No-one would argue that One Direction are everyone’s cup of tea. One of the true beauties of music is that different beats, hooks, melodies and vocals appeal to different people. One Direction, like any group of musicians, do their thing, and you either like it or you do not. The reality is that a lot of people simply adore One Direction. So great is their popularity that One Direction have developed into a $1 billion brand and have a combined following of over 100 million people on Twitter alone.
One Direction scored five No. 1 albums, had massive worldwide tours, and are all over the press on a daily basis, even whilst they are supposed to be enjoying a hiatus. Sadly in today’s world, where success exists, there are always those who are keen to make a dollar on the back of someone else’s success. One Direction are by no means immune from the fraudsters, and all too often it is One Direction fans who end up paying the price.
Back in August, the Mirror reported on how many One Direction fans were left broken-hearted after buying tickets for One Direction’s shows at London’s O2 arena only to find they had been ripped off by fraudsters. The problem was so serious that the UK Police’s national fraud unit issued an alert about scams aimed directly at One Direction fans. Of course, it isn’t just fake tickets that One Direction fans needed to be wary of.
Many people are left wondering how they can even get onto ticket sellers’ websites when One Direction tickets go on sale. Yet the scalpers have no problem buying up hundreds of tickets that are then resold to One Direction fans at many times the face value. Merchandising is another area where One Direction fans get ripped off all too frequently. Official One Direction merchandise is copied and counterfeited, leaving fans paying inflated prices for inferior goods.
Thankfully, the cheats are sometimes brought to justice, and earlier this week a case came to trial at Plymouth Crown Court in Devon. Three defendants had been charged with selling over $200,000 worth of fake One Direction merchandise. Amazingly, the judge in the case, Ian Lawrie QC, had to admit he had never even heard of One Direction. According to the Mirror, the judge said he was a fan of JS Bach and that no-one should be surprised that he “had never heard of” One Direction.
In a scene more fitting for a sitcom than a courtroom, lawyer Nick Lewin explained who One Direction are, and according to the Express, he then added a cheeky quip of his own.
“[One Direction] are absolutely huge. They are collectively worth about £70 million.
“If you have not heard any of their music, then your honour is definitely blessed.”
Of course, it would be totally unreasonable to believe that everyone has heard One Direction’s music, though it could be argued that it is hard to avoid hearing at least something by one of the world’s biggest bands. What is less easy to understand is how the judge could be so out of touch with popular culture that he claims that he has never even heard of One Direction.
Surely, it is reasonable to expect that a man with the power to deprive people of their liberty has at least some understanding of the lives of ordinary people. As mentioned earlier, One Direction have been at the forefront of pop music for over half a decade. It is rare to open a newspaper or magazine without seeing some mention of One Direction. It is simply incredible to have to believe that someone can be so insulated from information sources that they have not even heard of One Direction.
Of course, it would be churlish to suggest that Ian Lawrie needs to listen to One Direction’s back catalogue before he can give an impartial judgement. That said, surely it is incumbent upon those in positions of authority to have at least a passing knowledge of popular culture to help inform their decisions. If you have never heard of One Direction then many will wonder how you have remained so insulated and protected from popular culture.
Whether or not you care for One Direction or their music, the fact is that One Direction are a massive part of popular culture.
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