Monday, 18 October 2010

X Factor

No, never seen it. Not all the way through, anyway. A bit here and there. A clip on YouTube. Sometimes I might stumble on it, watch for a few minutes... but usually my brain begins to seize up and I am gripped with nausea.

Admittedly I'm not really that into music. I like certain things. Increasingly I've been enjoying having classical or choral music on, loud, while I've been working. iTunes and Spotify are great little tools if you are working at a laptop. But pop music? Rock? Indie?

The last few months I've been working part time with the Big Issue in Scotland. This has involved regular days in their office... there's a couple there who used to work for NME. Another girl who probably should work for NME. Nothing wrong with that, but they really know the music scene. Really care about it. they don't just talk about bands I've never heard of, they talk about whole musical movements that haven't otherwise blipped on my horizon.

As a teenager and as a twentysomething I paid lipservice to poprockindie. But at uni I probably listened to as much John Coltrane as I did The Smiths. And actually I preferred Jimi Hendrix and the Doors, already 20 years old at the time. Britpop was fun. It felt like something important – funny how I prefer Blur now to Oasis, I remember reading a critic at the time who argued that everyone would. Who was that?

I digress. The point is, X Factor... It has been given three more years. A £100 million deal. Meaning more X Factor, and the other thing, Britain's Not Got Talent. I want to be nasty about both of them. I want to tear them to shreds, laugh at all the sad, overweight, hopeless screw ups that go on desperate to be singers, stars, somethings. But you know, I just can't be bothered. It's too dull, too corny, too uninteresting even to take a pop at. X Factor is final proof that pop culture is over, that it's had its moment. Diversity is all now. Elitism. Selectism. Personalism. Individualism. Cowell can celebrate, he's ridden that wave. But he may well have killed it for good. No seriously, his high point is a new beginning. People want more than the X Factor. They actually want stuff that's good, interesting and sophisticated. They don't want to be talked down to anymore.

As you get older you tend to need more. Harder books, more challenging drama, new experiences. Its all part of realising that you have a limited time on this Earth and you'd better make the most of it. and that making the most of it does not include frittering Saturday evenings away on X Factor karaoke.

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