I need to stick this up as I suspect my printer isn’t working. Feel free to have a browse.
Imagine you are a man. A spaceman. A spaceman that is obsessed with music. On a little planet known as Koliapov 12, you look out at a neighboring planet named Earth through your telescope. You gaze out at the world in awe and see diversity, intelligence and ingenuity. A world that is rife with rich culture from all across the globe. Having bore witness to the rise of the classic songs of The Beatles and of The Rolling Stones, the psychedelic guitar mastery of Jimi Hendrix, the futuristic songwriting of David Bowie, the moody lyrics and dancey guitar riffs of The Smiths, the rough grunge attitudes of Nirvana and the general nonsense of Radiohead through your life you decide to go on an adventure. You hop into your brand new shiny teleportation machine and set’s your targets for Earth. As you take one last glimpse of Earth in 1998, the capsule closes. Now, as every single molecule of your body is instantaneously tore apart and reassembled on an alien world you realise a terrible error. A computer counts down your seconds until arrival as you realise that you have entered the wrong space-time coordiantes. You’ve far overshot the days of such brilliant music as Oasis, Blur and Pulp have produced. The hatch opens and you are met with a horrific sight. 2013… Full of Lady Gaga lookalikes and screaming Justin Bieber fans. In many ways this is how I feel as a young person now, as do many people my age. Alienated from the mainstream. The general public considers teenagers to be stroppy, lazy, angsty children who are uncultured and easily manipulated. And yet, how can you blame them. The majority of chart listening, X Factor wannabe, MTV watching teenagers are a perfect example of this. People who can be manipulated into pumping money into the pockets of massive media moguls in return for manufactured, meaningless pop that is easily consumed and has a shelf life of little over 15 minutes. As we are slowly but surely being ushered into an age of manufactured pop by the dictators of the music industry, our generation seems to be on a one-way train to cultural suicide and there’s not much that we can do about it.
One such media tycoon that is responsible for the imminent self-destruction of the music industry is Simon Cowell. Cowell is a music producer, television show creator and host and all round bad guy. If there were a single person to blame for the downfall of the music industry it would be this man. Cowell radiates corruption and deception wherever he walks. Currently we live in a country where one man can dominate the music charts so much that he can have multiple singles in the top 5. Every Christmas Cowell has a stab at the credibility of chart sales. In fact, in the race for Christmas number one in 2009 Simon Cowell’s company had 9 singles and albums in the chart! Through an endless program of brainwashing viewers of his weekly “talent” contest with his desires of catapulting an act of his choice to chart success and instant fame, Cowell programs his unwilling victims into purchasing his manufactured music. As well as rigging the charts, Cowell has brought forth such diabolical acts such as One Direction and Matt Cardle. Of which one started with some actual musical integrity. The boyband One Direction is comprised of five young men. Young men that previous to their infamous auditions on the X Factor had never actually met before. Once being strung together and forced to sing one another they cruised up to third place in series seven of the show. However, after being booted out of the final of the show the group are brought back and transformed into squeaky clean pop sensations by Cowell and his pop star generation machine, capturing the hearts of millions of screaming girls (and the wallets of their parents.) Matt Cardle however was in a band when he entered the competition. After a murderous performance of Biffy Clyro’s ‘Many Of Horror’ under the name of ‘When We Collide’ (which unfortunately was another number one for Cowell), Cardle was proclaimed the victor over One Direction. No sooner had he got in his limousine to drive him back home than Cowell had ripped him from his band duties, his fans and his family to plan tours and albums. Once more Cowell makes massive amounts of money for minimal work and questionable musical ethics. One man shouldn’t have so much power in one business.
One other reason that Simon Cowell’s business empire is such a threat to music is that it provides a false path to success for our generation. Nowadays it’s easy to get into show business. Turn up at the door of your local participating venue. Sing a couple of lines for a panel of minor celebrities and that’s you. You’ve done it. It may sound ridiculous but some people are actually under the impression that this method is a great method to live your life by. It seems too good to be true. And anyway, what harm did some good old-fashioned work ever do? Rejection from record companies never stopped The Beatles so why should it stop the youth of today? Surely we should stay with the tried and tested methods of generations before us. It’s far too easy to turn up to Britain’s Got Talent or the X Factor. Cowell is providing a false reality to a new generation of young people and is making tons of money off the back of it. And a lot of it! It is estimated that Cowell is worth £130 million. Should teenagers be exploited for this gain of money whilst being fed fake dreams?
Alas, both of these factors add to the overwhelming factor of other artists not creating. I have personal experience in this field. As a young musician I feel that it is incredibly easy to cover a cheap pop song with an acoustic guitar and become really successful. And unfortunately this leads into the whole Britain’s Got Talent thing. Once a credible artist has made the transition into the depths of acoustic pop there is no turning back, as our good friend Matt Cardle will tell us. After the descent into pop stardom Cardle whimpered out of fame and plummeted into the acoustic genre. Once the ease of Cowell’s road to fake fame has left an artist they will plummet. Even when people who are trying to set up their own musical careers on their own are infected with the simplicity of Cowell’s musical masterplan they may momentarily consider converting to the dark side.
Some would disagree. ‘Our stars are past their best’ I can hear them cry. Who would dare deny them the pleasure of reminding us of Paul McCartney’s horrendous performance of ‘Hey Jude’ at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games that was evidently only worth a single pound. But we must remind them of the tremendous success of elderly David Bowie’s 2013 release ‘The Next Day’ which rocketed to number 1 in the charts in the UK and in Germany and number 2 in the US.
Unfortunately all of these faults in our society lead to each other. They are like miniscule cracks in the side of an aircraft. Slowly, with every journey the plane embarks on the cracks will become larger and larger and larger until eventually, mid-flight the crack will grow so great that it will consume the entire aircraft and everything inside it in an enormous fiery implosion. This is why I believe that in our lifetimes we will see the fall and complete destruction of our wonderous music industry. We will be forced to watch as the rich history of British music that spans over a millennium is enveloped in it’s own creation. None will survive…
Except, maybe one man. An unscrupulous man. A cold-blooded, money-driven, soulless man who stands amongst the embers of his kingdom and dreams up ways of how he can flog a lock of Jedward’s hair on eBay.