Why I Hate X-Factor (and lots of stuff like that)

It’s that time of year again, when Twitter becomes unusable, for me, on a Saturday evening, because it is full of people tweeting about X-Factor. And these are, largely, people I otherwise consider to be rationale human beings with some sense of judgement. They inexplicably appear to lose all that judgement when X-Factor is on.

Call me a cultural snob if you like, but I think I am the opposite. I’m going to write more fully about this elsewhere, but I feel compelled to set out at least the basics of what gets me so riled about this kind of reality television.

I believe everyone needs to find a way to explore their potential to find their place in the world. And, with a VERY few exceptions, X-Factor is not the environment to do this. Yes, we can all point to people who have made a personal success out of being catapulted to instant celebrity by reality TV shows. But, I would contend, the true success stories in this field are very isolated cases, and, very often, instant fame is a short-lived thing, with disastrous long-term consequences. And this is not to deal at all with the distasteful sight of people with serious delusions being exposed to public ridicule.

X-Factor and its ilk is one of the components of the modern “opium of the masses”. It is there to give people a false hope that anyone can find a short-cut to success, it sets up 99% of the people who enter for failure, and sends a message out to its audience that the way to go is to crash and burn.

There are a very few people who make a lot of money out of this kind of charade, and, in the main, they are not the people standing on the stage singing.

X-Factor makes me sad about human nature; sad about the deluded people who think they can find stardom; sad about the voyeurs who take pleasure in their delusions being exposed; and sad about those who make a living exploiting these delusions.

There, rant over. I don’t expect you to understand, but I’ve got it off my chest at least.