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Sean Fury and the Power of Self-Confidence

10 Dec 2012

written by Carolyn

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Sean Fury brings me joy.

If you haven’t experienced Sean Fury, let me correct that oversight for you right now. Someone on YouTube referred to Sean Fury’s “Biracial Girl” as his “Billie Jean.” I’ll let you judge for yourself.

But Sean Fury is not just a singer-slash-dancer-slash-songwriter. As his bio notes, he’s is an “everythinger” – including, apparently, a rapper. Check out his homage to ’80s hip-hop, “Do You Hear What I’m Saying.” Please keep watching for the dance sequence on the stairs at the end – a modern-day Gene Kelly:

If you read this blog regularly, by this point, you know I have to be saying all of this with tongue firmly implanted in cheek, and you’re waiting for the punch line. But there is no punch line. Or, rather, if I were just here to joke, Sean Fury is his own punch line. His videos have made the rounds on Twitter and Facebook because they are unintentionally hilarious. And certainly, Sean Fury can be enjoyed on that “is this dude for real? Naw” level. You can have that without any commentary from me.

But last night, I had an epiphany about Fury, and that epiphany is what led to this post. My Twitter timeline was on fire during the 30 for 30 documentary about Bo Jackson, a man who was quite possibly the most gifted athlete we have ever seen. Bo was outrageously good. In many ways, Bo Jackson was the polar opposite of Sean Fury, who is as untalented a performer as the world may ever see.

Yet Fury and Jackson have one thing in common: supreme self-confidence. Think about how much confidence it takes for a man to decide he’s going to play in both the NFL and Major League Baseball at the same time – and excel in both sports beyond all reasonable expectations.

Now think about how much confidence — along with a healthy dose of delusion — it takes for a man to make a career of something he is spectactularly bad at doing – so bad, in fact, that he gains a following of people who can’t wait for his next video to come out, just to see if it is as terrible or worse than the one that preceded it. Sean Fury’s entire entertainment existence is predicated on being so awful at what he does that people keep watching just to laugh at him. To keep doing something you enjoy when people, especially in this age of anonymous Internet cruelty, are happy to tell you that you suck, may take even more courage than the courage it took — and still takes — to be Bo Jackson, to be so good at everything that your failure becomes almost too much for a generation of sports fans to bear.

Many of us, who have far more talent than Sean Fury in our chosen fields of endeavor, nonetheless find ourselves crippled by fear and self-doubt. We often limit ourselves from reaching the heights we could reach, because we don’t want to laughed at and told we’re not as good at the thing we love as we think and hope we are. Sean Fury says, talent be damned, this is who I am – and he goes for it.

I salute Sean Fury, for showing us how to persevere. For proving that self-confidence is a far more important quality than talent. And for bringing us joy through his, um, “music.”


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