If you don't already know, there's a battle, nay, war going on. For control of the coveted position of the Christmas Number 1 in the singles charts (in both the UK and Ireland). It's been trending all week on twitter, as music fans "angry" at te state of the charts today make a stand against Simon Cowell and X Factor. I'm here to ask you to put down your
1. It's a One-Week Thing
The Christmas number 1 single is only for one week. What will knocking Joe McElderry achieve? One week of dominance for RATM, that's it. Are the people who are out there buying their single going to keep on clicking and buying it next week? Somehow, I doubt it. At which point, Joe McElderry will be guaranteed top spot in the singles chart. Are you going to keep buying RATM or NIN or whoever every week to stop crap songs getting to number one? Not a hope. It's a good idea, but it's a one-week special offer rather than a complete overhaul of the charts.
2. Can you name any other of this year's number ones?
Face it, you're not the kind of person who listens to BBC Radio 1 or 2fm each week to listen to the countdown of the week's top singles. You probably couldn't name more than ten chart toppers from this year. Sure Lady Gaga and Rihanna must have been up there, but who else? It's not like the charts are something you've cared passionately about before. So why become a vegetarian just for Christmas when all that uneaten turkey is lying around anyway?
3. You're facing a losing battle.
Rage Against the Machine may be ahead of Joe McElderry today, but the gap is closing. Physical CD copies of the winner's single have gone on sale, which are sure to sell like hotcakes. Especially tonight and on Friday when people get paid from work and give their kids the weekly pocket money. Even with all this campaigning, I can still see Joe being #1 this weekend. The bookies are just being cautious. They're going to lose money either way. So of course they're going to stop taking bets.
4. It's more money for Sony.
That's not really sticking it to the man (or in this case: machine), now is it? Both Joe McElderry and RATM are signed to Sony, so all you're doing by buying Rage is lining the pockets of Simon Cowell's peers. You may be annoying him, but a hell of a lot of other "suits" are profitting from your campaign. Come to think of it, it may have been some clever intern in Sony that came up with the idea of RATMforXmas anyway.
5. Why Rage? Why not someone else?
Rage Against the Machine are a well-established band. How about next year, instead of this, we take some unsigned or unknown act under our collective wings and try to make them number one. Zach de la Rocha needs neither the money or the attention (although he has to be enjoying Christmas a little more than usual this year). Imagine what it would mean to some act that usually plays to a crowd of 40 in local pubs. That would really show Sony and the major labels. They'd get none of the profits.
6. Actually, you're giving Simon Cowell more money.
You may think you're actually stopping Simon Cowell and his SyCo label from making money, but actually you're not. Has your campaign stopped any teen from buying Joe? No, you haven't changed their mind. They haven't had that "eureka" moment, where they sat up and said "I hate this pop nonsense, how about some hard rock instead?". If anything, these people who bought Joe anyway may well buy a second copy of the single or maybe even a third to counteract RATMforXmas. And who gains from that? Simon and Sony.
7. It could be worse...
You may not think it, but there are far worse things that could be number one at Christmas. Remember Bob the Builder a few years back? Mister Blobby? Even that Gary Jules' 'Mad World' nonsense. But even the most fervent Simon Cowell/reality TV hater has to admit that Joe's cover of Miley Cyrus's 'The Climb' is a million times better than Nizlopi's 'JCB Song'. Has there ever been a worse line than "I'm Luke, I'm five, and my Dads Bruce Lee"?
8. This kid doesn't deserve it.
Simon Cowell may deserve your hatred and your outrage, but does the young guy actually singing the song? Definitely not. He seems like a nice fella. He's just trying to make a living, trying to follow his dream of being a singer. Have you heard him? He's actually a damn good singer. Not an entertainer like Robbie, or Zach de la Rocha, but a great singer. He doesn't deserve your anger.
9. It's not allowing RatM to progress.
Instead of going out and creating new music, which admit it, you'd love, Rage Against the Machine are resting on their laurels. This song that you want to send to number one this Christmas is an old tune: seventeen years old, in fact. If you really want to buy a Rage song, it should be a new one. Anyone who already likes Rage will definitely have a copy of 'Killing in the Name' already. Why do you need another? You don't. A new song would be far more interesting. That's what they should be doing instead.
10. It's Christmas, save your money
Christmas is a tough time for a lot of people. Not Zach de la Rocha, not Tom Morello, not Brad Wilk, not even Tim Commerford. They're all wealthy due to touring and back catalogue sales. Instead of spending 50p/60c/whatever on downloading their song, give it to charity. Those people deserve your money. Zach has enough already. Try www.concern.net, www.trocaire.org, www.oxfam.org, or perhaps even www.bothar.ie
Give your money to someone who deserves it this Christmas. Not Cowell, not de la Rocha.