Friday, December 18, 2009

Gordon in the morning: Running edicts direct from Simon Cowell's desk

The further suspicion that the Rage Against The Machine for Christmas campaign is the best thing to happen to the X Factor continues with Gordon running angry statements from Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, apparently without any sense of irony:

SIMON COWELL has blasted the campaign to get RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE to the festive top spot - branding its supporters "a hate mob".

Really, Simon? You think a little bit of festive fun is on a par with a hate mob, do you?

Still, it's lucky that Joe's already been through a much worse ordeal, when you made all the auditioning types on your programme do so in front of a baying crowd. That wasn't a mob, though, was it? Just good telly, right?
Music mogul Simon is so angry he interrupted his hols in Barbados to ring me yesterday.

Good lord - he's so annoyed he's spending a couple of minutes on the phone? This is serious.
He raged:

... against the machine?
"All these musical snobs have ganged up against Joe."

Well, hardly, sweetcakes. No musical snob worth their disdain glands would suggest that putting Rage Against The Machine's grumpy teenage thumpbox to number one, now, would they?

And since the campaign actually started before Joe won the X Factor, it's clearly aimed at the corporation, not the individual.
"If you take me out of the equation, you have a teenager with his first single being attacked by a huge hate mob on Facebook."

Actually, Cowell, if you are taken out the equation, Joe would still be earning his Christmas money passing packages to a man pretending to be Santa. And had Joe somehow managed to get a single out into the Christmas market without the X Factor, and if it had somehow been in with a chance of being the Christmas number one, most people would probably wish him well.
"It almost feels like a little kid being bullied."

And bullying is only funny if it's done by a man in an open-necked shirt on ITV at teatime.
It feels like a spiteful campaign aimed at an 18-year-old who won a talent competition.

No it doesn't, it feels like a misguided campaign aimed at a couple of large media companies which dominate the chart landscape.

After all, it's not like the X Factor is anything like a talent show, is it?
"It's David versus Goliath and it's not fair on Joe. It's getting out of hand."

David versus Goliath? What do you actually mean by that? Are you suggesting that Joe is a plucky little David taking on the Goliaths of a few people on Facebook?

But that can't be - what with Joe having had hours of TV exposure in front of millions and millions of people, and the full marketing might of Cowell, ITV and Sony behind him. And being the bookie's favourite by quite a distance.

Although David did have God on his side, so maybe Cowell is suggesting that parallel.

Mind you, Goliath was the most famous Philistine in history. So perhaps that's what Simon means. Though you can't, surely, simultaneously be a musical snob and a Philistine, can you?

But it's not just Cowell who is pretending to be angry, is it, Gordon?
Mild-mannered CHERYL COLE, Joe's mentor on the ITV show, is none to pleased either.

Mild-mannered? She's got a conviction for assault.
Chezza thundered: "I would be devastated to see Joe lose out. He put his heart and soul into every single week of The X Factor.

"I cannot bear to see him lose to a mean campaign that has nothing to do with his efforts.

"If that song, or should I say campaign, by an American group is our Christmas No1 I'll be gutted for him and our charts."

What's that, Cheryl - you're suggesting that there's something wrong with an American act being number one in the UK? Like it's somehow unpatriotic? In which case, shouldn't you hand yourself in as some sort of collaborator for trying to get WillIAm to number one last year?

The bottom line is this strange assumption that being number one at Christmas is part of the prize for the X Factor, like some sort of divine right.

The Rage campaign is silly. But, frankly, in the face of this nasty marketing push from ITV & Cowell trying to make it sound like bullying - which is unfair on the organisers and belittling of people who actually are bullied - you can't help but wish them well.

Oh, and the profits from Rage are going to help Shelter, which is a good thing.
[UPDATE: To clarify and correct: The Rage campaign are asking people to make a separate donation to Shelter; Tom Morello is donating his profit to charity, but that will be a different one.]


6 comments:

Rick said...

Of course it's silly. Since when has Christmas number 1 been serious, or even about music?

Maybe that's what is for. Maybe a few people want to see a bit of fun, a big stupid race between Mr Blobby and Take That or that beautifully miserable Donnie Darko song.

And maybe the Rage track is a good choice after all. We're not really angry. Not really, in the war, poverty and murder sort of way. Just in the 'mum made me tidy my bedroom' sort of way. So fuck you, Cowell. For once the public isn't doing what you tell it.


Careful with the 'profits from Rage to charity' thing though. They're not. The campaign is just asking people to make a separate donation.

James said...

"The bottom line is this strange assumption that being number one at Christmas is part of the prize for the X Factor, like some sort of divine right."

This is the bit I've always found a little offensive. When 'Popstars the Rivals' launched (the show which put Girls Aloud and One True Voice together), the makers described the climax of the series as "Which band will get the Christmas number one?". I can't quite put my finger on it, but there was something unpleasant about the assumption that it would be one of them, as if the traditional Christmas Number One race had been bought by a huge company and plastered with sponsorship, all other contenders locked out, because of course none of them could hope to stand a chance against the might of two groups that didn't exist yet.

Sorry to sound grumpy. Ho ho ho, etc.

Spence said...

I like Alexandra Burke's quote from here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/music/newsid_10000000/newsid_10003500/10003530.stm

"I think Joe McElderry should be number 1 because it'll be his first number 1 bless him."

Ah yes, that's swayed me. Just off to iTunes.

simon h b said...

@Rick
Fair point on the profits thing - although Tom Morello is giving his share of the cash to a different charity.

david said...

"Mild-mannered? She's got a conviction for assault."

Nicely said.

Anonymous said...

BLOODY EVIL INTERNET WITH IT'S EVIL WAYS!!! Really. This is just getting daft. Talk about taking themselves far too seriously. "Hate mob"??

Now personally I think that the Rage Against The Machine campaign is nonsense, a waste of time and certainly nothing to do with music but to describe the campaign as a "hate mob" is just daft. Simon Cowell is scum. Really. This doesn't seem to be highlighted enough. Why has it become acceptable to watch this man verbally abuse people on national TV? As far as I'm concerned anyone who tunes into the programme should be ashamed of themselves. You are making this sort of behaviour acceptable. It's not. It's just, to paraphrase the arsehole himself, like little kids being bullied.

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