the Susan Boyle factor

Have you guys heard about Kari Callin? America's Susan Boyle? I'm late, blame it on the time difference....

Anyway, I'm flagging this right now as having nothing to do at all with books. But:

1. Susan Boyle was sort of a shocking anomaly. All around the world we watched an initially disgusted audience learn ugly people can be talented. By now, people should have learned that lesson, and so the shock of a woman being able to sing while also having a cleft palate and thinning hair should have worn off.

2. Just me, or was paragon of talent David Hasselhoff really quick to cheer her on? Like he had watched the Susan Boyle tape many times and knew he didn't want to look like he was going to fall off his chair. He decided that, if a similar incident arose, he was going to be the first judge to recognize her talents?

3. Ok, seriously, is there something wrong with us as a society? I don't want to moan too much, and I realize I'm just rehashing the comments of virtually every popular culture critic in the universe. But seriously. When we're little kids we're told you can't judge a book by its cover. We're told what you look like shouldn't be relevant to how you think or how you feel or how you connect with people. And we've lost that. We've lost it so much, in fact, that we need reality TV -- where people eat bugs to net a million dollars or subject their families to 24-hour camera crews to net fame -- to teach us. And even then, a not-traditionally-attractive person better be super, super talented. Because if they're just mildly talented, unable to hit the soaring notes set by Celine Dion or whomever, then really they deserve our initial horrified assessment.



erin said...

I wonder if it's fair to lay so much blame at the feet of tv for the degradation of society; are there business-suited men up in the head offices of Fox or BBC thinking of new and different ways to corrupt society? I'm not convinced that our decay in social morality is limited to tv - as someone who doesn't watch tv at all, I'm still not totally sure who Susan Boyle is. I've never watched a reality tv show. I have no idea what the new, "cool" show to watch is. I'm not trying to be smug or self-congratulatory... because even without this influence of tv, I can quite easily judge people, jump to conclusions based on appearances, and be voyeuristic. Maybe television allows us to be more public about the jerkish type behaviours we've always had.

Trish said...

I'm not blaming TV -- in fact, I'm not quite sure who I'm blaming. So helpful, I know :) I just think something is wrong when it's actually TV that's getting us to look inside and re-evaluate our assumptions.... Maybe those business-suited guys in the towers are actually responsible for the slow rebuilding of societal norms we can actually live with?