Thursday, 2 June 2011

A fix, potentially

There's some rumblings going on in anonymous Twitterverse.  There's the suggestion being virally passed that Britain's Got Talent's Ronan Parke (known as the good little camp gay kid in our house) has been lined up by Simon Cowell's SYCO company.  There's an entire ream of allegations [here] and seemingly being spread by a user by the account @ukLegion.  In it, it is suggested:

  • The whole contest is a sham
    The entries we get to see promoted to the later stages are always pre-screened and the general public simply make up the numbers of oddities the show and other Simon Cowell vehicles like it, are famous for.
  • The winner is picked before any auditions
    Britain's Got Talent is a show case for potential performers already on Simon Cowell's books.
  • Ronan Parke is already the winner
    Allegedly, the school boy has already had a track recorded for him ready for release after he wins.
  • Ronan Parke has been intensively trained, manicured and airbrushed
    His performance was managed (including 'fake tears' on receipt of the judge's comments) and he also has been styled to be camp, and after attracting complaints of 'sexualising' the young lad, the gay-ness has been toned back.

the good little camp gay kid
There's many ways to look at all this: it could be driven by those related with a rival of Ronan's, it could be used as a ploy to attack the whole show by a competing record company or perhaps it is an employee who saw the camping up of Ronan as the final straw?  These are but a few explanations, and I'm sure you'll have your own theory.  I'm going to be deciding on my continued, albeit already abstained from voting, viewing.

However, it has thrown up an interesting situation, once again.  The internet has become a living, breathing rumour spreading machine, especially in the dawn of the social networks.  The freedom we have with information and speech on it is flying in the face of privacy once again.  I'm no big fan of Simon Cowell, and I tend to have sympathies with the view that everything he does is a fix - he's a very smug, clever guy: he has no time to leave anything to chance.  That said, he should be given his chance to prove these allegations wrong.

In the world before the internet twittering, the world would have spread this by leaflet campaigns, attempting to bring the Globo-Corp to account over a perceived injustice.  The Globo-Corp lawyers would be able to obtain a flyer, prove their innocence or pay a lawyer to make the problem go away.  This has been replaced by the current trends to prevent discussion of a subject completely.  I'm uncomfortable with this, too.

Freedom to speak through twitter, facebook or blogger, is something that I should be able to do.  The problem here is the media: they rely too much on people generating stories for them.  It's too expensive to hire good journalists, so the journalists just print rumour, supposition and accusation.  This isn't investigative, it isn't reporting.  It's gossip spreading.  A whistle-blower, exposing some shady business practice is something we all should hear about, but there should be method to prove they known what they're talking about: a judge in these cases should certify that the claim has some basic grounding in reality.  This would allow the whole thing to be played out to the public, safe in the knowledge that this claim has a basis for discussion.  This would have a two-fold effect to businesses, both forcing better business practice and keeping workers happy.

Until then, the internet will be fair game for any gossip to spread unopposed.