Sunday, April 19, 2009

Susan Boyle

No, I'm not going to post that damn YouTube video.

First, good for Susan Boyle. Really. Frumpy people can sing. Good for her.

Second, isn't it amazing that we should be shocked by this, as if one had the slightest relation to the other? Next thing you know we'll find out that people without fashion sense can dance, and that people with unhip haircuts can paint.

I so hate MTV and what it has wrought and rot. Thank God Van Morrison and Roy Orbison arrived before the age of the music video. Watching the smarmy, condescending judges before Susan opened her mouth, I witnessed something very ugly that had absolutely nothing to do with the woman holding the microphone.

9 comments:

Mercury said...

Thank you for voicing this. You took the words right out of my mouth!!!


"Watching the smarmy, condescending judges before Susan opened her mouth, I witnessed something very ugly that had absolutely nothing to do with the woman holding the microphone."

Indeed!!!!

Mary said...

I thought that the reactions of the young girls in the audience were even more disturbing/infuriating than those of the judges. Of course, Simon Cowell and Pierce whatshisname are sort of playing characters--the nasty, superficial judges. But the rx of those young women in the audience show a pretty dismal reality that goes way beyond reality show caricatures.

modoro said...

In a better world, Ms. Boyle will have opened the door to those who don't have the look but have the talent. But hopefully not in a hipster or "ironic" way.

Andy Whitman said...

Perhaps you're right, modoro. I mean no disrespenct toward Ms. Boyle. The video I've seen includes both the reactions of the judges and the audience, and the performance of the song itself. I have no idea about the sequence of those events, but the video is certainly constructed to look like they took place simultaneously. I think the judges should be taken out behind the studio and shot for the good of humanity. They give "mankind" a bad name. The snickering of the audience members indicates a shallowness that is mind-boggling as well.

A better question to ask, in my opinion, is why this performance should be viewed as extraordinary. Does Susan Boyle sing well? Of course she does. But there are thousands of people who sing just as well every night of the week. They just never happen to make it to TV. Why? And what does that say about the culture in which we live? Those are the questions that interest me, and they will continue to interest me long after Susan Boyle has her deserved fame, whether that's fifteen years or fifteen minutes.

JoelK said...

Very good questions. I think you've gotten to the heart of this one.

Jon said...

"But there are thousands of people who sing just as well every night of the week. They just never happen to make it to TV. Why? And what does that say about the culture in which we live?"The fact that we all like to look at beautiful people--and aren't as fond of looking at homely people--says something about human nature and absolutely nothing about "our" culture in particular.

What should be interesting is that someone in our culture created a television show to showcase the talents of "normal" people. And then, in a celebration of a beautiful voice, someone else in our culture started spreading a YouTube video of that voice.

But you're right--there are many, many voices that are as good as or better than hers.

My sister in law has a stunning soprano voice. She's pretty, but hardly a beauty queen. So why isn't she on TV?

Partly, she doesn't want it. She chose instead to be a music teacher at an elementary school.

And partly, because she wasn't (can we be honest here?) ugly enough to surprise the world and get posted on YouTube.

On the other hand, who's going to change the world: someone who gets 15 minutes of fame, or someone who spends her life trying to make a difference in the lives of kids?

So ultimately, why should any of us be terribly concerned that some people will never make it on television?

John McCollum said...

Her voice? Above average for an amateur. Below average for a professional.

Really, people. She's not extraordinary. Close your eyes and listen to her again. Meh.

Ever met any studio musicians? I have. Few of them are gorgeous. Many are barely presentable. 90% of them sing/play better than 90% of the current crop of VH1 (or whichever station currently plays music videos) stars.

jackscrow said...

Plant.

$$$$$$$$

Who watches this shit? Oh, evidently you guys. Sorry. For. You.

When they start writing and playing their own songs, maybe I'll tune in.

On to more important things:

Fred Eaglesmith tonight at Stuart's.

YEA!

Natsthename said...

I know, eh? And hot people are not necessarily the best singers, but we have Spears and Madonna at the top of the charts.