For four years in a row Simon Cowell’s X-Factor has dominated the Christmas number one slot in the charts. He’s certainly not the first person to send bland, manufactured porridge masquerading as music to the top of the charts but he is the first to insist year on year that there is no alternative.
Year after year he unleashes all the corporate power at his disposal, including a prime-time TV show which acts as a long-running, dedicated advertising campaign that puts QVC and the Shopping Channel to shame, all in the service of his ever-burgeoning fortunes.
Stacked against him were a married couple in Essex, Jon and Tracy Morter, who decided that enough was enough and launched a campaign from their living room to depose the dictator.
How were they going to do it? By backing Killing In The Name by rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine (RATM).
Leaping beyond all their expectations the campaign, based mainly through the internet as the song was no longer available in the shops, became a mini-movement with almost a million people joining the Facebook group and over half-a-million people buying the single in a week.
Joyously it topped the charts with no corporate backing nor even, initially, with the knowledge of the band itself. Continue reading →
Rage Against the Machine has made another rare return from its 2000 breakup to wake up a nation it believes has been desensitized by being spoon-fed a culture of reality television and “one schmaltzy ballad after another,” according to guitarist Tom Morello
Mérida, July 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)– At the 7th Conference of Information Ministers of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries held in Venezuela’s Margarita Island last week, more than 80 country delegations endorsed Venezuela’s proposal to create an alternative worldwide media network.
The Margarita Declaration signed Friday lays out a working agenda for constructing a “new international communicational order” that is meant to “balance information and democratize the presence of the countries of the South in worldwide communication,” said the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, Andrés Izarra, in his closing speech Friday.
“We now have a new tool,” explained Izarra. “The communicational task of our peoples today is to recuperate the words, the images of our existence which have been sequestered and used against us by the masters of the world.” Continue reading →
Cuban socialism has placed human beings at the centre of society and development. Cubans enjoy a system of social welfare provision which is among the best in the world. They have created a system of democratic representation which gives an active role to all sectors of society. The Cuban Revolution has become synonymous with international solidarity, sending doctors and educators around the globe. All this achieved despite nearly 50 years of military and political aggression from the United States, including a brutal economic blockade.
Cuba’s example is an inspiration to those fighting imperialism and underdevelopment all over the world. Now a united front has been formed in Latin America. Governments representing the working class and oppressed of Venezuela and Bolivia have united with Cuba to create the Bolivarian Alternative, directly challenging the regional and global hegemony of the United States and its allies. Continue reading →