I was tooling though the youtubiverse yest-morning and I came across Sung-Bong Choi from Korea. I was going to post solely about him with a waggish title like Sung-bong your heart out. We, as a family, gave up the ould telly about 25 years ago and I continue to feel smug about the decision. All those hours saved for reading books, staring at the ceiling, making jam rather than watching the sadly derivative TV material you have to sit through to cop the occasional gem. The Sung-bong youtube shows him make the judges of 코리아 갓 탤런트 (Korea's Got Talent) tear up at the grinding poverty & random violence that the boy went through living on the streets before his talent as a singer was recognised. The derivative nature of the show extends down to having two oriental clones of Ant & Dec who herd the hopefuls along the chute to the slaughter-house on stage. Why do we tolerate/celebrate a system that ensures that a young chap with the voice of an angel sleeps in a public toilet and earns $1-a-day while Justin Bieber earns a $1-a-second (*)? It's very little satisfaction that Sung-Bong (who isn't as white and symmetrical or as English-speaking and gelled-up as young Bieber) will now claw his way a little further up Mount Celebrity - he leaves a thousand similar kids on the street selling chewing gum for pennies. Sung-bong was assured by Ant-clone and Dec-clone that everyone, or at least the whole 50 million population of South Korea, was behind him. More than twice that number have now watched his discovery/revelation on youtube. If everyone of them shed a single tear that's more than 5 tons of salty water to lubricate his career.
Charlotte is a nice enough girl who appeared on BGT last year accompanying a mountainous chap called Jonathan who was 8 months older and 75 kilos bigger. When they shambled on with the crap clothes and Essex accents, everyone, judges and audience and viewers at home, was expecting excruciating. What they got was stunning. The Boy Sung-good, like Sung-bong before him on the other side of the planet. Jonathan and Charlotte have now been given a chance, a contract and a tailor who may have trained as a sailmaker, and I wish them well but I liked them just as they were: nice kids from Ordinaryville. Charlotte has clear reserves of kindness, of which we can never have enough.
But perhaps the take home of these three stories is not that some succeed and others fail but that we all succeed if we are satisfied with enough. Young Charlotte, wiser than her years, considered coming second - they lost to a performing dog - in the Final of BGT as a major achievement rather than a source of disappointment. Another thing is that singing, especially singing together, is part of the human condition and we should all, must all, do it more often.
STOP PRESS: Check out raw talent before it is discovered on Україна має талант (Ukraine's Got Talent):
Feibhár: Little Red Riding Hood and Everybody's names and True
And I've written about W!ld before:
W!ld: Stardust and 100 other songs (w/o pictures, though).
This is good 09DEC75 copy.
(*) The $1-a-second earnings of Bieber is actually a 2x under-estimate - discovered 5 years or 67,000,000 seconds ago, he is now "worth" $130 million.