Thursday, April 16, 2009

Britain's "American Idol"

If somehow you missed it, this YouTube of Susan Boyle is making the rounds everywhere, including the major media. I haven't really followed the story but I saw a headline somewhere that said she's 48 years old and never been kissed. She's far from beautiful by ordinary shallow metrics but she does have a wonderful voice and I loved her sassy repartee.

However, I didn't find it as astonishing as the buildup would have it. I have a vague recollection of some other guy on that program about a year or so ago that could barely speak in complete sentences and then gave such a virtuoso performance that I got all teary and goosebumpy. Still I like that this program gives ordinary looking people with extraordinary talent a venue. Far better than what little I've seen of the American Idol show here.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Unattractive people have no business being talented, or human, for that matter. It just screws up the whole eugenics thing.

Well, if no one mates with her, we don't have to worry about that. Of course, music might eventually be edited out of the genome.

But music's more of a spiritual thing. No survival value. We can live without it. Memo to the engineer of human souls.

4:54:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Might as well discontinue the art thing too....

9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

And literature, of course. I look forward to our becoming an inchoate mass, like the Republicans. Or the amoebas.

Actually, I find this woman's story heartening. The world needs to be reminded that each and every one of us has a soul which requires expression. For those of us whose souls find expression in song, or any of the arts, it should not be up to untalented people to decide whether we get an audience, and whether our audience gets to hear us sing, based upon some commercial consideration or any notion of what might be popular in the mind of a producer or a casting director, a programmer or a marketer.

Artists will recognize and appreciate other artists, and make way for them, whatever they look like. Of course they may be envious or feel threatened, and resort to cattery to pull the more talented ones down and boost themselves up. But then they will not be succeeding at expressing themselves artistically, only at being pretty.

Pretty is nice. But it is not so much an expression of the soul as a happy excrescence of the body. No true artist could ever be satisfied with being only superficially beautiful. And, outside of a strip club, that's not all the audiences are looking for either.

This is a reminder that audiences should look around them, at their immediate surroundings, and even within themselves for the true expression of beauty. There's more to art than meets the eye. We need more artists and not just more audiences. And we should welcome them whatever they look like. It's time the arts were returned to the people. The pernicious star system is perhaps the worst thing America has ever foisted upon the world, the most stifling and undemocratic. I'd rather hear a thousand of these "homely" ladies each singing her own song all over the countryside every day than one Britney Spears tune blasting from the radio everywhere and always.

No offense to poor little Britney. I'm sure she's a lovely person underneath all that stuff. If only the star system would allow her to develop the ability to express it. That would be a saner world, though. For all of us. Something to sing for.

11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well said Cosa.

1:23:00 PM  

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