Hello, yes, I know it’s been awhile, but I’m back and ready to grumble.
Okay, so a couple of friends have invited me to join this “Fuck you, Cowell, I won’t buy what you tell me” thing to get Rage Against The Machine to Christmas number one. I’m not sure I see the point.
I get the intentions behind it. Having a band who write their own songs and play their own instruments is infinitely more preferable to Cowell’s bland covers by the year’s most marketable face. I also concede that if exposure to “Killing In The Name” opens a few folks ears to musical experimentation, that is a good thing.
If this is a middle finger to the establishment, though, a rage against the machine if you will, you’ve backed the wrong horse. R.A.T.M. are to a big label, just like Simon’s plastics. Any money you spend will go the very same companies whose artists dominate the charts already. It is self-defeating. How much better it would have been to support a wholly independent artist. And if you want to be truly radical, what are you doing supporting this old and broken business model? Away to the P2P file-sharing networks where every thing is free!
Then there’s the “It’s a laugh, innit? It’d be funny for them to be number one!” argument. I admit seeing granny’s teeth fly out as she sings the chorus whole playing Guitar Hero would be right larks, but I wonder how Zack de la Rocha feels about being part of the joke? And if it is all just a laugh, then why get so worked up about Cowell’s cronies having a Christmas number one anyway?
Finally, aren’t Christmas number ones meant to be shit? Or do we really hold Cliff Cloth’s “Mistletoe and Wine”, Mr Blobby, and Bob the Builder in that high a regard? The biggest danger is we’ll take “Killing In The Name”, an anthem of rebellion, and turn it into just another Christmas novelty.
But, hey, what do I know? I’m probably just being deliberately contrary in order to appear too cool for school. There is a third option, if you’re interested. Why don’t you give Tim Minchin’s “White Wine In The Sun” a go? He’s Aussie and wears tight trousers!