No Lucifer

Cowell and Cole – heaven sent or hellbound?

Opinions are wonderful things. They are held by everyone, from the top of the pile to the bottom, and so often the opinion of one man is in stark contrast to the opinion of the other. It seems interesting – if someone simply speaks his opinion, especially if said opinion is completely unsubstantiated, odds are that the listener will wholly disregard the person, noting that his argument isn’t backed up and thus his polemic falls apart. However, if such an opinion is put in text, for example masquerading as “journalism” on The Bubble; an unsubstantiated, ignorant argument can suddenly gain masses of popularity, as well as inexplicably convincing the reader that the writer has a clue what he’s on about.

I write with reference to an article published on The Bubble last week, where the author berated us, students at one of the top universities in the country, for not forming our own logical opinions and following what we’re told, then hypocritically, in the same breath, told us to follow what he was telling us. His thin argument was substantiated by the notion that our schooling teaches us facts, as opposed to encouraging us to form our own arguments (probably true), as well as numerous colloquialisms as he attacked the current music scene, childishly branding Simon Cowell “the anthropomorphism of Satan”. Indeed, to the “educated mind” he speaks to, it becomes clear that although the author is making a fair point in encouraging us to think for ourselves and embrace what appeals to us, this argument is lost amidst his own opinion which undercuts his primary polemic. If the author acknowledged that in the wide, multicultural society that is the United Kingdom that he is in fact in the minority, his article would make far more sense.

To illustrate this, one must look at the current music scene. Firstly, to suggest that music from the X Factor completely dominates the UK charts is erroneous, as is illustrated by the fact that the single “Someone Wake Me Up” by the show’s latest winner, Joe McElderry, peaked at no. 68. Nevertheless, the appeal must be noted, as can be seen in the numerous number one singles from acts such as Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis and JLS. To some, the fact that these records are not written by the performers may indeed be a case of “disgusting corporate consumerism”, yet to the majority, they are appealing singles with often catchy melodies and above-average vocals. Indeed, these people can most certainly sing – without people writing songs for them, these talents would be wasted. The X Factor does not gain high viewership because we as a nation are mindless zombies that have been enslaved by the media, but people watch it because they find it entertaining; indeed, some people fail to comprehend the notion that just because they don’t enjoy watching something it’s not necessarily bad. The same applies to the music subsequently released: if these artists were only big due to some reality TV hype, then JLS wouldn’t have gone on to attain four number one singles. A certain demographic of society enjoys this kind of music. These people are not the “ignorant”, nor the uneducated, but simply those who have this kind of taste in music. They are indeed thinking for themselves – and, god forbid, they have come a different conclusion than the author of last week’s article – indeed, it’s almost as if people are different?

Personally, I do not disagree with the opinion of the author of last week’s article (although to group Foals in the same category as the Beatles is, in my mind, musical heresy). Yet unlike him, I am aware that this is merely my opinion, and we are in the minority. We are in a period of commercialism where the public aren’t looking for guitar solos or music that could be deemed “soulful”, but instead stars off the TV that they have seen develop and grow before them. Simon Cowell may be earning a fortune, but he’s giving a large amount of the public happiness through music that they desire – and who are we to say that this is wrong? Can music so popular, desired by so many people, realistically be called “bad” by someone who’s taken into account that the public have the freedom to buy what they please? I would say most certainly not. We all have opinions about the music industry – as such, to attempt to pass off an opinion that the modern music scene is not as good as the past is to be irritatingly pretentious.

The public buy what they want – so Simon Cowell, although I find your records annoying, I appreciate that they’re very, very popular amongst the record-buying public, and as in all aspects of both business and art, you should give the public what they want. Keep going.

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