Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Simon Cowell is Sick

Don't be rude... not that kinda sick - the type where you ring your boss and pretend to have a stuffy nose (when you're nursing a hangover) kinda sick. The man we all love to hate has the flu - probably the "real" flu - not man flu, but who knows? Influenza is a serious viral illness - I've had it twice - it can and sometimes does kill.

Now, to Simon Cowell.

This is a guy not known for his tact:

To a Pop Idol contestant: "Let me throw a mathematical dilemma at you - there's 500 left, well how come the odds of you winning are a million to one?"

Ironically, the odds could really be 1,000,000:1 against - the contestant was correct and Cowell in typically smug self-confidence was being a prime prick.

Think of a two-horse race. One horse is a prime thoroughbred, the other a nag fit for the knacker's yard? Who's going to win?

By direct equivalence to Cowell's quote this is a 50:50 split. We all know that no right-minded bookie would give odds on the old nag... but there's still a chance (albeit a slim one) that the racehorse could actually break a leg, have a stroke, etc. at any moment. We just don't know: and that's why people gamble.

Cowell is good at making money - lots of it - but as Gordon "Sting" Sumner recently observed, his shows really consist of judges with no discernible talent telling us what we want to hear. Cowell is really a modern-day pied piper. One contestant recently made Youtube when he was dragged away by security guards after being compared to a buzz-saw. Cowell and co. said he couldn't sing...

But does that matter?

Ali Campbell can't sing for shit. His 1983 reggae rendition of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine" (with UB40) sounds to me like tomcat being held by the tail and flung around Hulk Hogan's head at varying speed.

This didn't stop the single hitting number 1 in the UK chart and being a massive hit elsewhere.

Sting - in his "Police" days - had what I can only describe as a unusual voice yet the trio sold records by the million - Walking on the Moon and Every Breath You Take being a couple of my favourites.

Slip back through pop history and listen if you will to: The Sex Pistols, Dire Straits, David Byrne (Talking Heads), Morrisey (The Smiths), Fergal Sharkey (The Undertones), The Pouges..., Lena Lovitch the list goes on and on.

Not one of these guys can sing but they could and can entertain.

The question is not one of what can we do, that's already out of our hands, but what can be done. In time, Cowell will fade, but what has to happen is for our regulators to pull their fingers out of their arse and stop people like Cowell presenting us with this stuff - and making a fucking mint out of it.

The competition commission has a fit when an American outfit wants to take over a British one - say Cadbury's - yet when TV is paying Simon Cowell to put this stuff on the box and giving him carte blanche say over what's good and what isn't then music has become a dictatorship where Cowell is no better than Napoleon or Stalin. Cowell can't loose - he selects whatever he wants and the public do the real work for him; and then go out and buy into this shit like sheep.

All music is suffering as a result.