After I sent it off to the entlings and other friends who tolerate my email intrusions, I found this Entertainment Weekly article by Lisa Schwarzbaum which echoed my own teary reaction so eloquently.
...right now I'm pondering why the experience of watching and listening to Ms. Boyle makes so many viewers cry, me among them. And I think I've got a simple answer, at least for me: In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging -- the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts -- the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms. Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace. She pierced my defenses. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective from time to time.
Yep. Simple as that. That's why I weep. What's your excuse?
The "unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed" vs. the well packaged with "the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts..." Such is the stuff of Napoleon Dynamite, YA novels and most teenagers' lives. That dichotomy is why I read children's and YA books.
Boyle's triumph is a validating moment for us all.
Update: Susan Boyle Hype Revitalizes 10-Year-Old Cover
And Jimmy Fallon shares his take: