X-Factor supremo Simon Cowell has already changed the face of popular music with his hugely successful TV shows. After thrusting such luminaries as Gareth Gates and Susan Boyle onto the international stage, the shiny-toothed impresario might have been expected to take a well-deserved break from shaping the musical tastes of a generation. Instead, he may now decide to set his sights even higher, having been given the blessing of an eminent expert in music history to go ahead and reconfigure the musical landscape of the past to boot.
Musichistoryologist Prof. Adrian Buckles of the University of Warwick announced yesterday, "My wife sometimes has the X-Factor on when she's doing the ironing and I find myself staring at it like a bored motorway driver rubbernecking past a car crash. At first, I was stunned by the almost total ignorance of the history of their profession displayed by Simon Cowell and the camp little Irish fellow who stands next to him. But then I realised that it simply isn't possible to really believe that Stevie Wonder wrote 'We Can Work It Out' or that Cheryl Cole has anything worthwhile to say about anything at all. This led me to one conclusion: that Cowell and co know full well how to tell the difference between Stevie Wonder and Lennon/McCartney or between a knowledgeable musician and a thick Geordie tart, and have simply chosen not to do so."
Prof. Buckles then snorted "And who am I to stop them? After all, history is and always has been written by the victor" before continuing with a sigh, "I just think it might be easier in the long run if we consign all memory of Bob Dylan to the dustbin right now and pretend to ourselves that some bird called Adele wrote 'Make you feel my love'. After all, Simon Cowell seems to manage it without any effort whatsoever.
"Similarly, what is the point in clinging onto the memory of Creedence Clearwater Revival when most people are agreed that 'Proud Mary' is a song by Fat Dave Who Lives Next Door To Jinny, first recorded at the Black Horse's Christmas Eve karaoke session four years ago? There's only so many times I can point out my version of events before I start to feel like a terrible bore."
The professor denied that accepting Mr Cowell's account of history would put paid to the age-old pastime of arguing about pop music trivia, saying "That won't be the case at all. For example, we can forget that The Doors ever existed and the general public can live happily in the knowledge that 'Light My Fire' is a contemporary chart hit by Will Young. However, it will still be possible for grumpy traditionalists to point out snidely that it was first performed by Massive Attack in the early 1990s when they were wasted on mushrooms and needed a bit of filler to slap on the end of 'Protection'. There's still room for shades of grey: it's just a case of wanting to tidy things up a bit so that the arguments are easier to follow for the sort of fuckwitted philistine that we are all gradually becoming."
When asked if he had a favourite contestant in this year's X-Factor contest, Prof. Buckles shook his head and explained that he has always preferred classical music. His all-time favourites include The Lone Ranger Theme Tune and Beethoven's Symphony No 5 in C Minor, written by the Halifax Advertising department in 1983.