7 Reasons That James Blunt Must Be Stopped
You may agree with Dave Cameron; you may follow Nick Thing; you may be a supporter of Mad Elliband; you may be a devotee of that Scottish man with a name like a fish. It doesn’t matter, because there’s one cause that everyone must unite behind: Stopping James Blunt. And be in no doubt whatsoever, James Blunt must be stopped. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Ubiquity. He’s bloody everywhere. On everything. I can’t turn on my television or my radio at the moment without James Blunt being on it. I can’t visit websites – though I’m aware I’m now partially responsible for this – or open newspapers (yes, newspapers, those paper things from the past that existed before this screen in front of you with these words on. He’s in them too) without seeing or hearing him. James Blunt has – in the last fortnight – achieved total, absolute, all-permeating multi-platform media omnipresence. He’s in a magazine somewhere near me right now. And near you. In fact he’s in all of the magazines. Everywhere. All over the place. Being James Blunt.
2. He’s Becoming Weirder. Remember when Tom Cruise seemed normal? No? Well some of us have long memories and he did once. Before he split up with Penelope Cruz; before he started jumping up and down on Oprah’s sofa; before he began espousing odd birthing techniques, Tom Cruise didn’t seem all that weird. But he does now. And the same thing is happening to James Blunt. He used to look and seem relatively at one with the world, but the more I see him, and the more I see him respond to external stimuli (interviews, conversation etc) by grinning inanely and then grinning inanely some more, the more he reminds me of Tom Cruise. Which is the slippery slope to weirdness.
3. His Hair. Have you seen his hair? I’m about to skirt the accepted boundaries of heterosexuality right here and right now, but I don’t care; because James Blunt’s hair used to be lovely. Absolutely fucking lovely. A dark, lustrous, bounteous, luxuriant barnet; a follicular paragon; a mane to rival the legendary tresses of both Samson and Aniston, but have you seen it recently? When he appeared on Have I Got News For You (and Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Daybreak and The One Show and BBC Breakfast and T4 and Something For The Weekend and London Tonight and The Graham Norton Show) it looked like he’d painted a brillo pad orange and stuck it down to his head. I don’t know how this is happening to his hair or why it’s happening; but what if it’s catching? What if it happens to my hair?! Or yours?
4. The Bath. And then last night it all became even stranger. Because, when I was listening to a politics programme on BBC Radio 5Live in the bath (on a rare occasion that it wasn’t full of champagne and dancing girls), they announced that they were about to interview James Blunt. Oh God, I thought. I’m trapped. I’ve just put on my facial mud (for MEN) and now I’m going to be stuck in the bath for twenty minutes listening to James Blunt…again. And I was. And I couldn’t even put my head under the water to cover my ears or to drown myself because of the mud. So I had to listen. And listen I did. I listened to James Blunt recount the time that he disobeyed orders from his commanders in Kosovo and didn’t attack the Russians, thus averting a massive East-West conflict. That’s right, James Blunt saved us from World War III. And while, at the bottom of my heart, I knew that not having a third world war was probably a good and desirable thing, I couldn’t help thinking that if we’d had a third world war, James Blunt would never have been allowed to leave the army and we’d never have had to listen to his music, and he wouldn’t be bloody everywhere; all over the place; even in my bath.
5. The Song. And sure enough, as I lay there unable to escape from James Blunt: Saviour of the World, they played the song. The same song that I’ve heard everywhere, every time that James Blunt has appeared over the last fortnight: You’re Beautiful. The one James Blunt song that I know, apparently the one James Blunt song that everyone knows. There are others, sure, but can you name them? No, and I can’t either. I, a musical man with an enviable collection of music; a man for whom music has been a passion for his entire life. A man who owns all four Electrelane studio albums, and has most of the Os Mutantes albums on original vinyl. I can’t name more than one James Blunt song and neither can anyone else except his fans, and even they can’t do it with any certainty. And having heard it sodding everywhere for the past fortnight (even the Sesame Street version) it came as a blessed relief later on, to turn the television, the computer and the radio off knowing that I would escape from it. And then my wife started humming the bloody thing (having presumably absorbed it through some sort of osmosis) and, while I couldn’t help but agree with her sentiments, it was still the same damned song…again. But off key.
6. Then There’s His Name. James Blunt’s name is James Blunt. That’s right: James Blunt. And you might think to a humourist, that it would offer all manner of potential, but it doesn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. Because it rhymes with the one word in the English language that you can never, ever use without losing the sympathy of your reader. If he were called James Bluck, James Block, James Blank, James Blick, James Blit, James Bliss, James Blits, or James Brance I might conceivably be able to make fun of him in rhyme. But I can’t. Because his name is Blunt. And do know what’s really annoying about it? It isn’t even his real name. He changed it. His original name is Blount: Pronounced Blunt.
7. And This Is The Worst Part. He seems like a nice guy. A man who, despite being everywhere with his one song irritating the hell out of you, me and all those other people standing about and clogging the pavements, actually seems to have substance. A man who has a mind of his own and is no mere vacuous, avaricious, chancer like many contemporary popular musicians. A man who has served his country in combat and has come out of the experience intact and has forged a successful post-army life for himself; sadly in contrast to many ex-servicemen who often don’t get the support that they deserve and that we owe them. A man who goes back and performs concerts for the troops and is a vociferous advocate of, and fundraiser for, Médecins Sans Frontières. And that makes criticism of him hard. And it probably makes me look like a bit of a count. But please, for the love of god, James. Stop. Enough. We all know we’re beautiful and we need a break now.