100 Days of Practice Round 2, Day 49: The Kindness of a Night's Sleep

She who walks a fine line between cynic and Pollyanna would be well advised to write her blogs after a night's sleep has reset her attitude clock.

This morning, staring into the darkness at 5 am, I was thinking about Jedward, the young Dublin twins who'd recently made it through several rounds of the British talent show, X-Factor.

I was too hard on the poor fellows.

I said they couldn't sing, couldn't dance. I am not the only one who said that, but isn't that part of the fun of these talent contests: everyone has an opinion and joins the discussion. Fact is, Jedward CAN sing and CAN dance. Given, not at superstar quality, but they certainly do a job that would quickly steal the show at a community event, and maybe that is perfectly good enough. Still, it's easy to see why the entire country was cheering them on: While they weren't quite polished enough to make it to the final round, they were genuine, enthusiastic, and innocent... Local boys who had a shot at the big time. Who can't get behind that? Hooray for our team.

The sad part is, now they're off the radar. It's a pity now that the boys will go home feeling like they had failed because they didn't make it to the top; hopefully they have either the inner wisdom or the outer wisdom (AKA supportive parents) to remind them that it was only a lost shot at fame, but not at success--and hopefully they've still got a pile of songs and dances in them.

One of the things I always appreciated most about music in Ireland was that, at a singsong, every person is encouraged to do their party piece, regardless of the quality of their voice. While they may neither be Luke Kelly nor Andreas Botticelli, they're still asked to "give us a song, Gary," and in many corners, they do—without introduction, apology, or self-consciousness.

Maybe Jedward just took it out of the sitting room and brought it to network television. Yes, they were surrounded by hot, barely dressed professional hiphop dancers during their act. Yes, the lighting and pyrotechnics were way over the top. And, yes, I am not a fan of most pop music.

But even the diehard anti-sports-tribe cynic can root for the home team now and then. Congrats to the boys for giving it their best shot. Now, get back to school and do your geography homework.


As for myself: Step away from the computer and start playing that flute.