I wish singing was as natural and easy as Amanda Palmer makes it sound. According to her, anyone can just unlock their voice and sing out. (Cat Stevens says the same thing.) It’s not true, of course; some people don’t have the innate ability, while some don’t have the courage. But it is a beautiful idea, best taken as a broad metaphor for the magic of self-expression. Amanda Palmer, as she writes in her book, believes that self-expression is free to anyone, and vulnerability, and putting yourself out there, and asking for whatever you need to ask for. It’s a beautiful and inspiring idea, and I’m sure that it’s helped a great many people. She doesn’t ever really confront all of the ways that those things are insurmountable for some people. She doesn’t seem to understand that some people have no one to reach out to. But it’s not that kind of a book, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It is not Amanda Palmer’s calling in life to confront the structures of disenfranchisement. Her calling is to inspire the people who have something to reach for, to reach for it. That’s pretty damn noble, in its own way, and it’s needed.