So, Susan Boyle then. Enough said there, I think.
Meanwhile, Nige, the great disseminator of cultural arcanicity, points me to the memoirs of one Augustus Carp, Esq.
I was struck by Carp’s opening salvo, in which he decidedly makes no apology for writing his book:
It is customary, I have noticed, in publishing an autobiography to preface it with some sort of apology. But there are times, and surely the present is one of them, when to do so is manifestly unnecessary. In an age when every standard of decent conduct has either been torn down or is threatened with destruction; when every newspaper is daily reporting scenes of violence, divorce, and arson; when quite young girls smoke cigarettes and even, I am assured, sometimes cigars; when mature women, the mothers of unhappy children, enter the sea in one-piece bathing-costumes; and when married men, the heads of households, prefer the flicker of the cinematograph to the Athanasian Creed - then it is obviously a task, not to be justifiably avoided, to place some higher example before the world.
That was in 1924. It is comforting to know that the world always is, always has been, and always will be going to hell in a handcart.