A friend was recently saying he was “puzzled by this Susan Boyle thing. Why all the hoo ha? She can sing but is not young and attractive? It’s just patronising.”
On the one hand it is patronising. The look on Piers Morgans face had prejudiced moron written all over it. And what he said at the end? “When you stood there and said [..] you wanted to be like Elaine Page, everyone was laughing at you.” That was a HORRIBLE thing to say to someone. It was not true, and it is remiss of him to project his bitter emotions onto the rest of us; and even if it were true, that’s just not something you say to anyone – most of all a woman who appears to be loving, kind, and generous; and whom many people would love to see find good fortune, especially if it is the product of her efforts.
But on the other hand it could also be a turning point. It could be the moment when meritocracy is reborn into the entertainment sphere. And the seed of empathy which is nourished in the media – especially social media – can blossom into a flower of renewed pride in public life.
A renaissance in which quality counts more than appearance, ability is more important than age, experience is recognised and appreciated, and the oxygen of authenticity is restored to our gasping souls.
Organic vegetables led the way, and entertainment can follow. We are seeing that our perfect models come at too high a price: they fail to nourish us, do not enrich or stabilise the soil in which they grow, take too much feeding, and leave the other perfectly good specimens which somehow fail to invoke a Platonic ideal to be treated like rubbish.
Piers Morgan was utterly wrong. Through Susan Boyle we see that we want to see everyone succeed, we want to help each other grow, and we don’t have a problem with including everyone in our world.