Rage against the X factor machine

X factor winner Joe McElderry is going head to head for this year’s Christmas number one spot with none other than Rage Against the Machine.

Although, that is not strictly true. Rage will technically be going head to head with the X factor establishment rather than the individual winner of the show.

Those people who know me, know that as a general rule I do not like rock music and have been known to have a soft spot for cheesy X factor winners including Leona. However, I have always admired Rage for their no-nonsense way of displaying what I would call ‘heavy’ political messages.

This is a band who headlined Reading festival dressed as prisoners of war in a protest at an ‘unjust’ Iraq war. This is a band that has been restricted from playing on numerous occasions, and has gone ahead and played anyway. This is a band who, on Thursday, swore on BBC radio Five live’s breakfast show during a rendition of their 1992 hit and Christmas number one hopeful ‘Killing in the Name of”.

WARNING: Contains strong language

Rage Against The Machine and Christmas should really never be mentioned in the same sentence. The band’s entire ethos is as far away from ‘Christmas cheer’ as you can possibly get. However, there is something about Rage that I find intriguing, something which made me listen to them as I was growing up, and something which I have never been able to put my finger on.

Perhaps it is the simple, yet typically addictive riffs. Perhaps it is the infectious tone of lead singer Zack de la Rocha’s voice or the unique blend of his hip hop lyrics with roaring bass lines. Perhaps it is simply the ballsy, anti-establishment messages which the band are so famous for preaching.

Product of social networking

I like Rage for all these reasons but this is not why I will be buying their single this week. Rather, I feel the popular reaction to the facebook group urging people to make the Rage single number one is a fascinating example of the power which social networking sites hold. The group currently has 397,286 members.

Make no mistake, It will be a genuinely pleasant moment if Rage are named this year’s Christmas number one and the ‘anti x factor’ contingent reign supreme. Indeed, wouldn’t it be lovely to see Simon Cowell’s face when it is announced?

Please vote in the poll below for who you THINK will be this years Christmas number one.


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