On the surface, Yes, of course. At first glance, the facebook group bidding to topple powerful, smug Simon Cowell off his safe number one spot was a little glimmer of hope for us all. Finally we have made a stand and decided to buy what we actually want to buy, we are no longer mindless zombies, purchasing whatever we are told to. I was very pleased, and refreshed to see that finally people where challenging Cowell, who has essentially spoon-fed us our Christmas number ones for the past four years.
I was just about to hop on to i-tunes and make a purchase, do my bit for free will and all that…. when I was informed that, in fact, I would actually just be buying into the same Simon Cowell monopoly: Same old bank account – different song and cover.
Bubble burst. It was all to good to be true after all.
You see, RATM – as anti capitalist as they claim to be, are actually owned by Sony, who also own rights to Simon Cowell’s artists… so the exciting battle between the powerful Cowell machine and a rebellious punk band, was simply Sony versus Sony, which equals a big fat cheque for the record company for hitting not only the number one but also the number two spot this Christmas. So even more money pouring into Cowell’s pockets whilst the public walk around happy, thinking they’ve achieved a victory when in reality…they haven’t.
I was still pleased to see the X-Factor winner pipped at the post (sorry Joe). At least we can rest in the knowledge that the charts aren’t completely predictable! But whose to say the whole chart ‘race’ was just one big illusion, a big publicity stunt backed by Cowell?… (It is, after all very fitting, the the lines in the X-factor single, The Climb “Always going to be an uphill battle, Sometimes you going to have to lose,” describe exactly the situation poor young Joe found himself in this week. But hey! this could just be all one big coincidence). What does it all matter to Cowell who, with RATM under his label wins both ways? RATG = money and Joe McElderry = Money. Same difference to Cowell, surely?
Sadly, this kind of thing is highly likely in the world we live in today, where only a few big players make the gains. This exact same thing happened when I tried to boycott Nestle. Simple enough, you would think? Just stop buying Kit-Kats and such products that have a Nestle logo glaring back at you. In fact it’s very hard to achieve complete Nestle celibacy. The company have bought out so many companies it’s a very hard task indeed. Even if I manage to spend the rest of my life not touching another bar of chocolate I could easily get caught out buuy investing in a Maybelline mascara for example, which is actually part of the Nestle family but sneakily appears to be completely separate. So I have to pretty much boycott half the contents of sainsburys if I want my money to stay out of the wrong hands.
So, next time we have a musical revolution, let’s do our research. For a true victory against Cowell and co. we need a band that has absolutely no ties to Sony or Mr moneybags. The internet campaign did prove one thing, however- we can rely on the public to get off their bums and act when they feel strongly about something. Maybe next year we can take our ‘people power’ and use the internet to secure a real victory against the big guys – unless they’ve got us completely cornered?