Bob Krumm wrote this week: The water cooler is spreading a virus
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, two events have leapt into America’s consciousness this week. The first was the Tea Party protests involving hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans in hundreds of cities all around the country.
The second was the sudden and stunning success of previously unknown church choir singer, Susan Boyle, who wowed judges and the audience in an audition for Britain’s Got Talent, the Anglican version of American Idol. Since Saturday night when her first song was broadcast to a British audience, Ms. Boyle’s televised appearance has been viewed by no less than 40 million people, a population eight times that of her native Scotland.
In just the last 24 hours she has been mentioned, complete with a color picture, on the front page of the Washington Post, was interviewed live on the CBS Early Show, and has been booked for an appearance on Oprah.
What these two seemingly unrelated events have in common is the internet.
To riff off of one of the comments, the revolution will not be televised – it will be on YouTube!
In a more serious vein, however, the example of Susan Boyle reveals two important things:
- Regular people can now become as famous as any celebrity. The video of Boyle’s performance contained the perfect combination of a stereotypical set-up, a surprising twist, and a heart-warming response. I have a feeling that we are going to be hearing from Ms. Boyle again.
- Succumbing to cynicism and “judging a book by its cover” just might put one into a very uncomfortable position. If Simon Cowell were not known for his disdain for most performers on these talent shows he would have looked like a real jerk.