Save London libraries… (and then you can drop Katie Waissell)


The X Factor has become a laugh. Not that it’s ever been a serious event or a highly intellectual topic of conversation, we all know it’s a competition aimed not at discovering original musical talents but at artificially creating a pop star able to top the Christmas charts for a couple of weeks and fill Simon Cowell’s pockets in the process. So far only Leona Lewis (and partially Alexandra Burke) have managed not to get immediately forgotten, and they both still need to prove that are meant to last.

Still, once accepted the rules of the game – ie: don’t expect to see the new Bob Dylan or David Bowie or Phil Collins or Jim Morrison (none of them would have ever passed the first round of auditions) – in the past editions the audience could have fun watching some decent singers compete.

Not this year.

The audience this year is weekly taken for a ride by the 4 judges who keep eliminating the very few people who could actually sing in favour of some talentless and pathetic specimen of humanity.

It was clear from the auditions that Cowell’s goal this year was to launch not a great singer but a “personality”, somebody “different”, different from what? Basically different from Leona Lewis and Alexandra because the Tories are in power and have to prove they’re here to support the white working classes, enough with all this Labour muluti-culturalism. And, much MORE important, Cowell can’t afford another Mariah copycat – Leona and Alexandra have the soul/R&B market covered, it’s time for something else.

Result: this year’s show is a circus populated by weirdos who can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t do anything other than “wanting it sooooo muchhhhh!”

And Cowell, who’s raised to fame thanks to his fame as the fussiest and most annoyed music “connesseur”, is now full of praises for characters like the weirdo Katie Waissel… and the psychologically deranged Cher Lloyd,

two poor girls who’d really need families to look after them and tell them that it’s ok not being famous, not a music mogul singing their praises just because he’s planning to use them for a few months.

And they aren’t the only talentless contestants. There’s a teenage boyband that every week sings so flat my local pub karaoke sounds like Covent Garden Opera in comparison. A girls band who looks like they’d arrived directly from a brothel in Piccadilly…

Yes, there are a couple of (black) singers who are actually very well. But the judges snub them. They’re accused of being boring, unoriginal, not innovative, not modern. EXCUSE ME???  YOU created a competition who doesn’t award real creative talent, YOU created Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, and now you complain that Rebecca and Payije aren’t original?

But the British audience doesn’t like being fooled. Already last year, annoyed by Cowell’s arrogance, somebody had launched a Facebook campaign inviting people to buy “Killing in the name”, an old tune by the rock band Rage Against the Machine, and make it top the charts at Christmas instead of the X Factor’s CD. It worked. Hundreds of thousands of people bought a song they couldn’t care less about, just to spite Cowell.

This year, the battle is getting worse. When you hear somebody who clearly can’t sing being praised repeatedly by a panel of “experts”…  After the judges for three times in a row saved Katie Wassell (who really, REALLY can’t sing) describing her as some great, new, fresh talent… When Cher is saved and Payje sent home… the Brits begin to feel insulted. And quite rightly. So not only have people started a Facebook page called “It’s easier to get rid of Chlamydia than Katie Wassell”. The X Factor audience has managed to create a real campaign to make Wagner the winner of the show.

Now Wagner….

he’s the stuff dreams are made…Or should I say nightmares…. He is so BAD he’s a masterpiece, you wouldn’t even let him sing in the local choir let alone on TV. He’s a horrid, 50 year old, fat Brazilian with long hair, absurd earrings and a penchant for young girls. He’s the most embarassing thing I’ve ever witnessed on British TV. But hey, the judges did allow him to take part in the show. They obviously thought they could make him the clown of the competition for a while, sell the stories about his torbid past to a few tabloids and get rid of him within a couple of weeks.

But they underestimated the British public.

Have you chosen to give us fools instead of singers this year? Great, we’re going to crown the greatest fool of all our winner, and force Cowell to give him a million dollar contract.

And so far, they’ve succeeded. Despite offering every week cringe-worth performances, Wagner has never been in the bottom two. Hundreds of thousands of people have decided he’s going to win, and are happy to pay £1 plus their network standard charge to keep him in just to spite Simon Cowell.

And now for the title of this post…

The Tory government has announced cuts to councils that will force local authorities to shut up to 20% of all libraries.

In London alone it means something likes 200 libraries are at risk of closure. In the borough of Lambeth, 5 libraries are facing the axe. Thousands of children from poorer backgrounds won’t have the opportunity to access books for free; hundreds of state schools that don’t have libraries on the premises will have to do without such resources; old people who visit their local libraries daily to read newspapers or take part in activities will be forced to get on a bus or find somebody to drive them for miles in order to access a library.

This is appalling. I know people whose education and love for culture and literature was developed in a library. I know families who don’t have a computer and thanks to local libraries can help their children not fall behind at school.

Libraries are also a very important community centre, a place to meet, to discover, to learn. Cutting libraries is like cutting the lymph that gives society its nutriments. How can Cameron’s “big society” grow if only its privileged members can access culture?

I checked Facebook to see if there’s a page mentioning the issue: NOTHING

I checked the internet to see if somebody had started a campaign: NOTHING

Yes, there have been writers who have made public appeals and I invite you to read what they say:

Don’t axe our libraries, say top authors | News.

But the public, the people, the ones whose children, grandparents, teachers WILL be affected by such a disgusting decision seem to remain silent.

So I ask, you Brits, who phone ITV in mass to save Wagner… Who join the Facebook pages against Katie Wassell… Who can’t stand the arrogance of a music mogul… YOU… If all of YOU signed a petition to save your libraries instead… If you started a Facebook page to prevent this abominable thing to happen… If you got angry at that clown who is Nick Clegg who six months ago went on TV to promise a new world and has so fare only helped delivering a very old one…

Where are you when it’s REALLY about not being taken for a ride?

 

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