While Sweden’s Ghost are trying to shake up the system touring the U.K. with Alice in Chains, Sweden’s Agnetha Faltskog of Abba fame will tonight be shown making her first appearance in front of a live audience for twenty-five years duetting with Gary Barlow for Children in Need.
Meanwhile, over on Channel Four‘s Alan Carr Chatty Man chat show, Russell Brand will be trying to shake up the system his way.
The Greenygrey of Ghost, Agnetha and Brand
Hi, it’s Grey Greyvara, social conscience at the Greenygrey. It’s a coincidence that Agnetha is making her first live appearance for 25 years in the year Marc Latham is celebrating his 25 years of travelling… and passed from the Kerouacian age to the Agnethan.
Russell Brand is also a child of Kerouac, as he showed in a documentary he did retracing the On The Road journey, now with parts available on YouTube.
Of the people mentioned in the introductory paragraph, Ghost and Russell Brand might be seen as in one corner, and Agnetha Faltskog in another.
While the obvious reason for that is that Ghost and Russell Brand are men, and Agnetha is a woman, the real reason for supposing their differences are that Agnetha is generally seen as a safe quiet mainstream artist, while the others are troublesome loud counter-culture artists.
Abba did have some controversial lyrics questioning institutional religion, as discussed by Bjorn recently, but they were missed at the time because Abba were generally seen as nice, safe and squeaky clean members of the ‘good community’.
The ‘good community’ that has historically and recently put institutions, religions and the powerful before children in real need.
Reasons to be Cynical
At around the same time as Ian Dury and the Blockheads were singing Reasons to be Cheerful I was cynical of Bob Geldof at the time of Live Aid, and hated Princess Diana‘s posturing in front of the camera. I now think they were generally doing good.
While Agnetha Faltskog and Gary Barlow do have a record out, I don’t think they need the money, so I think their Children in Need duet is generally a genuine charity performance; especially as Agnetha doesn’t like performing live.
While Ghost and Russell Brand might be seen as ‘being true and genuine’ by their young fans, because they are being so one-dimensionally critical of ‘the system’, they are also trying to sell products and make money in an artistic and media world where you have to shout to be heard.
As Marc Latham is trying to sell products at the Greenygrey.
Only Ideological Extremists Heard in Modern Media
The shout-to-be-heard age is epitomised in the media-political world by Jeremy Clarkson on the right and George Galloway on the left.
At the Greenygrey we believe in taking both sides of an argument or social position into consideration… like politicians!… which is why we probably aren’t being as noticed as much as the Clarksons, Galloways and Brands… or popular with one half of people, and unpopular with the other half… but if only one half buy your products you’re doing well..! and if you’re not ‘telling one half of people what they want to hear’ you probably won’t be heard, or sell much product..!!
P.S. Russell Brand is shouting a simplistic hegemonic theory at the political elite; the same theoretical framework used by Dr. Marc Latham to criticise the British elite system in his 2000-2005 PhD thesis.
P.P.S. I have consciously only included Agnetha images for comedic effect… although I think they do look nicer than the images of the other people featured in the blog.
P.P.P.S. That doesn’t mean I like the look of all women, or even all blonde women. Myra Hindley and Margaret Thatcher were ‘blondes’!