What About Shannon?

I dislike celebrities.

More precisely, I dislike the cult of celebrity with its arrogant entitlement on one side and its fawning sublimation on the other. I would even go so far as to say that the cult of celebrity is fundamentally responsible for most of the modern world’s ills. We are all constantly bombarded with messages about how wonderful it is to be rich, famous and young – and if you aren’t at least two of these things then there must be something wrong with you.

But if you can’t be famous, be infamous! Hitler was a rejected painter; Jihadi John, the ISIS headlopper, was a failed London DJ; and any number of American mass murderers had various frustrated artistic pursuits on their CVs before shooting into the history books. If you can’t make the world love you, then force it to hate you! It’s all good in the bizarro world of fame.

Which brings me to Shannon Noll’s latest outburst.

Apparently, he’s very upset that Simon Cowell brokered a deal to have some other reality TV “star” record a song that Noll had previously recorded himself. What About Me? – a song originally written and performed by Moving Pictures back in 1981 – was covered by Noll in 2004 and then covered again by Shayne Ward a couple of years later.

As Noll concedes himself, he didn’t write the song, so the evil Simon Cowell went back to the original creators and sneakily dealt with them instead to enable a new recording of the song.

Which was precisely the correct thing to do, both legally and ethically. On what weird copyright planet would Simon Cowell have been obliged to come to Shannon Noll to purchase rights he didn’t own?

‘I didn’t write the song,’ said Noll, ‘so he cut me out of the deal!’

If you didn’t write the song Shannon…how on earth could he ever have cut you into the deal?

But those who’ve sucked too long at the teat of celebrity don’t bother themselves with questions like that. Noll’s epic sense of entitlement trumps trivial matters such as copyright law and goes straight to grieving over what he’s missed out on. Simon Cowell is therefore (according to Noll) a “fucking idiot” and just one of those “rich pricks getting fatter”.

Clearly Noll has taken the song’s lyrics to heart:

I guess I’m lucky, I smile a lot, but sometimes I wish for more than I’ve got…

What about me indeed?