In which Christmas is no time for raging against anything.

To be printed 24/12/09.

Victory! Rargh! We’ve raged against the Cowell machine and won! Power to the people! The revolution will not be televised! Etc, etc.

Actually, I don’t care.

I’ve tried to care. I know we’re all meant to – as supporters of general good taste, authenticity and not funding Simon’s collection of solid gold tongue scrapers any further than is necessary, we’re supposed to have spent the last two weeks in a frenzy of politicised rock anger, defending the sacred Christmas number one spot the way our parents defended Nelson Mandela and our grandparents defended, well, the country. That’s what we’re supposed to have been doing.

What I’ve actually been doing is picking the green triangles out of the Quality Street, drawing moustaches on the Radio Times and going, “meh.” But because not caring seems like an act of betrayal to my generation and the good name of music, I have compiled the following list of reasons to explain myself. Ahem. I didn’t care about Rage Against winning the top spot because:

1)      Joe McElderry is like a little puppy.

Cowell may be the evil, braying Barbour-jacketed pedigree trainer standing over him with the diamond incrusted whip, but Joe is just an innocent puppy. And by taking away his number one, we are effectively KICKING THE PUPPY. In the FACE.

2)      It’s just a big rock cliché.

Pulling the rug out from under Cowell’s feet is one thing, but do we really all have to turn into angry adolescent boys while we do it? I might have been more impassioned to buy the RATM single were it not called ‘Killing in the Name’, which just seems such a petty attempt at yuletide anarchy it may as well be wearing a t-shirt from Camden Market and sucking a cannabis lollipop.
“Ooh, ooh, let’s make a big rock statement and stick it to the man!”
“But wait, has it got a violent reference in the title?”
“Better than that, it’s got death!”
“Excellent. Man, we’re so, like, ANGRY and stuff. Bah, faceless corporate machine! Take THAT!*”

3)      Christmas number one is meant to be crap.

Think back over some past Christmas number ones. Go on. Too Much by the Spice Girls. Stay Another Day by East 17. I Have a Dream by Westlife. If anything, Cowell is just perpetuating a long tradition of mawkish, misty-eyed pop taking the top spot every year. To put a stop to it is like taking away cracker hats or Terry’s Chocolate Orange - it’s just too deeply ingrained in the festive season. Once the music stops being commercialised gumph, who knows what that would mean for the Christmas TV? And the food? Before you know it, we’ll all have to watch Panorama and knaw on an organic courgette. Is that what we really want? Is it?

4)      I don’t like Rage Against the Machine.

They’re the level I really can’t do on Guitar Hero.

So there we are. Much as I’m glad they've raised all that money for Shelter, and that Cowell’s reign of terror might be drawing to a close, I just can’t manage to care very much about the 'principle'. I shall be apathetic against the machine. Mildly vexed against the machine at best. And while there are green triangles in the house that still need eating, that will just have to do.

*Not the actual Take That. Obviously. They’re as anarchic as a Boxing Day sale at Edinburgh Woollen Mill.