Friday, April 17, 2009

rant rant rant

Have you all seen the Susan Boyle Britain's Got Talent by now?

Everyone's talking about what a marvellous triumph over cynicism it is. I agree it's moving and she's brilliant and so on. But what I feel most about the whole thing is frustrated rage.

These two unbearably smug men, whose talent is making money through exploitation, and some young blond one who's there for her young blondness alone, I suspect, sneering at this woman because she dares to stand in front of them with frizzy greying hair and middle aged spread and unplucked eyebrows and she's provincial, and dares to be ebullient nonetheless, never mind that she's perfectly well turned out and she's working some high high heels.

And they snigger and sneer, and the girls in the audience look like they might fall off their seats in disgust. Disgust.

For this old woman. Who dares breach this hideous world of fake tan and g strings and teeth whitening and duct taped boobs. She dares to be real, and have confidence and have real talent.

'Everyone was laughing at you', 'Everyone was against you'. What the fuck?

And it turned out they all had to eat humble pie. Which was great.

But you know, what if she hadn't been that great? Then she would have deserved the abuse and dismissal? Because of what she looked like? Because she was 48? And she says 'but that's not all I am' and they look like she's just pissed in their prawn cocktail.

Who know what Susan Boyle was doing when she was 17. She might have been studying. Or looking after her parents. Or stuck in a village learning to sing beautifully in her church choir.

It doesn't matter why she's doing this thing in her late forties. The tragedy of it is that those fuckers, and all the little upstart children in the audience should have respect for this woman.
Because of her grey hair. Because of her age. Because she's a woman. There must have been time when age and experience were respected in their own right, instead of this cult of slutty exploited youth Simon Cowell has propagated.

Alright, I know the whole sneering thing is just part of the act, maybe they'd even heard her already,whatever. But still, 'triumph over cynicism' maybe, but I'm far less cheered by the example of how ingrained the sexist, ageist, lookist values of our society are now. Blithely accepted and lauded.

It doesn't make me look forward to my future as an invisible woman. Or my daughter's, she's going to want a boob job by the time she's 14.

19 comments:

Ciara said...

I haven't seen or heard about it due to my allergy to that sort of TV. That and 'reality tv'... shudder.

But. All that you say rings so true it could be applied to many, many situations. Justified ranting I'd say!

Right, I'm off to take a gander before I say anymore.

I may be back tho...

tattyfraney said...

i could not agree more with what you say. well put!

Ms. Moon said...

You almost made me cry there. I have SO much to say on this topic and you hit the nail on the head with the "invisibility" thing.
I am fifty-four and I REFUSE to be invisible. I refuse to slip away quietly and you know why? Because I have so much more left to offer because of my years. Not wisdom or talent so much but experience.
Sorry. I'm feeling a rant coming on.
Bless you for saying all of this, Jo.
And bless that woman for refusing to give in to the taunts and the jeers and opening her mouth and letting out her heart.

jothemama said...

She was magnificent! She certainly calmly and assertively insisted on being seen, didn't she?

NOT a mad old bat at all.

I was ranting about this to my husband, and he made me sad too, by saying he knows all about invisiblity - he's 37 and greying and lost his hair, and he's in the band with two twenty four year olds. He says he stands there while people talk to his singer, ask about his drummer, and oh, is that other lad still there?

Never mind his guitar playing, you know?

It's dismal.

jothemama said...

And Ms Moon, you have Wisdom and talent aplenty. At the end of the world, you'll be the one sprouting seeds and feeding us and holding our hearts together!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Hear hear.

Maxi Cane said...

I agree to a certain extent, but at the end of the day, they go out on that stage to be judged, and human nature means that they're judged on appearances also.

I saw the show first time round and I was cringing when she came out, but I was, like everyone else, blown away.

Yes it's shit, but she'll have the last laugh.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

The assumption that she would have a voice like a lobster being boiled because of her looks is what irritated me.

Maxi Cane said...

I agree. For me it was her demeanour. You see so many contestants on these shows act like the person to be avioded at a party and they usually end up sounding like a lobster.

mammydiaries said...

What made my jaw drop was the fact they said all that shit to her at the end and expected her to be GRATEFUL! I mean WTF?!?!?!?

"Oh God! We were all laughing at you, you sad, mad provincial cow but how you surprised us!"

Um thanks, I think, you stuck up your own arse, arrogant piece of judgemental rubbish.

God I hate reality tv.

laughykate said...

I thought exactly the same thing. They were excited at how much shit they were going to be able to throw at her, so fucking eagerly smug, gah, I can't even finish the sentence becacue I detest their reactions and them so much.

K8 the Gr8 said...

Clever camera editing though maybe... I'd say most of the audience was open-minded from the outset, they just showed the smug few. They wanted to piss people off, clever marketing that is.

Andrew said...

Damn. This is one of those occasions when I was going to write my own post on the topic, then read yours and realised you'd said pretty much everything I wanted to say, only better. this is very, very well put.

Mind you, this being blogging I'll probably still have a go at putting my own slant on it anyway.

jothemama said...

You could be right K8, of course there's an element of that, but I'm not sure that changes anything, really.

Thank you, Andrew, for the very, very. I was thinking it wasn't very finely crafted and a bit too cursey, looking back.

A rant's a rant though, I suppose.

B said...

To be fair, what they often do is gather up audience and judge reactions at random and place them into appropriate positions.

Those audience people may now be getting a whole load of abuse for laughing at something else entirely.

jothemama said...

True, B, true. Like 'generic footage' of Palestinians stoning Israelis...

So that would let the audience off the hook, but doubly tar the evil media with creating and reinforcing the whole issue in the first place.

B said...

the media cannot be tarred enough, especially any media involving Piers f*cking Morgan.


...I hope that makes sense

jothemama said...

It certainly f*cking does, B, you're not wrong.

Rechru said...

Oh my I had the same rant at home in my parents' kitchen watching this on Youtube, I did think that about the camera editing of the audience but Piers Morgan's comment that everyone was laughing said it all. Its vile.