Who the fuck are One Direction, and why the fuck are they so popular? The boys from One Direction are in Australia at the moment, playing a few gigs, and the television coverage of them has been non-stop. Teenage girls are losing their shit all over the news. I’m only 26 years old, but fuck, does this shit make me feel old. I could understand if they were this huge group with a string of hits, but I swear I’ve only heard two songs from them, which admittedly aren’t bad, but aren’t earth-shattering either, by any stretch of the imagination.
I figured I must be missing something, and thought surely they must have been popular for longer than I’ve seen, with a few more hits up their collective young sleeves, but nope. Looking over their Wikipedia page, they’ve got two big singles to their name, and that’s it. They appeard on the seventh season of The X Factor in the UK, originally as individual contestants in the “Boys” category, and this is an important point, were not good enough as individuals to make it through. It took former Pussycat Doll and all around moron Nicole Scherzinger to suggest that the five of them get together and enter the “Groups” category. Being young men and being captivated by her surgically enhanced rack, they took what she said on board.
So they become One Direction, or 1D as lazy little texters like to refer to them, or txtrs as they may refer to themselves, anything to save time… sorry, went off on a tangent there. Considering their popularity, you know what the fucked up thing is? THEY DIDN’T EVEN WIN! They placed third, behind winner Matt Cardle, and runner-up Rebcecca Ferguson, another couple of people I haven’t heard of, and that’s fine by me. They ended up getting a spot on Syco Records, a label owned by Simon Cowell. They released their first single in September 2011, and their first album 2 months later. In January of this year, a third single followed, but really I’ll just call it the second single, because here in Australia, and most of the rest of the world, the actual second single wasn’t released as such, so fuck it.
And that’s about it. That’s all they’ve really done so far. And yet, for some reason, young girls are going absolutely apeshit. The Sydney Morning Herald posted this article today, which goes into detail about just how huge this hysteria is getting here. The fact that the article uses the word “confronted” in the headline should tell you all you need to know.
While I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to Beatlemania, it’s hard not to see the resemblance. The difference being that these guys are only 2 singles into a career that started on a talent show that they didn’t even win. I think this craziness speaks more about the power of the media than the actual appeal of these guys. If you’re told again and again and again about how big and exciting this shit is, it’s hard to avoid getting swept up in it I’m sure. Watching Today talk about this stuff this morning, I noticed them speak to one young girl, and what she said really hit the nail on the head. It was something along the lines of, “One Direction are awesome! They’re like Justin Beiber, but like times 3,000!” This exact same excitement surrounded Justin Bieber only about a year ago, but now he’s fading fast.
The same thing happened to Lady Gaga, and the same thing will happen to these boys. Teenagers are fickle, and disloyal. I was the same, Dear Reader. When I was a teenager, bands like Limp Bizkit were huge, and I lapped up everything they gave the public (except maybe for Fred Durst’s sex tape, ewwwww). None of us are immune to this sort of garbage when we’re young and susceptible, but having a slight bit more age and wisdom, it does feel like this shit just keeps getting worse and worse.
Let’s just keep our eyes open, and see what the next big quickly-passing fad will be, shall we?