Mere minutes after posting about them, I popped to the shops and found myself buying a copy of the New Musical Express, which just happened to feature an interview with the pustulent Muse themselves. “I’m trying to work out if I want to destroy society or make it a better place” blabbered their young and stupid frontman: frankly, actions speak louder than words, and while I don’t think society has much to fear, they’ve got a hell of a lot of back-pedalling to do before they can manage the latter. Encouraging the young fans of their ‘skewed gothic angst’ to throw their Muse records into the sea would be a start, perhaps with the band following swiftly after….well, I can dream.

But enough of Muse. Really, enough. Their NME interview is standard-issue for that wretched paper: a mock-stentorian tone, as if an issue of national importance was under debate; dark hints from the journalist that the really juicy stuff was off the record; a self-important paper positioning itself as the keeper of indie rock’s conscience. It’s the same old shit that NME’s been stirring for as long as anyone can remember: a big pompous feaure interview, some winkingly reported tour hijinks, the glibbest review section in pop, and a bit of radical posturing on behalf of ‘the kids’ from that wizened old goon Sutherland, who despite finally giving up the editorial ghost still seems to hold the paper in a clammy grip. This week he writes about (or puts a clippings folder together on) Napster, coming out bang on the side of the free-music ideologues. His bold stand against copyright will undoubtedly result in the removal of the statement of ownership on page 60: “reproduction without permission strictly forbidden”. Not that many people would want to. The NME, of course, has always trailblazed in fighting a good political fight while cringing behind ‘market forces’ when their principles don’t suit their finances. Fight, fight, fight against racism – but it would be the height of naivety to put more black people on the cover when it means the paper would sell less that week. Meet the new Best Band In Britain, same as the old Best Band In Britain. The sophistries NME writers use to deal with these arguments grow more threadbare with every outing, and nothing actually changes, and nothing actually will.