Photo and feature: cliff1066™, Remix CC by Kate Sedgwick
176,492 Facebook Group members made it possible for the 17 year old Rage Against the Machine hit “Killing in the Name” to clobber other choices for the Christmas Number One Slot in the UK. The group, run by Jon and Tracy Morter, was set up to unseat the schmaltzy picks of Simon Cowell that ooze forth from speakers all over the UK throughout the holiday season each year. The Christmas Number One is big business and a big deal in the UK.
From the RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE FOR CHRISTMAS NO.1 page:
Are you getting fed up about the possibility of ANOTHER X-Factor Christmas No.1? …us too…so we’re going to do something about it!
We are all buying a download of ‘KILLING IN THE NAME’ by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE right NOW! until the end of Saturday 19th December (23:59pm).
They succeeded. It was less about the song itself and what the song represents – the antithesis of “The X Factor” (read Britain’s American Idol) host’s powerful campaigns to exert sway in the pick for the Christmas Number One.
From the page – a celebratory message.
They had to tell participants not to download more than once and to follow industry guidelines to prevent their selection from being disqualified.
They are apparently dedicated to improving quality of life beyond the aural realm. They have also raised more than £60,000 for Shelter, a UK charity group dedicated to securing homes for the homeless and campaigning against homelessness. When they realized how much attention their page was getting they thought it would be a waste not to direct some of that attention to the greater good of humanity.
In 2008, the #1 was “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen as covered by Alexandra Burke. In 2007 it was “When You Believe” by Leon Jackson, and in 2006, it was Leone Lewis’ “A Moment Like This.” “Killing in the Name” will forever be etched on the Christmas Number One for 2009, representing the general public’s dissatisfaction with warmed over sentimental claptrap for Christmas.
Interested in change from the ground up? Find out 10 Ways the International Community Must Help Africa from MatadorChange.