I, like many many others, watched the recap of Susan Boyle wow the snarky judges on whatever that show is called--I guess it was a British version--I never watch it ever, and that's no lie--never, people.
Call me a buzz-kill, and I am. I'm about to kill the buzz. Well, only if you agree with me, I suppose.
She came out, she had a matronly air, matching dress and shoes, and a questionable hairdo, she was "homely" if our standards are plastic, she was humble and not flashy, she was "older" (if late-40s means you're a 19th century spinster).
If you watch the video, the hideous crowd of hyenas, including the judges, was sneering, mocking, laughing, and jeering. They rolled their eyes, they whispered like nasty schoolyard children. They laughed at her appearance, her "antiquated" referral to Elaine Page, her provenance as a villager, her seeming naivete, her perceived chutzpah at placing herself on a stage amidst the "sexy" hopefuls.
Well, she opened her mouth and sang, and sure, she was good. She had a very nice voice and presentation.
The judges oohed a bit, and the audience/ herd of wildebeests burst into cheering (let me hasten to add, as I don't wish to offend, I don't include you, good reader, in this tirade--your reaction to her pretty voice was I'm sure honestly come by, as you weren't there mocking her initially). They cheered and cheered, while I was still shivering in disgust. Not at Ms. Boyle, but at the resounding sound of our culture at its very very worst.
Afterwards, the judges apologized--"we were laughing at you" "you shocked us" "everyone was against you"--and then made good by their approbation.
But too little too late. The initial disrespect, the mocking, could not be undone, at least not in my eyes. I believe it was all about her physical appearance, and fine, this is show biz of some dubious sort, but what a load of phoney-baloney and yes, moral degradation and misogyny.
"You can go back to the village with your head held high, it's 3 yeses," intoned the kitschy-snarky judge. Really? She and everyone who attended her church already knew she could sing. Was the approval of this shoving mass of rude, braying jackasses really the difference between shame and self-esteem? Oh God I hope not.
Susan Boyle, congratulations, but I do wish they hadn't disrespected you so. You should've given 'em the finger, but then you would have been right down to their level.