But, in the end, the mantra, “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” rang true with 50,000 more people than bought Joe McElderry’s debut single—and Rage Against The Machine secured their place in the history books, with the first ever download only UK number one Christmas single.
This is a victory for everyone who is tired of being expected to fall in line behind the wishes of Simon Cowell. A victory for everyone who is tired of the notion that, the only way to be popular; the only way to express yourself musically, is to be a bland, mediocre, “clean cut” automaton, carrying out the wishes of the puppet master, media company executives.
Simon Cowell makes very entertaining television and the winner of this year’s X Factor, Joe McElderry, seems like a very likeable lad. There is nothing wrong with being a fan of likeable entertainers and there is nothing wrong with mainstream chart success, if it is tempered by a true reflection of the music people are actually listening to, as opposed to what they are force fed.
But, similarly, there is nothing wrong with preferring your music a little more edgy and “real”. And if the 60s generation taught us anything at all, it’s that there’s nothing wrong with protest music in particular. Rage Against the Machine represent a young generation who are tired of being assumed to be misfit, irresponsible yobs, just because they care more about what’s happening in the news, than they care about what’s happening on reality television.
The doll eyed clowns who perform their plebdazzle charade week after week will soon fall back into a coma and forget who Joe McElderry is. Just as half the people who only bought the 24p download of Rage Against the Machine, just to imagine for a delicious moment the look on Simon Cowell’s face, as he realises he’ll have to wait another week to order that leather interior for his Ferrari Enzo, will similarly forget they have the power to protest against the shite of the world, right there on their desk—just waiting for them to tweet their angst at the precise moment the other people, just like you, are feeling the same way too.