So my mom and I discovered the story of Susan Boyle, this year's surprise talent of the "Britain's got Talent" show, this morning over breakfast, and of course, everyone has been talking about her all day. (Here is a link to the youtube video if you haven't seen it yet. i had a hard time not crying, especially since i have sung that song and know it is very difficult).
I have a very hard time watching the begining of the video because everybody is so patronising. They have this attitude of "Who does this old lady think she is? Oh well, we'll have a laugh and send her on her way soon enough." I find it quite disgusting, especially in a show that invites talent from everywhere, and has already had a surprise Opera singer a few years ago. This article from the Herald agrees with me, much more eloquently.
I am far too empathetic and feel people's discomfort for them. I cringe and squirm until I know things are going to be alright. I try to give encouraging smiles and nods, or catcalls, if they appear to be floundering. One of my friends watches me unstead of the tv sometimes because i show everything on my face. But I cannot stand people who discourage and put down.
Its just like the high school talent show, when some kids that we had known since kindergarten got up a rock band and performed, I think it was in grade 10. They were all on the geeky band side of things, and some of the guys were up there in their tucked in poloshirts and khakis. Some of my "friends" were sitting in front of me. they considered themselves to be relatively cool, if there can be a "cool" to the band side of things. They started giggling and whispering and then some burst into outright laughter. There was a bit of giggling from the rest of the packed auditorium too. I was cheering, along with some others. They glowered at me.
I leaned forward and said "Are you guys up there?" silence and glowers, "'Cause it took them a lot of courage to get up there and perform, and they're probably one of the better acts today. Show some respect for your friends." I leaned back and continued to cheer. By this time I was the majority, and my "friends" had to join in or look stupid.
One of those guys is now trying to make a career for himself in music, and has tried out for Canadian Idol, and even made it far enough to have a few clips on TV.
Talent comes from everywhere. If we discounted everyone who did not fit our idea of physical perfection, we wouldn't have gotten very far past the mouths of our caves. We really should go back to radio, this obsession with beauty and style is wearing me out.