Sunday, 23 October 2011

x factor

For the last few years I have made a conscious effort to avoid the above named program. Yes even mentioning its name might bring all manor of calamities upon my head. Having had my own brush with minor celebrity I was finding it`s visceral efficiency some how touched me where I didn´t want touching. In the pop world I get the feeling that once you`ve had your go you are expected to politely move aside and let some other young turk step up and take a swipe. My lingering on the edges of the playing field has become, I suspect a mild cause for embarassment" is that man still loitering?" There is something of the primal power of the mob about X Factor that disturbs me. (In an earlier blog I mentioned guilt over a radio shaped like a JPS racing car that my parents had bought when caught up in the whirl of a cheap market auction and the frenzied feeling that all of this is somehow of vital earth shattering importance not to be allowed to pass unacted upon permeates pores of this televisual beast.) But there is hope in the title itself. The X factor could be taken to imply an interest in the ineffable. The thing that Prisig spirals around in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanance. That magical ingredient that he calls "quality". Quality too is an almost unspeakable word. In its wake reason and rationality fall away and once uttered one has a feeling of nakedness, having somehow exposed the inner workings of the brain to be no more than a cluster of writhing worms of subjective longing . How often do we hear contestants say, "this is all I`ve ever dreamed of"?
But last night X factor took a giant leap into the realm of the imagination. It shredded the divide between reality and fictive psycho-drama. We all caught a whiff of the heady acrid bouquet of modern life except this felt like the modern world where Elizabeth Linley was yearning to escape when Gainsborough painted her as one with her beloved west country landscape. The houselights dim - Look there It's Frankie cock-o-the-town out on the prowl so lock up your daughters (or at least the ones Pete Doherty has left behind) and what's this? See yonder as the spotlight scorches through the back drop and reveals wicked Micha taunting the poor poor souls wracked with a level of self doubt she will never knoweth by dint of her nightly baths in the blood of castrati backing singers. Our torch bearers are the gods themselves sat atop mount Olympus selflessly shining a light into their own internal struggles. Hoping to somehow marry a selfless pursuit of those unfathomable essences that made them what they are with the need to reveal the putrid follies of human desire if left unchecked. So it seems the one genuine pop star on the program is to be cast as the wicked step sister and then perhaps to be redeemed as Cinderella once she has seen the error of her ways.
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