I have truly gone over to the dark side: tonight I plan to watch the X Factor final. I never liked TV like this (I don’t like Tv much in general); shallow, mindnumbing and with little to do with music. Then my children wanted to watch it: one of the contestants was from my older son’s school.
I watched and after initially being repulsed I realised what this show was: a modern version of the gladiatorial contests in ancient Rome. Some people are going to be publicly humiliated, some are going to be spared by the crowd and still others are going to do well as they are lucky. As long as belief can be suspended enough to believe that any of this is real or has any intrinsic meaning, then it becomes a kind of grotesque amusement; car crash TV at its very best. Add this to judges who act like pantomime characters and it becomes almost compelling; a real guilty pleasure.
And yes, we will join in the spectacle: we will vote for Amelia Lily whatever she does. She is from Middlesbrough and we need all the breaks that we can get.
And now; to paraphrase one of my favourite scenes from the Last part of Lord of the Rings where Aragorn and his army stand in front of the gates of Mordor:-
‘There may be a day to keep your artistic integrity: but this is not that day,
There may be a day to retain a carapace of cool: but this is not that day,
There may be a day to to be selective about your TV viewing, choosing only sport and informative documentaries, but this is not that day.
Tonight we veg out, tonight we listen to Louis, Gary, Tulisa and Kelly and tonight we cheer for Amelia Lily!’
It is ok- tomorrow is Sunday- I can confess these sins and recieve absolution.