences among the folks who grew to admire the man on Idol. Differences that span color, ethnicity, education, religion, geography, and individual financial status. Most likely the best solution would come from the man behind it all and the subject of it all, Taylor Hicks. I'm not sure who or what organization is providing Mr. Hicks guidance and direction in his career, remember I'm on a soap-box this morning, but I'd tell the man to speak out on the major controversies ensuing chaos currently. Don't send friends to blog for you or fight for you, man, do it personally or your erstwhile career will end up on the "15-Minute of Fame" pages.

I hope that Taylor Hicks is able to make the strides he needs to try to unite his fans. Greats like Jimmy Buffet tend to nurture their fans and Hicks has said he'd like to 'parrot' Jimmy's career... It seems the Soul Patrol and other Taylor Hicks fans who don't embrace that title, may need some Soulman nurture time. As Taylor sang in his audition, "A Change is Gonna Come", a change needs to come within the fans of the man, perhaps by the man, the focus of these groups.

In this AOL Video, Taylor sings "The Fall", he talks about not running and hiding, great philosophy. This is my favorite tune of his and this a beautiful rendition:

Listen to your words, Brother, you have the answer.

Groove on Soulman.


  1. about time3:53 PM

    Really should turn off the blog alerts ! But then I'd miss the fun stuff. I have no vested interest in this beyond the hope that there is no peripheral harm to Taylor because of it. I vary between finding it amusing and wondering why the hell it is even an issue, so will be astounded if this makes it though your filter.

    There is an extremely simple solution to all of the fan angst, bickering, speculating, etc., etc. you referenced.

    Stay out of the man's personal life.

    It is quite simply none of our business.

    I do not want Taylor Hicks telling me how to run my life, do you want him meddling in yours ?, honestly ? are you 100% certain about that ? Some of you seem to think he has pretty bad judgement so think carefully before you answer.
    Now please explain why you think you have the right to tell him how to run his life ?

    Taylor Hicks doesn't owe me, you, or anyone else the time of day beyond sharing his considerable musical talent with those who pay for the privilege by purchasing a concert ticket or a CD.
    He already has made himself much more accessible to fans than it seems he should have since there is now no end to the demands on him. More about that later.

    If anyone thinks they own a piece of Mr. Hicks because they voted for him on a reality show then please take it up with whoever twisted your arm and made you dial the number because it does not entitle you to anything except a polite Thank You from him. And that he has said more than enough times aleady.

    If you think he looked at you or said something to you in a special way, join the long line of wishful thinkers through the history of celebrity fandom. That and $4 will get you a fancy coffee at Starbucks.

    How about we all sit back, relax, give each other a break and just enjoy Taylor Hicks for the brilliantly gifted and still evolving musician that we hope will be a part of our lives In That Capacity Only for a very long time.
    Being a fan for reasons other than the music, however well intentioned, seems somehow a bit sad because the whole point of who Taylor is becomes lost.

    Taylor should address the questions from fans ? Yes he should and here are mine.
    When is Whomp at the Warfield going to be released?
    Did you find those notebooks ? and how's that going ?
    What studio will you be recording in ? any chance it will be Ray's ?
    That's enough for now.

    To my mind Taylor's patience with his fans over the past months on and off the tour has been astounding. Even though he has often pushed himself to the point of exhaustion and still made himself avialable to his fans there has been a never ending parade of petty complaints. It is beyond time for him do whatever makes him happy because he is never going to keep the "it's all about me" crowd satisfied anyway.

    If he were ever foolish enough to address any "concerns " about anything other than those related to music, I would hope it would be to politely tell everyone to look around them and see what needs doing in your communities. Take a clue from his involvement in charity projects and see who could use a helping hand. Find a Real problem to spend your time working on. Maybe just take a deep breath and go rake some leaves !
    While you are listening to some good music on your iPod of course.
    And maybe just enjoy your own lives.

  2. 'about time' thanks for sharing your thoughts. You make an effective point that he owes no one any sort of apology...no one has asked him to apologize - at least not here.

    My point, how very pubic his life is now. Too, in lieu of the existing and quite robust controversy filtering through the websites,and he being the natural man that he is - he might find it advantageous to address his fans in a direct manner. If he choses not to, well life is full of choices. I don't think he need apologize for anything but I think it would be helpful for his fans should he decide to make a statement regarding the rumors in circulation.

    Your questions to him are very good ones, would be great to hear answers to those. But your expressing that folks keep their focus on his music isn't going to happen, not in the real world. What celebrity out there enjoys focus only on their particular craft? None I can think of - it's part of the deal. Much of the time how celebrities handle the noise and the gossip can make or break them, sadly.

  3. That's a strange typo above - meant public not 'pubic' LOL. How Freudian of me.

    Oh, and speaking of leaves, that's what I did today and bathed my 3 dogs, walked 2 kids and the cat, cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the kitchen floor. Also took down all the Halloween decorations. Of course I took breaks to check on the computer. ;)

  4. Anonymous8:24 PM

    Sunny nice post! But i have also have to say this... i don't think think secret stare was slaughtered for having alleged eye contact. It was because she made the whole story up from scratch. Secret stare is a well known american idols board poster by the name of candy. She is older gal, yet under the identity of "secret stare" she would make fun of all the "old lady fans" and claimed she was an attractive young woman in her 20s that taylor was interested in. It was a whole story line that she created. She got slaughtered on MFOYA because her true identity was revealed, so she had been lying all along...

  5. Well, if that's the case then she reaped what she had sown. Fantasy, my name is internet. LOL

  6. about time10:41 PM

    Sunny, you either missed my point or you chose to twist it to your viewpoint. I thought I stated quite clearly what I meant and there was nothing in there even vaguely referencing the word apology. But let's put it in really simple terms.

    A - Fans should stay out of the man's personal life - period.

    B - It is none of our business.

    C - He does not need to, nor should he, ever make a response of any kind to any invasion of his personal business.

    The "public figure" argument is bogus. It has always been nothing more than a ridiculous attempt to justify what is basically the behavior of the nosy neighbor everyone hates in their own life.
    But hey, that peeking through the blinds stuff is OK if the victim is a "celebrity " !

    No one gives up their right to decide how to run their own life just because their name becomes well known. They have no obligation to share ANY details not pertinent to their work unless it is their choice to do so.

    In this particular case any comment by Taylor would be pointless anyway. It is a no win situation for him. People would continue to believe whatever they choose no matter what he said. He is wise to avoid the whole attempt to entrap him like the plague.

    Perhaps people who cannot enjoy an artist's work without having to know all the details of their non-working life would be happier and enjoy their fan experience more if they stuck with the Brittany's of the world who truly want nothing more than to be "celebrities"

    And leave the artists who want to be boring and insist on their privacy off the stage to those of us who only care that they are working their butts off to bring us our next music fix or a kickass movie role.
    And speaking of boring, anything else I might add would be redundant. Not to mention a further waste of everyone's time since nothng written on someone's personal blog is going to change any minds. Goodnight.

  7. Calm down, 'about time'. I did not infer anything you said to mean apology. I think you have valid points that add to this blog about this subject therefore I include all of your points. It's not a waste of 'everyone's' time, no in fact it's a benefit to the subject of this post. You state eloquently excellent points. It might not change the course of any history to post here, but it just might influence the thoughts of those who do read here. A little can go a long way sometime.

    You though thinking of a Utopia when you say we should not delve into the lives of celebrity. It's a Billion Dollar Business. I am glad you came back, I always love intelligent discourse.

    Words are a mighty tool and never are for naught if we use them to communicate our hearts.

  8. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Secret Stare said so herself that she is in her mid-30's. I do recall her saying that in the mfoya blog. It was your perception of her being young and in her 20's, because you thought she was making fun of the old gals. But, I don't really recall her ever making fun of the old gals. What she said was that an older fanbase is not good for a musician, who is trying to make it in the music business and she is absolutely correct in that assumption.

  9. I always thought Secret had some good points, read her posts regularly. Bringing her name up in my posting because this was a recent event and the second time within so many months that I've seen her attacked on a blog for what she claimed to have had happen.

    Sadly, too, she also posed an example of how folks sometimes turn on each other in the forums and websites. I mean she's happily posting along communicating regularly with others on the board then - Wham. It's almost funny in an upside down, semi-tragic sad way. Life's short folks, let every dog have their day without going for the euthanasia shot.

  10. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Sunny, they absolutely turned on Secret and it was sad. It was like they were eating up their very own. It makes you wonder who will be next to be "outed". I also enjoyed SS posts. I thought she was witty and very entertaining. None of us really knows what happened, because she didn't give in to the obvious blackmail. Good for her for not giving in. If she was lying or embellishing the whole story, well this is the internet afterall.

  11. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Secret Stare is a woman named Josie and goes by the name Candy on the boards and is well known for making up lies and bashing posters. She did it on the AI boards, boogie boards, GC, and THHQ. She is no stranger to the Soul Patrol. Candy's actual meeting of Taylor Hicks was documented on the AI boards when she wasn't in character. And it consisted of getting an autograph and there's even a photo of it taken by someone else and that's it. There is no story. Secret Stare was just another character she made up. "Obvious blackmail?" What? "Eating their own?" Was Secret Stare in affiliation with MFOYA or something? Not from what I knew. She was just a regular poster like everyone else. I don't even think MFOYA knows who the hell she is. And If some poster wants to go on some rampage lying to people then she or he better cover their tracks pretty well. Secret Stare got caught in her lies. Every single person on the AI board and the THHQ knows who Candy is and EVERYONE knows she never had anything remotely close to what she was alluding to. She's a crazy person. Period. Sure she got bashed on TFHzone and then she got outted on MFOYA. That's what happens when you make things up and then get caught. Internet or NOT. And sunny sorry but your post is inaccurate and its just playing up the "jealous woman" storyline SS created in the first place and giving people a place to say boo MFOYA for outting a liar.

  12. Thanks for clarifying the SS situation, I had no idea, hell I was believing her story. I've not had much to do with THHQ and did not pay attention to this sort of thing on GC. Good to know, here I was feeling a bit sorry for her. Her assassination on MFOYA was brutal. LOL

  13. Anonymous7:54 PM

    People, this is the internet and nobody knows anybody here. For anybody to say that someone was lying, is not correct. Unless you actually know this person and have proof, there is no way for anybody to know.

  14. To the last poster, I have to say you would have a point but it seems this one individual is known by all her names on-line as well as personally - at least somewhat - so we take that with the grain of salt.

    I think on the internet it's easy to create and fantasize and make up a life you'd like to have - similar to what authors do when they create a book. Step into the character and make them real. It's part of the whole on-line situation.