"What has inflamed the public imagination isn’t the discovery of a new Mariah Carey or Maria Callas so much as the notion that an ordinary singleton from a run-down industrial village can seize her chance at glory and translate it into fame. For that is what Boyle has done.
Win or lose on Saturday night, she will have a lifelong afterlife on the variety circuit, hired for comedy shows, Christmas pantomimes and nostalgia concerts. She will be a hit with the troops in Afghanistan and with senior citizens in music halls.
Boyle will be pursued by the press, her every unguarded expletive greeted with banner headlines, as if a churchgoing woman whose life has previously trudged drearily by isn’t to be allowed the occasional whooped obscenity at her sudden change of fortune.
As she whoops, so do we. For the change in Susan Boyle is the hope in every human heart that has suffered the loss of a job, a home and a life’s savings this year. If she can do it, the audience prays, so perhaps can we.
Millions from Kenya to Korea will be rooting for Boyle to win on Saturday night, not because they admire her small and very specific talent but because they live in hope that her dream could somehow be theirs. Boyle is the first heroine of the Yes We Can universe."
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Defending Susan Boyle
The public can be very fickle and very cruel. I'm tired of the spate of attacks against singer Susan Boyle and hope that even if she doesn't become the winner of "Britain's Got Talent", she will be treated more kindly than she has been. I had to laugh recently when Lily Allen, a singer I have never heard of, criticized her. There's no doubt that more people have heard of Susan than have heard of Lily. Anyway, here's some of what critic Norman Lebrecht had to say: