Rage Against the Machine Bests Simon Cowell's Pop Music Robots In Sony Pissing Contest

"Guerilla Radio," indeed. Remember angry 90s WTO-protest mascots Rage Against the Machine? Well, they and their fans decided to take on British holiday radio playlists dominated The Pop Music-Industrial-Complex Machine. And they won, pissing off Simon Cowell in the process.

See, Rage is pissed off at Simon Cowell for doing the same thing he's always done, which is manufacture perfect pop songs that are like pouring Sweet-N-Low in your ears: it's not natural and it probably gives rats cancer. That said, he makes a shitton of money off of it, so nobody's complaining. Except for Rage. Because that's their job. To rage against the machine. It's a fitting name! So they got on the radio last week and got really pissed. Zach de la Rocha and Tom Morello had things to say.

They are currently the subject of a Facebook campaign to get their 1992 hit to the festive top spot ahead of 18-year-old Joe's version of The Climb. Speaking about the race, de la Rocha attacked Cowell, saying: "Simon is an interesting character. He seems to have profited greatly off humiliating people on live television and has a unique position of capturing the attention of people on television, but also the airwaves. We see this [campaign] as a necessary break of that control."

Okay, well, now, like all Rage Against the Machine efforts, they're starting to go a little off the rails. Just wait:

Meanwhile guitarist Tom Morello explained why the band had decided to back the fan-led campaign. He said: "People are tired of being spoon fed one schmaltzy ballad after another. They want to take back their own charts. We're honoured they've chosen our song to be the rebel anthem to topple The X Factor monopoly. People aren't buying Killing In The Name to protest a record coming out on a major company. We wrote Killing In The Name in a small industrial slum in Los Angeles. The X Factor song is written by a cabal of overpaid songwriters to shove the schmaltzy business down your throats. So there is two very different choices. The thing the listeners need to know is, it's a really close race and its a real liberating musical revolution and we're honoured to be a part of it."

Are people tired of being spoonfed these ballads? Um, no. RATM is tired of them being spoonfed these ballads and this is the kind of self-righteous bullshit that only someone who'd call any part of Los Angeles the nice guys in Rage recorded a song in a "slum," and this is not a revolution, this is a contest to get people to buy shit, and like, really? Come on.

I mean, whatever. Why argue this kind of thing? Rage Against the Machine is angry and you can't argue with an angry person! You can just let them get angrier. Which is fine for me, because I like Rage Against the Machine's music, which gets better the angrier they are.

After this radio appearance, they then sang their classic I'm-tired-of-my-older-brother-winning-our-fights anthem "Killing In the Name," with the angry "fuck you I won't do what you tell me" part intact at the end. And a few days later, it's announced that they won this little contest.

It is the first time a non-X-Factor song has made it to Christmas number one for four years and represents a major snub to the show's creator Cowell who angrily described the campaign to him another number one slot as "very Scrooge".

Heh. Even better:

X-Factor winner McElderry was less than a year old when Rage Against the Machine stormed onto the LA rock scene in 1992 with their self-titled debut album which went triple platinum and effectively gave birth to the nu-metal rock scene by blending heavy metal guitar riffs with politically charged rap lyrics. Earlier in the week he listened to "Killing in the Name" for the first time and described it as "dreadful". But last night the 18-year-old Geordie singer, whose cover of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" sold 50,000 fewer copies than his rivals, was noticeably more magnanimous in defeat.

Nu-metal? Ouch. That means they were responsible for...Limp Bizkit? BARF. Revolution, indeed. They even got Paul McCartney's backing after Sir Paul played with the kid on TV. This is a big thing over there!

So now thanks to Facebook and the power of people buying things, Rage promised to donate their royalties and play a "thank you" gig in the UK next year. That gig will probably be in front of some financial exchange and get shut down after three songs because they didn't get clearance permits because London, they might not do what you tell them.

But the problem with so many well-intended efforts is that they're half way to hell. Who gets the money from this? Sony! Sony gets RATM's money and money from the records the kid Cowell's repping. So what's the point? Revolution, shmevolution. If Rage Against the Machine really cared, they'd just make a new record already and release it independently. Now they're just old and stumbled into a pissing contest with an 18 year-old pop star that led to them checking to see if their globalization-protesting dicks still work. And they do. I like Rage's music, but really? This is soft. Rage, indeed. Fuck you, everyone did what they were told to do.