Sunday, May 31, 2009

She dreamed a dream.

Susan Boyle lost Britain's Got Talent this weekend. That part I'm not so sad about. Contests have winners and losers; contestants with more exposure often feel a backlash. I was never so attached to her talent (I think she's a very good singer, maybe a great one) as I was to her story: she dreamed of singing in front of thousands, she never gave up on that dream, and she got her chance.

What makes me sad is the news reporting today that she's checked into a psychiatric clinic for acute emotional distress; apparently, she's been slowly breaking down for awhile now and struggling to keep it all together (she had lots of psychiatric/psychological support when she was competing which makes sense, because to go from living with your cat alone to getting filmed by actual paparazzi all the time would make anyone's head explode) and it all came to a head after she lost the show.

There's probably some little proverb or fable to be woven here about the evil of the modern media machine or the folly of seeking one's fifteen minutes of fame. I don't know. I can't see it like that right now.

I know how it feels to want something, to feel pressured to get it, to fail, and to have it destroy you. To have it happen on a public stage is unimaginable for me. Maybe it shouldn't matter to me, but it does, and my heart is breaking for her.

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