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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 20, 2009 / 26 Nisan 5769

Up like a rocket, but then what?

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | She walked onto the stage in a frumpy dress, with unwieldy hair and a stout figure, looking very much like a middle-aged Scottish woman who lives alone with her cat.


Which she was.


And then she began to sing.


And she brought the house down.


By now, you've probably heard of Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old unemployed church worker with the voice of a Broadway diva. The YouTube video of her audition for "Britain's Got Talent" had been viewed nearly 20 million times, and by the time you read this, it could be 25 million. She has been interviewed by CBS and Larry King, pursued by newspapers around the world, chased after by Hollywood producers.


This all happened in a week.


And that's what scares me.

A METEOR LIKE ELVIS
It used to be, if a singer was discovered, it happened small, in a club or an office. A recording was made. Maybe it got played on a radio station. It grew slowly, organically.


Consider Elvis Presley. He was discovered after walking into a Memphis studio to make a record for his mother. Everyone thinks he just took off. But from the time he showed up that day to his first real public performance was over a year, and his first record was released a year after that. Yes, his rise was meteoric. It still took a while.


Today, it takes minutes. Think about it. A week ago, you hadn't heard of Susan Boyle. Now you can listen to a rare 1999 recording she made for a charity project. It's online.


I've been asking myself why Boyle struck such a chord. Someone referred to her as the slumdog millionaire of music. Maybe that's part of it. We love an underdog story. We relate to the ugly duckling. When Boyle tells the cameras she has "never been kissed," that she has never had a date, that her dream is to be a singer but she has never been given the opportunity, well, your heart goes out to her.


And when the audience rises and cheers her, even the hardened cynics might admit to a lump in their throats.


The thing is, the audience was cheering her from the first line of the song. The first line?


That's how fast we render public opinion.

AN 'IDOL' NO MORE
And what scares me is this: What's fast on the way up is fast on the way down. I remember interviewing William Hung a few years ago. You remember Hung. He was an "American Idol" contestant who sung so badly, he became endearing. He made a record. He was hot for his 15 minutes.


But by the time I spoke with him, his 15 minutes were up. He was promoting something, but you could tell nobody much cared. The public was onto the next oddball phenomenon — which is a specialty of the Internet.


Meanwhile, Hung — who dropped out of college to pursue his singing — acted as if he'd be recording forever. He got defensive about his talent. He honestly thought people found his off-key performances melodic. It was sad.


I don't know what's in store for Susan Boyle. For all this attention, she only passed the initial audition stages of "Britain's Got Talent" — meaning there will be weeks more of competition. Will the public tire of her, the way it does of everything else? Will it demand that she fix herself up? Will it criticize her weight? Will it realize that while her voice is amazing for an unemployed church worker, it is just OK when compared to other major singing talents?


If so, then what? Does this wonderful ride Boyle is on come crashing down? I admit, I got a little misty the first time I saw Boyle win over the crowd. But I also wondered if there wasn't some catch to this — did the judges know how good she was? Would we find out something about her later on? Could this really be as sweet as it seemed?


Maybe I'm too cynical. But in a world where an overnight sensation doesn't even take that long anymore, what choice do you have?

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