18 April 2009


Insta-celebrity, Scotswoman Susan Boyle has gobsmacked the TV/Youtube world because talent, as is usually thought, must glam itself for presentation, for acceptability. Glamorous she is not.

She has said she does not want to much change herself in adjustment to her newfound fame because it would not be real, it would not be she, her authentic self.

Good for her. Good for us all, as we see an authentic person (at least for now) who just might remain so. Why become a spectacle? Why become a simulacrum of oneself, in which image becomes more "real" than the formerly "real?" And, in which the formerly "real" self gets lost in a funhouse of mirrors, with the way out permanently obscured?

Money, fame, career are terribly tempting. The loss of self must be weighed against winning the world--a dilemma I'm glad I do not have.

It will be interesting to watch Miss Boyle. In some ways I hope she steps back from front stage and dissolves back into a real life. In other ways, would it not be hopeful and inspiring to observe her build a singing career but remain homely, shy, unassuming, unadulterated--and real?

Good luck, Miss Boyle. You'll need to think hard about this turn of events. You'll need to hold onto a self that could get unreal real fast.

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