So my old friend Mr. Stephen Jones and I are doing some urban spelunking deep within the "University District" of Seattle on a rainy Friday night. A couple of movie art houses are presenting bills that offer an ancient Louis Malle flick alongside the towering cinematic achievement of "Saw 2." The corner curry houses are doing a desultory business in over-spiced stews, and in the various coffee houses with free WiFi young couples who used to sit and have "intellectual" conversations over cappuccinos are sitting together staring at their laptop screens. Perhaps they're having "intellectual" instant messaging with each other.
The streets, though damp, boast roving clumps and clusters of drunken or stoned students, and the drunker and more stoned human detritus that takes shelter under the ever forgiving wing of what passes for institutions of "higher learning" in our cities. One young woman with a white marble complexion and wearing a hooded Eskimo coat is mistaken, in the mist, for a storefront mannequin. Hilarity and apologies ensue after a young fellow carelessly shakes his umbrella in her direction.
It's an aimless night on University Way and, aside from Twice-Sold Tales, a musty and chaotic used book store, very few shops are open except those that will give you caffeine, pho and facial piercings. Why no Seattle shop has broken down and offered all three of these things under one roof is beyond me. For a moment, I dream of starting a new international chain, StarPhoTats, to fill this obvious need of a nation with far too much time and money on its hands, but then my attention is distracted by a shop up the street that seems to be open.
I say "seems" because the entryway is dimly lit and the store name above the lintel is not lit at all. Still, the door is slightly ajar with bright white light spilling out onto the wet sidewalk. I look up and find out this emporium (since it seems to be a recycled Five and Dime ) is called "Off the Wall." It's not clear from the contents of the window what this store is selling. The window shows you only a worn and broken mannequin slumped in an ancient chair with a gas mask pulled over its head. It's the kind of display that either sucks you in or makes you turn, set your hair on fire, and run down the misted streets screaming "I got the fear!"
Naturally, we go in.Continued...
Read the whole thing and that includes the comments. It will give you insight, food for thought, and genuine UnObamabranded Hope.
What? Are you still here rather than THERE?
Once upon a time there lived a vain President whose only worries in life were to dress in elegant clothes, and own the most wonderful set of golf clubs in the world...Read on OVER HERE.
It's by Colette Home at the Herald. It not only encapsulates Boyle's now remarkable, but previously unnoticed story, it says what so many millions are thinking: The Beauty That Matters Is Always On The Inside
Susan is a reminder that it's time we all looked a little deeper. She has lived an obscure but important life. She has been a companionable and caring daughter. It's people like her who are the unseen glue in society; the ones who day in and day out put themselves last. They make this country civilised and they deserve acknowledgement and respect.
Susan has been forgiven her looks and been given respect because of her talent. She should always have received it because of the calibre of her character.
UPDATE: The Anchoress adds a deeper understanding on the deeper meaning of Susan Boyle.
I suspect it is because Susan Boyle has reminded us of something we’ve forgotten for too long. Hypnotised by Madison Avenue and Hollywood and the culture of youth, we’ve forgotten that the things they offer to us as “the norm” are ideals, and mostly fake ones. In embracing those fake ideals (how much money was spent last year in cosmetic surgeries and teeth-whitening?) we’ve forgotten that beyond all of those superficialities, we each have within us something of much greater value than perky breasts and unlined skin: the divine spark, the God-kiss, that lives in each and every one of us - no exceptions.
I think we look at Susan Boyle and her artistry (and she is clearly an artist) and we think, “wait a second…that’s not the narrative! Ordinary people who look ordinary, and live obscurely and who don’t run with the herd are not supposed to be great.” And then we dare to think: “what if there is greatness in all of us?”