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L. Neil Smith's
Number 515, April 19, 2009

"The shot heard round the world"

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Susan Boyle, Spiritual Hunger, and Imperial Culture
The Kaptain's Log
by Kaptain Kanada, aka Manuel Miles
manuel_miles -+at+-

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

By now, if you have not heard of Susan Boyle, you are unlikely to be reading this—or anything else for that matter. Ever since the unassuming middle-aged Scottish spinster auditioned for Britain's Got Talent a week ago the whole world has been talking about her triumphant rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream". At this writing, in a mere six days, said audition has been viewed at various YouTube postings over 50 million times, and countless television newscasts, talkshows and print media have discussed this phenomenon.

Much has been made of the spectacular and unprecedented Internet viewing frenzy and the lessons to be learnt from it. If I had a penny for every time someone has commented that, "You can't judge a book by looking at the cover," in the last week, I'd be as wealthy as Miss Boyle is likely to be a year from now. Others have said that the world needs a "good news" story as it continues to be driven headlong into economic depression and expanding imperial wars. Some opine the obvious fact that, "People love an 'underdog' story." All these observations are true.

What is largely overlooked, however, are the reasons for Susan Boyle's personal success and the fact that she enjoyed that success long before becoming an internationally adored singer. I suggest that it is that "success" which people sense and for which they hunger.

I refer to the rarely mentioned but all important "background story", that little which is known of Susan Boyle's life history: apparently the lady comes from a small Scottish village which has been (allegedly) described by Britain's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan as "a real dump". There she has spent her life, unmarried, and caring for her ailing mother until her mum died a few years ago. Miss Boyle is a church-going Catholic and sings in her parish choir. She recorded an excellent version of "Cry Me A River" for a charity CD several years ago.

The lady is not a hot young babe, is unemployed, lives with her cat, Pebbles, has never been kissed, and has been mocked for her eccentricity and a learning disability since childhood. Yet she has persevered in developing her amazing talent for singing, and she seems to be a happy individual. She had confidence and cheek enough to wiggle her hips at the audience when mock wolf whistles greeted her, then went on to fulfill her pre-performance vow to "...really rock this audience" from the first astounding note of her song. Now, that's what I call personal success!

Perhaps a life of commitment to God, family and one's fellow man is more fulfilling than the one of hedonistic narcissism which is perpetually promoted by the mainstream media. Perhaps people admire and even envy Susan her contentment and commitment. Perhaps people are more inspired by five minutes exposure to Susan Boyle than by a lifetime of "in your face" posturing from screeching sluts and squealing child molestors that the Roman circus of the "entertainment business" flings at us from all sides. Perhaps there is hope for humanity after all...

And how ironic that a part of that circus, a "reality" television show, should have stumbled onto the antidote for the vacuous inanity of the rest of the animal acts which pass as role models for our times. For it is the intent of the entertainment biz to distract the masses of tax-bludgeoned citizens of the New World Order from the realities of war, bailout schemes and police statism and any debate about those sad facts of contemporary western "civilisation". Yet Susan Boyle's audacious audition has sparked an international discussion of values in an era of glib atheism, political irresponsibility and moral perversion. For that alone, may God continue to bless her.

A warning to the mainstream media: if you go poking about under rocks (or in quiet Scottish villages) you never know what you may find; maybe the dross you sought, but maybe a real gem. Susan Boyle is a rare gem indeed. We could use a few more like her if we are ever to live in a world of...

...Peace and Liberty

Manuel Miles is a Libertarian Christian and an inveterate iconoclast. He challenges authorities, experts and conventional "wisdom". He is a writer and itinerant pedagogue from Edmonton, Canada whose professed ambition is " trample everyone's sensitivities, regardless of their race, creed, colour, political persuasion, or what-have-you." His few friends describe him as "a nasty bit of baggage," and they are understating the case.


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