Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Susan Boyle, we love you!

It defies all logic, all knowledge of human nature. How does a frumpy, middle-aged woman from a backwater Scottish village (who can’t even remember the word “village”) become an Internet sensation overnight, with a fan club already over a million strong?

Yes, she sings like an angel. But that’s not all of it. I guess it’s the courage — the courage to stand up onstage when the judges, the audience, and undoubtedly the show’s viewers, were unabashedly mocking you. You saw it, and you didn’t care. You even wiggled your hips, to the titters of many in attendance. You knew your moment was coming, and you patiently waited for it, answering the host’s condescending questions. Finally, it was your turn to sing.

And when those golden notes rang forth, your critics were silenced. The judges had tears in their eyes. The audience gave you a standing ovation before the first verse was sung.

Why do we love you so much? Oh Susan, you have given us much more than a song today — you have given us hope! You showed us that 47 years old is NOT too old to make one’s debut on the world’s stage. You showed us that physical beauty is a poor indicator of real talent. But most of all, and what made us cry, is that you showed us that even within the unlikeliest among us, some measure of greatness resides. Within each of us, as homely or as outcast as we may be, there exists some shining jewel just waiting to be polished off and revealed.

Thank you, Susan Boyle, for giving us… ourselves.

(Posting this belatedly, because, and this is the truth — I didn’t think it’d be worthy or relevant to the Moose!)


  1. But not everyone on the Moose agrees with us. Scroll down through the recent diaries and read the comments in my diary about Susan and in Chrisblask’s diary.

  2. …focused on Sarah Boyle’s atypical superstar looks, her hidden talent, and the way perhaps this would be exploited by the media industry. One thing perhaps got lost in the cultural theory, her age.

    For all my scepticism about anything Simon Cowell is involved in, I think part of Boyle’s appeal is that it’s never too late

    In highly competitive market economies, like the US and UK, great weight is placed on success and achievement, and is natural in such a race, getting ahead early is highly prized.

    Thus we tend to worship youthful success, though my personal experience of this (from friends or colleagues) is that early success, acceleration through high school grades, exposure to publicity in early 20s, arriving at a moment of glory too early, are in the long run fairly destructive to the real growth of talent.

    The fact that Sarah Boyle erupts onto the scene, not as some teenage wannabe, but in her late 40s, is a great reminder that people develop at different rates, and that some things improve with maturity. She’s also a great exemplar of someone who is their own person before being exposed to the image creators and personality makeover experts.

    It reminds me of when I used to run more often. When I was in my 20s, I always used to get in pointless races with people also running round my local park. But you can no more rat race in jogging than you can in real life. You may be sprinting in your first mile, but that person alongside may have run a half marathon, and you could easily fade before you get anywhere near them. We all start off at different points, and push ourselves in completely different ways to achieve our personal bests.

    Which in turn reminds me of one of my favourite Russian maxims

    Life is not a walk across a field.

    I’ve kind of modified this for our hyper competitive age

    Life is not a race across a field.

    After all, who wants to get to the finishing line of life first? Certainly not me.  

  3. And I’m with you.  Susan is yet another confirmation of my belief in the amazing positivity of the human species.  In fact most everyone is, but she went out of her way to prove it.


  4. i like(d) this story for the v. reasons you cite and some you didn’t – i just feel like now – um – its gone a bit overboard.  lovely singer, great heartwarming story – but given us hope as a society….  hhmmph.

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