Monday, December 21, 2009
I Heard the Balls on Christmas Day
Last year, I pleaded with parents and fans of decent music everywhere to take away the cellphones and computers of 'tweens in an effort to ensure that David Cook took the American Idol crown from willowy little frump David Archuleta.
The idea was twofold: to take a stand for decent music and at least relatively honest talent, and to put a steel-toed boot down on the neck of the 'tween hive-mind juggernaut that had basically taken the breadth of the pop culture landscape hostage.
I thought it was a pretty entertaining way to pass the time: casually crushing the dreams of a bunch of kids who were gonna eventually have to learn that life sucks anyway.
But my idea was amateur hour compared to the stroke of subversive genius a bunch of music fans just pulled in Britain.
The Huffington Post: Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name Takes Christmas #1 Spot in UK, Beating Reality TV Star's Cover of Miley Cyrus Song/12.21.09
If you've seen the movie Love, Actually, you get an idea how this works: Each year there's a battle for the top of the singles chart in Britain -- which is determined exclusively by the buying public -- to coincide with Christmas week. Almost every time, the winner is some manner of syrupy, inoffensive pop schlock like the Spice Girls or one of Simon Cowell's little creations that he spawned in a vat in the basement of his mansion. Well, this time around a couple of very clever Rage fans got on Facebook and started an organized campaign to use one of the most incendiary singles in modern rock history (come on, "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!" shouted over and over again?) to play a Project Mayhem-style prank on Christmas, Disney-approved pre-packaged pop and the eardrums of polite British society.
And it fucking worked.
Bravo, guys. I bow to you.
Now if you can just get Rage to play the song live from a boat on the Thames as it floats by during the Queen's Jubilee celebration, you'll be set.
Speaking of which, while I love every second of this, it doesn't change the fact that Rage Against the Machine -- a band that can admittedly be credited with recording some great stuff -- are basically still a bunch of pompous jackasses. Just read this hilariously over-the-top quote thanking their fans for making their big win on the British charts possible:
"This is a huge victory by and for fans of real music and we extend our heartfelt thanks to every fan and freedom fighter who helped make our anthem of defiance and rebellion the Anarchy Christmas Miracle of 2009."
Yup, that sounds like Rage. The people who got involved probably think of themselves as average folks who just got sick of hearing treacly crap at Christmas and spent a dollar or two to stick it to the Simon Cowell reality TV hit machine; to Zach and Company, they're Sandinistas coming out of the hills armed with AKs and wearing red armbands.
Sure, they could be kidding -- but when was the last time you heard Rage Against the Machine joke about anything?