In today's Guardian I've been reading all about the battle for the Christmas number No 1. It's a straight fight between two different music cultures. On the one side there's this year's X Factor winner Joe McElderry and then bizarrely on the other we have the punk, rock, rap combination of Rage Against the Machine!
If you're wondering how an earth RATM's early 90s classic 'Killing in the name of' has suddenly emerged as a Christmas No 1 contender, it's all part of an organised campaign being waged against Simon Cowell and X Factor's recent monopoly of the Christmas No 1 spot.
Despite all of this, and the desire to stick two fingers up at Cowell and prevent McElderry getting to No 1. The campaign seems just as cynical and manipulative as anything that Cowell's previously done with X Factor.
The campaign was started on Facebook by a Tracy and Jon Morter who created a Facebook group entitled 'Rage Against the Machine for Christmas No 1'.
The group soon developed into a rallying cry for those people fed up with X Factor winners claiming the Christmas No 1 slot. The same thing happened last year with people trying to get Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' to No. 1 ahead of last year's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
I have to say I find it all a little childish. What's been created is an artificial battle that has nothing to do with people going out and buying a record based on its current popularity but rather a cynical attempt to prove a point to Simon Cowell.
So what if X Factor winners dominate the Christmas No 1 charts, if that's what the buying public want to hear then fair enough. It's up to other artists and record companies to produce and market a record that will appeal to the public for them to go out and buy it.
On a personal level I don't understand why the people behind the RATM campaign even take the charts so seriously in the first place! Again it's just the cliched idea that Simon Cowell is some sort of evil pop music svengali who's dominating the charts and preventing 'proper' artists from achieving success.
This attitude is more reminiscent of a 6th Form Common Room, full of silly students who think their musical tastes are culturally superior to most of the public, but then begin crying when their favourite bands start to become big and everyone including the masses starts liking them. It's time some people grew up!
There's a attitude amongst certain music fans, perfectly illustrated by the likes of the NME who always need something to define themselves against in order to demonstrate their superior musical tastes. These people can never be happy just listening and appreciating their own music. Instead they have to constantly tell the rest of us, just how bad shows like the X Factor are and the negative impact it has on the quality of the music charts.
As someone who has listened to music since the early 80s I know for a fact that there's never been an occasion where the charts haven't been slated by so called proper music fans.
Earlier in the week in an interview with BBC6 Music, RATM's guitarist Tommy Morello was quoted saying:
'I think people are fed up of being spoon-fed some sugary ballad that sits on top of the charts. It's a little dose of anarchy'
Is it really? Is this what anarchy looks like these days. Stopping an 18 year X Factor winner getting the Christmas No 1? It's hardly bringing about a new world order is it?
Besides, I'm not being spoon fed anything! I have my own tastes in music that I'm happy with and it doesn't bother me in the slightest whether what I like happens to be No 1 in the charts or totally obscure to the majority of the population.
RATM's lead singer Zack de la Rocha told Radio 5 Live that the campaign was:
'a wonderful statement... it says something about the real tensions that people are experiencing all over the UK and US as well, as people would love to experience something which reflects this.'
It really does wind me up to read such nonsense as the above statement, it smacks of pretentiousness to such an extent that I now want Joe McElderry to get to No 1 instead.
So for the first time in quite some time I will be eagerly anticipating this Sunday's Top 40 countdown, hoping that X Factor triumphs, something I never thought I'd hear myself saying.
Updated on 20 November 2009
Rage Against the Machine's 'killing in the name of' did become this year's Christmas No 1