Sunday, 20 December 2009

Killing the X-factor

Two upsets this weekend: Chris Whatsisname won Strictly Come Dancing – proving once again that the great British public wouldn’t know talent if it came up and goosed them – and Rage Against the Machine and their festive ditty “Killing in the name of...” became number one in the music charts, leaving poor wee Joe Whatsisname from the X-Factor in number 2 position.

Can I just go on record to say that I am underwhelmed by both events. I’m much too busy worrying how to get this fake tattoo off my neck before I go back to work. It’s a lollipop, in case you’re curious and it seemed a good idea at the time. Eeesh, the silly things we do at parties. At least I didn’t join in the congo. WTF is that all about? Gripping the hips of the person in front of you and kicking as you move forward in a human chain? As much fun as counting the hairs on my knuckles. Nor did I join the line seated on the floor, pretending to row a boat to Oops Upside Your Head. Again, WTF? It has all the amusement factor of extracting nasal hair with a fork ‘n knife. (See what I did there?) But the stick-on tattoo? All the fun of the fair. How could I say no?

Rage Against the Machine was used as a rage against the Cowell Machine. We’re sick; it seems of sugary ballads at Christmas and how a TV programme has dictated the song that we all rush to download like a giant flock of sheep to use as background music to our festivities. Instead, we allow a facebook campaign to dictate the song that we all rush to download, like a giant flock of sheep to use as background...ah, you get my point. Anybody else spotting the irony here?

Someone at work tried to persuade me of the merits of the Rage campaign. The X-Factor has ruined the Xmas charts, he said. Firstly, I answered, I couldn’t give a fuck. Number 1 in the charts I couldn’t give a loose fart for, at ANY time of the year. Secondly, I continued (somewhat pompously) let’s look at the evidence. Number 1’s prior to Cowell’s grip tightened include the Spice Girls (singing sugary ballads) Westlife (singing sugary ballads) and Cliff Richard (singing Xmas themed sugary ballads). We’ve also had Mr Blobby, Bob the Builder and Renee and Renato.

So tell me again; what’s been ruined?

I'm all for breaking the X-Factor monopoly monotony, but could we pick something Christmassy the next time?

For those of you who care, 2009’s expression of the Christmas spirit contains 17 fucks and was reportedly played at maximum volume during the interrogation of detainees in the "War on Terror".

Rage's guitarist Tom Morello decried American soldiers "playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums". He added. “The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me.”

Merry Christmas, right enough.


  1. Nice rant Michael. Oh, and my I suggest a fashionable scarf?

  2. I actually have a fake tattoo story. My husband put one on his back as joke (a rockin' huge spider) and went to a sales conference/reward thingy in Hawaii. Well, we're from Boulder, otherwise known as Woo-Hoo town, so the LA folks accepted it as real. My husband plays volleyball in the pool all day, drinking, and gets roasted and toasted. The tattoo starts to come off, but that's cool, he has to wear a shirt for the duration now anyway, since he's so burned. So the other folks never knew it was fakesies. And BONUS, he got to have the white imprint of a spider on his shoulder blade for two more years! Yeah, the burn was that bad.

    It was a cool spider. Wish he had the balls to get a real one. Ah well, no ink on me either. Yet.

  3. Donna, got it off! Phew, that was close. Repeated scrubbings with soap and water did the trick. Hope you're enjoying your festive break.

    Sex scenes, I'd try that one but I'd have to wax my back first. Yeah, I've often thought of having just the one, but I've yet to see anything I'd want to be permanent on my skin.

  4. Michael, I'm too ignorant of the shows and people you mention to comment (except that, naturally, I loathe Simon Cowell and every Thatcherite and Murdoch thing he represents) but, with reference to your conga party, may I suggest you leave that particular Bloomsbury Group (or Stockhausen Appreciation Society or whatever it was), and find yourself a good darts team instead?

    Have a good Christmas, Big man.

  5. Well, as I missed most of this, I'll just hit 'older posts' and enjoy the view from your previous blog until you put up another. ;) The conga sounded like fun though.

    I'm still depressed after Saturday night football...........

  6. Check out "The X Factor Song (2009)"


    and let's keep sticking it to Simple Simon

  7. Bill, right back atcha!

    Marley, there's always next week. Or the week after. Or the week after...

    Jordy, I'm away for a look. Cheers.

  8. a conga line with the men in the kilts sounds so much more fun! mike, tattoos - not in places that are seen by the 'man'

  9. Thea, this is me shuddering at the very thought (re the kilted congo line)

  10. there are an awful lot of american women that really dig men in kilts, mike. think international romantic thoughts. maybe send yours to the dry cleaner. oh, and don't bother with underthings.

  11. p.s. remember that hairy guy in a post a few months back? we'd like to see him in a kilt.

  12. Thea, I once walked through Times Square, NY in a kilt. Nobody even blinked an eye.

  13. well, sheez, mikey, they're used to freak shows there...i mean, not that i would consider YOU in a kilt the equiv of a freak show. now, if you walked around D.C. or Alexandria VA i guarantee you'd get some winks!