Simon Cowell v Bob Dylan
Simon Cowell informs the Media that he’s never bought a Bob Dyan album. Apparently, “Singing Poets” bore him to tears.
it's evident from Simon’s appearance that he's just another ancient mummy's boy, with a short attention span. You only have to look at his haircut, which is that of a 10 year old boy, sitting like a thatch atop his simpleton's face. He spends his holidays in Sandy Lane, just like the other unimaginative bores with a bit of wedge, who can't possibly get their heads around doing something different. The paunchy, Vilbrequin trunk wearing mediocrities sitting on their mobile phones on a Carribean beach served punch by West Indian staff, who grit their teeth and bear it, despite the inevitable truth that they know more about music than Simple Simon ever will. How galling it must be for the nation that gave us Burning Spear, Agustus Pablo, Bob Marley and dozens more musical geniuses to know that Simple Simon is going to hang out for a month over Christmas, like an unwanted pudding.
Simon has force fed the Nation with semi-skimmed, budget holiday-camp talent shows for years now, and not content with force feeding us like french geese, he's now spread his necrotising tentacles to do the same to the US. So much for freedom and artistic integrity. The Moron Factor, even worse than the Fast Food Factor. It's the musical equivalent.
Returning to Simon's haircut says it all. It is one of the three choices allowed by the State in communist China, or North Korea. Our attitude to music is the same, we are dictated to by the Kim il Sung of music. We have to sit and watch him telling us what is good for us. Anyone who prefers not to be carpet-bombed by his crap is on the outside. But look how much money he's made! comes the collective cry, rather like the poor brainwashed peasants of rural China - he must be great! As though being madly wealthy is good enough reason to be considered a genius. Any criticism of Madonna's talent is invariably met by cries of But She's so Rich! She must be doing something right! Idi Amin was rich too. So are all the dictators in the world. For that matter, so is Bob Dylan, but being rich in itself isn't a crime.
We get what we deserve. We live in an age where people can't make their minds up about anything much, preferring to have decisions made for us, because we are intellectually lazy. Everyone finds Ozzy Osbourne's antics hilarious, everyone finds his wife brilliant and down-to-earth - instead of the money-grabbing harpie she actually is. Would any loving person subject their spouse to endless cameras in their own home to record every fragile move? But the public find it hilarious, just as the Victorians enjoyed watching insane people in asylums for perverse pleasure.
Bob Dylan may not have universal appeal, and indeed, at his worst had a tendency to disappear up his own fundament during his long career - but let's not lose sight of the fact that he is one of the finest writers of modern times, and if those people with an inability to listen to anything for more than 3 seconds were to actually stop and engage their addled brains for a moment, they would discover that he has written and performed the most hauntingly beautiful lyrics and conveyed the deepest and most loving sentiments with an innate talent comparable to Verdi and Handel. But the idiot masses, shackled by their own laziness, can't spend a moment to consider that there might be something better. Yes, times have moved on, but there are real artists, who write their own material.
The music industry has been diluted to a "Lite" version of everything, so it can be easily digested by a public unused to a rich artistic diet. This is why 'celebrities' have a disproportionate opinion of their own skill and importance. But their chickens will come home to roost, look at EMI who have suffered a huge loss in profits due to their ignorance in allowing Robbie Williams to write and produce his own latest album – which bombed. Never mind, we can just gloss over all of that nonsense about genuine talent, and just fake it all. Rather like the metaphorical family that bores us senseless with listening to their darling son or daughter play the most appalling recorder music for hours on end when they get home from school. Or having to watch our own children shout "mummy! watch me! as they do the same dive again and again and again and again into the pool.
This is what the public wants, so let the public have it. Until we wake up from our torpor, and take the time to make our own minds up from everything that is available instead of relying on an ignorant spokesperson to do the groundwork, we are doomed to put up with crap. Rather like allowing ourselves to be dragged into the futile war we accepted like sheep. Hey, Gee Boss, I thought it was good, because you said it was.... are we all to be relegated to the mentality of Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson or one of Tony Soprano's nephews?
Bob Dylan reminded a nation, and the world, of the futility and evil of war, he reminded us to be socially responsible, urging the young of the time to turn their backs on the senators and congressman who made catastrophic decisions. It may be rather too earnest for the likes of Simple Simon, but there you go. Bob Dylan also wrote beautiful and whimsical love songs, and I doubt very much that SS (perfect!) ever has heard one of them, between his fatuous mobile phone conversations at Sandy Lane. His poor girlfriend, whom he is too mummy's boy to propose to, says he gets 'bored' after a day or two on the beach. Bored? A middle aged git with a massive bank balance and a young sexy girlfriend is Bored?? Send him to the Gulag! Money is wasted on the ignorant. Anyone with the opportunity to do whatever they like, who is bored, is nothing short of a moron. I would advise her to move on to someone with a bit more interesting masculine grace of mind and spirit.
These people know the Price of everything and the Value of nothing. I'm reminded of an elderly Jamaican midwife, who assisted us when we had our daughter recently. She rather indiscreetly laughed loudly about the absurdly imperious behaviour of Victoria Beckham and her mother when the 3 children were born in London. "To think" she said, "that I've helped deliver so many Royal children when I worked at the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, with none of the embarrassing fuss that those people made".
By the way Simon, when we asked her what she thought about your various protegee's, she replied "they are ROBBISH!" before bursting into peals of laughter and waddling off to administer painkillers to the rest of the new mothers.
I can only hope that this unique and sensible woman, a true jewel with a real job, doesn't have a son or daughter working at the Sandy Lane Hotel.
You can't fool us all Simon, the times "they are a changing". Invest your money wisely while you can, and stop spreading your fatuous opinions on the most vulnerable members of society. Accept that you've made a fortune by raping the music industry, just as sure as Roman Abramovich and his ilk has helped to deprive his countrymen of their national birthright.
You are the evil dictator of the music industry, and the unacceptable face of it. When the public is able to fight back you will become the pariah you so richly deserve to be. A man in such an undeservedly powerful position as yourself should at least be prepared to EDUCATE young people about great talent, instead of dismissing the likes of Dylan.
In the meantime, order yourself another Ferrari, get an education before you spout rubbish, and, grow your hair a bit longer. Be sure to leave a good tip at the Sandy Lane too, it might just help a real musician to get a recording deal. And EMI – take heed of the warning signs.
Download aggregators are not good for artists because they do nothing in the way of individual artist promotion and without that marketing, press and radio promotion who will know that the release even exists? What is more troublesome is the fact that the agrregator makes it difficult for a label wishing to genuinely sign and promote the artist by hanging onto certain download rights. This then becomes unattractive for the label wishing to genuinely invest in them.
Real stunts versus effects?
The suspense created by real stunts, is greater than those created by special effects. As an example, 'Breakdown' with Kurt Russel, shows great photography mixed with stunts spotted at the right place within a simple story line can outdo any 'Independence Day' action style effects generated movie. 'Live and Let Die' was probably the last great 'Bond Movie' that used 'real' stunts. If it is a non-dialogue based movie then at least pepper it with proper 'hand made' stunts.
BAFTA's / Music / Books
It was like watching the sunrise – as powerful as it was illuminating, the speeches given by Richard Attenborough and David Puttnam. Neither used auto-cue and both spoke with such lucidity, elegance and succinctness that almost all before paled in comparison. It sent tingles down the spine and put butterflies in the stomach.
The written word and empowered speech in the right hands can cut through the medium that has been freely hijacked by puff and fluff fly on the wall documentaries, political and corporate spin and adverts that have become so devoid of reality that even the most hardened corporate bosses must cringe each time they see one of their own. It’s a medium gone mad, driven by profit, ego and lack of purpose.
What is TV other than ‘Lights, wires and a box’, (to quote Ed Morrow in ‘Good Night and Good Luck’), if it can’t convey matters of importance in such a way that the viewer becomes engaged, made to question and come away feeling a fire in their own stomach.
Music was once able to do this, it has since been hijacked by corporations buying up the entrepreneurs, who had the passion to take the risks to propel those that had the genius and the message. It’s been replaced by retro sound-alikes, harking back to a period when music was important and conveyed a message.
Spin in the music columns and radio is as rife as it is on TV. It’s become virtually a dead medium for creativity and has become powered by it’s own desire to sell out. Which artists can genuinely stand up with a purpose and say it has not been ‘bought’, by the perverse and glass ceiling practices of the music industry? The 'payola' at radio, the schmoozed newspaper and magazine features and bowing to the monopoly that is MTV.
With any luck there might just be a backlash at our feet in the guise of ‘The Arctic Monkeys’. Otherwise is it to be books and the odd film that remain ‘untouched’ by corporate control and advertising dollars?