many of horrors. many of love.

21 12 2010

So Matt Cardle’s shabby soft-pop croony karaoke X Factor song is number 1. Some people will settle for anything. We really will. Pale imitations of the real thing. Either because we’re lazy, or don’t expect to receive anything better, or don’t realise there is better out there. Of course this can apply to lots of things, from Tesco’s water-filled chicken to cheap chocolate to, of course, music.

biff this

No-one expects the X Factor to work miracles; nobody really expects the X Factor to be about music – it is after all a pantomime entertainment show on which contestants and performers and judges are scripted, guided and if there’s a danger they might get it wrong, they are auto-tuned or made to mime. But it’s good fun (at times!), and it keeps people who made flashy lights and ‘cheer spontaneously now’ cards in business.

What really gets me though is the lack of effort at the end. The song is always, and without fail, awful. A damp squib, a pathetically lazy, badly thought-through pile of poo. What should be the climax of 6 months of being taught to sing by Sinita and to dance by an aerobics teacher ends up as the most bland and boring performance of the lot. It shouldn’t happen. After all the effort that goes into different song styles, into finding the ‘unique’ thing – shall we say the X Factor – of the winner, all they do is a cover version. This year at least the cover is of a decent song, but they might as well say Matt Cardle has won, now go and buy Many of Horrors by Biffy Clyro to celebrate. As soon as he has won, Matt Cardle is pointless. An irrelevance.

biffy clyro

Even so, maybe we can turn this into something good each Christmas. Maybe we can use the disappointment of a feeble unimaginative cover version every year as a reminder that Christmas isn’t about being feeble and unimaginative at all but is about wonder and beauty and creativity. Maybe we can even find ourselves at the point where we thank the X Factor for showing us each year that there is another way to live, another way to do Christmas; we can thank them for being all that we don’t want to be in order that we can be who we are meant to be.  Beautiful. Orginal. Unique. No pale imitations, no shabby cover versions. Us, and our creator God.

No longer many of horrors, but many of love.

Maybe, just maybe.

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10 responses

21 12 2010
Tweets that mention many of horrors. many of love. « the blog of kevin -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin Lewis, Kevin Lewis. Kevin Lewis said: New post: what can Matt Cardle's shabby soft-pop X Factor cover version tell us about our imaginative creator god? http://fb.me/ODekjsdA […]

21 12 2010
c2drl

Maybe thats what Father Christmas is. A disappointing cover version of the real thing. You can go and get the original, fee of charge but worth an untold amount, or you can get a cover version, wrapped in tinsel and red that looks attractive at first but doesn’t stand the test of time.

21 12 2010
edge

You keep coming back to the X Factor. It clearly annoys you on so many levels. I don’t recall seeing a positive blog from you about it. Which rather begs the question: why do you watch it? If it frustrates you more than it entertains you, why not turn it off and do something more interesting instead? Or if it really does entertain you, why not be more generous with your feedback?
The X Factor may be a machiavellian metaphor for the state of the nation, but most likely it’s just the Morecambe and Wise Show of it’s day. Tastes vary. I can’t comment really – I’ve never seen it. I certainly don’t rate the records. But can 50 million Matt Cardle fans be wrong?

21 12 2010
Kevin

Thank you edge for your generous feedback – of course I don’t “watch” it, I am usually preparing the next days sermon whilst Mrs Vicarage watches it; maybe it says a lot about my sermons that I finish preparing them before X Factor finishes, hence watching it then in order to spend quality time complaining to her about it.

There are lots of positive things about it of course, not least that every year it ends. I do find it strangely compelling tho, I must admit, it’s appeal is massive and it’s potential never, ever met. Which intrigues me.

Maybe I see parallels in someone like Louis Walsh being paid to talk about something he clearly knows nothing about yet does for a job. Maybe in a strange way I am reminded of me… Now I’m getting a bit deep.

22 12 2010
carol

Heh Edge, DO US A FAVOUR… the X factor is certainly NOT in anyway, shape or form the Morcambe and Wise show of the day!!!

22 12 2010
edge

Deep is interesting. I wonder if the X Factor is the churchman’s best example of the journey being more important than the destination? Or is it more a 40 nights in the wilderness thing?

22 12 2010
m_eth_odist

And yet after generations of waiting and yearning Luke has Mary responding to the Good News with a cover version or perhaps, more accurately, a ‘mash-up’ ;0)

22 12 2010
Kevin

Nice thought M_eths Man – I think her cover version was a little more original, a little more imaginative, had a little more meaning than Cardle’s…! Oh, and please don’t use the term ‘mash-up’ at your age. It is not becoming.

22 12 2010
c2drl

As somebody too old to understand ‘mash-up’ I am confused. How does anybody use X Factor in the same sentence as taste. Sure good entertainers have always pushed at the boundaries, I am old enought to remember Round the Horn!n Listened too illicitly on a Sunday afternoon when my mum thought I was doing my homework. The difference between these types of programme and X factor and the others was that they had sometyhing to say. X facotr has nothing to say and contributes nothing to thought or tase or dare I say culture. It just exploits people for the financial gain of an elite. A bit like the European Community really. Probably a sign of the Zeitgeist or at least a cover version for it.

24 12 2010
anon

I lost the comment I tried to post here earlier this week… but it was just to point out that although I get the ‘original and cover’ analogy, it seems to have been applied a little selectively!
Occasionally the cover is better than the original!
I’m thinking… Joe Cocker covering The Beatles, Mariah Carey – Nilsson… All subjective of course…
😉

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