One Direction: Parody With Purpose

As an elderly person with what I like to think is fairly decent taste, I’ve never really understood the purpose of One Direction as a musical entity. I’m so uncomfortable with the whole ‘mogul grooming and primping boys for the purpose of manipulating the vulnerable, fecund areas of teenage sexuality for financial gain’ thing, that the actual music has passed me by.

The snippets I have heard makes me yearn for the touchingly disorganised and cheery console manipulation of Stock, Aitken & Waterman.

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One Direction: Cheap Shots

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I’m about 104 years past the median age of One Direction’s target demographic. I think their music is shallow, mechanical pop of the lowest order,  with lyrics specifically tailored to titillate and exploit the first flushes of sexual maturity in teenage girls.

Despite all this, I’m still uncomfortable with the media propagating the hysteria by reporting it, and then seeking to legitimise their coverage by pointing out how irrational and disturbing the resulting behaviour is. When a teenage girl is threatening to kill people for dating a member of the band, or herself because she can’t meet them, it should be a source of concern, not smart-arse articles describing them as ‘witless devotees

I’m surprised the press feel so superior. Cheap, formulaic journalism isn’t really any better than cheap, formulaic devotion, is it?

Image via standard.co.uk.

Simon Cowell vs. Martin Gore: Shooting Stars

Martin Gore. 32 years into his career, officially sanctioned “weirdo”. Image via tumblr

Do you remember those heady days when musicians were renowned for making ill advised, controversial and frequently stupid remarks? When the whole point of joining a band was to make music that would prompt teenagers to festoon themselves in crushed velvet and cover their walls with posters of androgynous young men with unacceptable haircuts and the kind of mutinous expressions usually worn by young offenders?

Those bands, when they weren’t having near death experiences or splitting up over musical differences would write lyrics that scared the shit out of middle-class suburban parents who would become convinced that their once delightful and cheery child was on the verge of suicide and hammer on the bedroom door at frequent intervals, just to check?

We, of course, never answered. We were too busy giving birth to our existential crises.

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Simon Cowell: He’s Coming For Your Children

If you let me have Sean, I’ll resurrect your career. Image: AP Photo/Evan Agostini.

If you thought you could avoid the pernicous reach of Simon Cowell by simply refusing to watch the X-Factor, read about it and most importantly, buying any of the resulting musical excretions, you were wrong.

It would be lovely to have faith in the great British public and say it’s a coincidence that the Cowell’s favoured spawn over the last couple of years, Harry Styles of One Direction and Amelia Lily (of, well, Mr & Mrs Lily, presumably) had absolutely nothing to do with the news this morning that Harry & Amelia were the most popular baby names of 2011.

But given that Styles and his band of fluffy haired foetuses have enjoyed terrifying chart success in the last twelve months and Lily is on her way, having just signed a £500,000 three album deal with a Sony subsidiary, it’s almost certainly true.

Shall we just get it out of the way now and each of us offer Cowell our firstborn? You know it won’t be long.