Is YouTube fame instant, but hellishly short?
Or can the remarkable talent of Susan Boyle transcend the quick fix provided by the Web?
As far as "Britain's Got Talent" judge Amanda Holden is concerned, the Boyle phenomenon will not enjoy the time-travel of, say, Boyle's Law.
Saying that she was unsure whether Boyle would even perform well in the semifinals, Holden added: "I think it can go either way. We've built her up and the public could go, 'She's too big for her boots, she's too cocky.' She isn't. But we don't like too much success. It's a shame."
I'm not entirely sure which citizens of the world are members of Holden's "we." However, "we" sound like pretty dreadful people. It could be that she was merely referring to some specific sections of the British population. Those who watch talent shows, perhaps.
Still, Holden, a passable actress on British television who has now secured a presenter's slot on CBS's "The Early Show" (thanks, she says, to the fame provided by Boyle's performance), is very much in touch with the genial nature of the entertainment business.
She said: "After the show there won't be any time taken to record her album--there can't be. They need to get her into a studio straight after the show and get that bloody thing out."
Ah, yes, this is all about that bloody thing. Shove it onto iTunes and get everyone to download it within a week. Why does it have to get out fast? Because human beings are appalling.
Or as Holden chose to describe it: "This world is fickle. We pick people up and spit them out just as quick. We move on very fast. But who cares? She won't. This is more than she ever dreamed of anyway."
Well, now. Who knows just how big Boyle's dreams have become? And who knows whether "we" really are as fickle as Holden describes?
"We" probably are. But wouldn't it be endearing if "we" made an exception in this case?