By now almost everyone online is familiar with the wonderful story of Susan Doyle.
There are many interesting dimensions to this story, like the one discussed by Henry Jenkins having to do with how quickly the world came to know about her (in How Susan Spread and What It Means). Like most people I’m sure, I too am happy for her current good fortune. It always makes me happy when something nice happens to someone – all the sweeter if they appear to be decent, deserving people. And there’s the rub, isn’t it? We (i.e. the great unwashed) were very quick to pass judgment on this lady and then changed our judgements when we discovered she really could sing.
Well, here’s an article that offers another way to think about it: What if Susan Boyle Couldn’t Sing? by Dennis Polumbo
How would the story be different if her voice had been unremarkable, or even ‘worse’ (interesting how that seems an appropriate adjective) flat or scratchy or off?
What does this say about us? It makes me ashamed. I was caught up in the hubub too. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being happy for her. The problem lies in how we judged her beforehand, AND with the fact that somehow it was OK to do that.
Think about it.