Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Absence, and chickening out

In the drafts folder of this blog there is a long and indignant post about Susan Boyle, the 'unlikely' singer who blew away the judges of Britain's Got Talent. I was arguing that people had overreacted to her talent, which is not so rare as many believe, and I was especially annoyed with Clive James, who wrote smugly - and ill-advisedly so - that there were many members of professional opera choruses who were just as good as Boyle but could never hope to be stars. I wanted to add my ha'penny's worth of bile by spitting scorn at him, since Boyle's voice is untrained and therefore nowhere near as strong, reliable and wide-ranging as any professional singer.

In the end, though, I decided the post was too long, and too vitriolic, to actually publish. It is true that people often wax lyrical on subjects they know nothing about - but this is what we call the public consciousness. If people just stuck to what they know, we'd be a nation of closeted specialists, scurrying around in tight gangs and expressing approximately eight opinions a year, the rest of the time restricting ourselves to curious, neutral observation, nodding gravely as singing instructors and musicologists pronounce on a performance that has brought joy to many people, however amateur.

Susan Boyle will never have the voice of a trained opera singer; that is fact. But I think the longer version of the article I have saved simply misses the huge emotional point far more than it makes a new, rational one - so I'm going to censor myself. I like doing this. It makes me feel responsible. How clear-headed and mature I am!

Now I'm off to terrify twenty eleven-year-olds into bewildered submission. I've got to let my anger out somewhere, after all.

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