At some point, the UK talent (or talentless depending on who you ask) show X-Factor crossed over the Atlantic and into the eyes, ears and hearts of American Internet culture, making pop singers such as Leona Lewis, Alexandre Burke, and most recently Joe McElderry if not household names here in the States, at least moderately aware of their UK celebrity.
And the numbers don’t lie! Millions have converged on Youtube to watch them perform and gush over their performances all of which funnels up to Mr. Simon Cowell, the man whose personal wealth grows with each note sung – whether it’s an American Idol or a UK X Factor winner.
But what happens when the act is taken too far? Well in the case of X Factor, Internet justice prevails.
I first noticed a post on Reddit a few weeks ago asking Redditers to buy Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” in exchange for a feel good victory to supplant X Factor winner Joe McElderry for the Christmas holiday’s number one song.
I laughed, and upvoted the post thinking nothing of it. Fast forward to today however and a Facebook group aiming to get the band’s 1992 hit to the top of the festive chart has attracted more than 750,000 members. Unfortunately this hasn’t gone off without a hitch. Facebook has once again proven to me it can’t scale to support large social activities, as the page dropped off Facebook recently and disappeared. Facebook chalked it up to bugs in the code as the reason. I’m no conspiracy theorist but I wonder how much of this is bugs verses foul play. As of my penning this blog, the page is not searchable and can not be found on Facebook, all of this fueling even more of the fire amongst supporters of the meme.
This may sound all nonsensical yet it’s music to my ears. The collective Internet does have a voice, you just need to listen for it. While I happen to enjoy the force fed karaoke of X Factor, I equally appreciate the anti-establishment voice of RATM. And not to be overlooked, the Facebook page includes a link to homeless charity site Shelter, which has raised nearly £30,000 (Nearly $44,000) in donations.
Amazon’s listings still have Killing in the Name at No 1. in the UK and it has caught the attention of Tom Morello who lent his support by writing on his Twitter page, “Rage’s Killing in the Name & the X-Factor’s goofy Christmas single are neck and neck for num one spot on UK chart. England! Now is your time.”
I think we have a new battle cry for 2010: Now is your time.