Having replaced the merciless dance marathons of the great depression with the merciless karaoke-to-the-death X-Factor of this one, Simon Cowell is well on course to be the richest person in TV (if I heard the Today programme correctly). This is surely the final incontrovertible piece of evidence for atheism that Richard Dawkins has been lokking for. In a universe designed by an intelligent creator, this could not possibly happen. My hatred for the X-Factor may be the only opinion I have about anything that is shared with Elton John, but who are we against so many. Anyway, envy aside, good luck to Cowell and the money he wrings from a credulous public. He deserves it, doesn't he?
As Felicia "Snoop" Pearson notes in the greatest-ever television drama, The Wire, the universe is an uncaring arbiter. People don't get what they deserve. But what do they deserve?
Take me, for example. I’m smart and hard-working. I don’t know if it’s because of my genes, or because my parents brought me up right. But whatever the cause, I didn’t do anything to become smart or hard-working.[From Do Smart, Hard-Working People Deserve to Make More Money? « The Baseline Scenario]
That's a really good point. This why when people on radio phone-ins talk about nurses "deserving" more than bankers or policemen "deserving" more than TV presenters, they are barking up the wrong tree. By starting off with a category error, then you find yourself in a system that cannot resolve even the most basic questions. Why should David Beckham get paid more than me just because of his parents (they were the ones who gave him the genes for being good at football)? Why should Zac Goldsmith have more capital than me because of this parents (who were very rich)? Why should Marcus Brigstocke get on Question Time just because of his parents (who sent him to a 25 grand per year public school) when I am right about most political and economic issues and he is wrong?
Perhaps no-one gets what they deserve, and Simon Cowell is no different. By the way, Simon Cowell got his break because of his parents. His father, who was an EMI executive, got him a job in the A&R department there. Snoop was right.