Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the real lesson of susan boyle

I realize I'm a bit late to the concert, but I'm weighing in on the whole Susan Boyle episode. I'll just assume that anyone reading this is familiar with it, and that I don't have to rehash the whole story.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that this was a feelgood story. Everyone was against her. She showed them! After the way they ridiculed her, she proved she could sing! And everyone learned a valuable lesson about books and covers.

But that's not how I see it. The judges blathered about how surprised they were that she could sing, and how everyone in the audience was against her before she opened her mouth. Seems to me the message behind it all is that it would have been fine to ridicule her, to make fun of her plain looks, if she weren't a great singer. But her ability to sing well makes her worthy of not being ridiculed.

Don't get me wrong. I wish Ms. Boyle every success. But the way that success occurred exposed something unpleasant about human nature.

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