Sunday, April 19, 2009
Susan Boyle - A modern-day parable
The story of Susan Boyle has made headlines around the world; thanks to You Tube and other agencies of the WWW.
Susan's story and the amount of self-reflection it has engendered delivers to us a modern-day parable worthy of a Dominical origin. It has nothing to do with a rags-to-riches modern day fairy-tale or a feel good story that warms our hearts, the reaction has little to do with what sort of life Susan might have in the future, it is about what it has done to us. Yes, Us!
I have heard the comments: "her voice isn't that good"; "it's just the contrast between her ugly face and her OK voice"; "there are hundreds like her - she just got lucky", but I have also seen grown men cry on seeing the Youtube video of her performance (men who have seen first-hand the horrors of the recent Bush Fires) and I have read some fine articles in the 'quality' newspapers. What the writers of these articles seem to want to tell us is that if we bother to look at this global reaction to the Susan Boyle episode and analyze why it has happened, it causes us to re-think the way we judge others.
Writing in The Observer Professor Patricia Williams recalls her own upbringing and the prejudice she encountered for being Black, intelligent and a Woman. On Boyle she says: