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The freak show is back in town
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-04-22 09:05:34
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I’m not a fan of all these talent reality shows, actually I’m not fan of television in general and I just enjoy very few series which I prefer to get on DVD when they finish so I can enjoy them the full length when I have time. But of course I live today and with a little help from internet I cannot avoid or stop the information I receive and naturally part of this information is the events of the reality shows and yes I was aware of the late reality show star that died a month ago and yes the last few days I was forced to be aware of the two new reality stars that have obviously invaded everybody’s life with millions of viewers on YouTube.

freak01Yes, I first read about them on the news and yes out of curiosity I checked the video, first was Mrs. Susan Boyle, a woman who lived alone with her cat in a small village and as most of the agencies carefully pointed, a ‘hairy’ 46 year-old virgin with an angelic voice. And listening to her performance I have to admit it that I went through being surprised to enjoying it. Of course the media took good care of it having even the original performer emphasizing how difficult the song is and how wonderfully Mrs. Boyle performed it.

Then came the ten year-old Shaheen who’s dreaming to become the next Michael Jackson, I hope he doesn’t mean it literally; a perfect example of new Britain, half Wales half Iranian as again the media took care to emphasized and again I watched the video and I went through surprise and liked it and I would have totally forgotten both of them as I usually do with similar things if small details in both videos hadn’t hit me and somehow made me return later, watch them again and feel sad for both cases but most of all for all of us who for one more time have shown the most inhuman reactions and feelings.

freak02The second time I watched the videos I tried to focus more in the reactions of the so-called judges and the crowd and somehow both performers isolating the music and the songs. First of all I totally sympathize with both of them and yes both Mrs. Boyle and young Shaheen have every right to dream stardom and the glamorous life of a pop star and they should promote their talent even though I have my doubts about the ten year-old and his mother’s intensity to promote her son in a show like that that might stamp even ruin the rest of his life, but this is a different conversation. I’m glad these two and a lot more have the chance to show their talents and excuse what Andy Warhol have said about the ten minutes fame, obviously he was proven correct.

For the ones who remember the film “The Elephant Man” or have heard the story, you will remember that Mr. Merrick was a very sensitive and talented man but became part of a freak show because both him and the society didn’t know how else to deal with him. And Mr. Merrick unfortunately is not the first; freak shows there are all during history to entertain crowds from the Roman emperors’ festivities to the European kings’ courts. If you could separate the information and the picture from the voices you would understand that Mrs. Boyle has a nice voice but she will never be Elaine Paige and young Shaheed is nothing more than a poor imitation of young Michael Jackson. That’s all and if these two mean that Britain has talent then Britain has serious problems with talent.

freak03But let’s return to what I was saying about the judges and why I felt that the whole thing was orchestrated like a Roman Emperor’s circus and freak show. The boy comes on stage and sings for a few seconds one song when one of the judges, I apologize but I never been good with names that not interest me, stood up demanding to stop the music and to sing something else. And like a miracle the music was there waiting and it just happened the second song to be more demanding and of course the ten years-old to make everybody stand up in tears. In the case of Mrs. Boyle the audience was already cheering the moment the music started and all the judges had stood up literally in tears and the woman hadn’t even gone through a few notes.

I’m not trying to underestimate Mrs. Boyle’s and young Shaheen’s talent and effect, what I try to say is that they became the Elephant Man in the hands of a ruthless system that ignores their feelings and needs and more likely will through them away when the lights turn off. And yes this is show business but Mrs. Boyle is a lonely woman in her 47 with medical problems and Shaheen is just ten years-old, does anybody cares what will become of them when the lights are off? Coincidentally the same time a 22 years-old girl committed suicide because the television series she was playing was stopped, she couldn’t handle what the other two are forced to join and the word 'forced' is correct since they were pushed inside the coliseum and now they only thing they can do is run to survive.

Nobody would listen to the song if it was just the sound and they didn’t know that she was a medically ill 46 year-old woman who lives in a far away village, a virgin and with not conventionally look and definitely nobody would have bother to listen to another Michael Jackson imitation if it was not coming from a ten year-old!

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Eva2009-04-22 17:59:31
Bitter your juggling-with-coconuts act didn't make it? ;-p

Eva2009-04-22 18:01:28
... or maybe your breakdance routine wasn't polished enough?

Eva2009-04-22 18:02:20
Sorry, Thanos, couldn't help myself... hahaha.


Thanos2009-04-22 18:32:33
I know you are joking ;p

Coincidentally it just happened a radio program I’m listening to play both songs and actually verify at least to me what I wrote, they have nice voices but not what is described and ones more the presenter emphasized that Mrs. Boyle is the 47 year-old virgin and that Shaheen is just ten year-old!

Asa2009-04-24 08:51:48
Eva, Thanos does have a lovely pair of coconuts.

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