Rage against the machine strikes a victory for music

Rage against the machine have become the most unlikeliest Christmas number one artists since Pink Floyd got to the top spot 30 years ago with Another Brick in the Wall, another anti-establishment song about alienation. There followed 30 years of mawkish slush.

This victory for the Californian rap-metal band may be seen as a victory for the underdog – for the passionate, politically motivated artist, taking a stand against the manufactured pop of the Simon Cowell factory – a glorified Karoke plant.   In many ways it is – people are sick of the constant monopolization of our culture and this is an easy target at which to express our dissatisfaction, there is a much bigger underlying malaise to all of this.   For all the rage directed at Simon Cowell and his X Factor puppets one can only feel that this cause de celebre is a matter of persecution.   He is not an evil man that is trying to destroy our culture from within, he is just maximizing his talent for creating brands and profiting from his ability of knowing what the public wants.  He’s in the entertainment industry and if he didn’t do it someone else would, it’s popular mainstream TV – he’s never professed at being the avatar for bold, brilliant and alternative new music.   Ironically he has managed to popularize music by bringing pop back to prime time TV and financially help an ailing industry.  The PR that both artists received during the chart battle was almost blanket coverage – assisting huge sales for all the parties involved, so know one really lost out, apart from Simon Cowell’s image, although he’s use to being vilified – society always needs someone to blame!


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