It doesn’t matter that I think “killing in the name of..” is one of the five greatest Rock songs of all time and you find it unbearably naïve funk-rock hogwash, it doesn’t matter that Rage are in the pockets of Hollywood and EMI or whatever and are sell-outs, or that EMI gets the lion’s share of the cash from both, or that it doesn’t effect Cowell’s millions or that their arguments are “authentic”, rockist bullshit. What matters is that suddenly there is contention, that culture seems to matter, that the race for Christmas number one is significant, not just in terms of some “minimal difference” of product but in who determines what occupies the mainstream. The pub-cynics will say, “yeah but how is that going to feed the starving…” It isn’t, but no-one thinks it is, what it is, is a huge upsurge of antipathy. Antipathy is vital. It’s mere acting out! But even so it wonderfully demonstrates the A-symmetrical possibilities of cultural warfare. A facebook group can potentially trump the most powerful media-machines in the world. Could you seriously have entertained the idea that this year’s Christmas number one would have been a run off between the X-Factor winner and Rage Against the Machine two months ago? They have their domain, we have ours, there are many, many of us against them. Their methods may not be more powerful. It’s the potential it reveals rather than the song itself (and if you like the song too, the delight is doubled). I mean ok next year we’ll make it Public Enemy’s “By the time I get to Arizona” or something.
Tis the season to be Merry..