Another Eurovision Song Contest has come and gone and I’m scratching my head wondering what this is all about? As a musical phenomenon it long ago lost all credibility. I think when Lordi from Finland won it a couple of years ago that was the nadir, though Ireland’s Dustin the Turkey did his bit to turn the whole thing into a joke.
What is at stake in this ‘competition’? National pride? Hardly. No one really cares any longer about Eurovision songs except the participants, the tabloid media and a rash of Eastern Europeans who obviously want to tell the world that they’re as hip as everybody else and spend most of their lives clubbing. Anyway most of the songs have no characteristic that links them culturally to the country they ‘represent’. Old Europe, as the Americans say, is profoundly bored with it all.
Whatever it was.. and there were many glorious moments… increasingly it seems it’s in the grip of a media/Eurovision clique in each country that browbeats the nation into following them like lemmings every year and providing them with their annual champagne junket to an orgy of mediocrity in whatever country has the misfortune to win it the year before. It’s not good enough to say this is just a bit of fun and not meant to be taken all that seriously. It costs the earth. it’s a colossal waste of money much needed elsewhere and in these recessionary times it’s frankly obscene. ‘Fun’ that costs this much is just not funny.
Musically it’s become the equivalent of painting by numbers but as a socio-political document of the current state of ‘Europe’ it’s fascinating and worthy of a PhD or two. To anyone who watched the final the other night it must be clear that Europe hasn’t a hope of unity of any sort in the long term. It’s simply too culturally diverse. Anyone who thinks culture is not relevant in this age of international money is fooling themselves. But that’s another story. Comments welcome on this aspect.
The changes to the voting rules recently (a percentage of the vote via public individual texting) have favored the younger voter which to me explains why the German entry won this time. Stylistically it was the closest to what young people in the developed world are listening to these days. It was about the only song that didn’t sound like it was written by committee and it had quite a bit of creative flair. The Irish entrant this year was at least an attempt at a conventional song as opposed to a circus act but, although Niamh Kavanagh sang well, the song is stylistically outmoded and it disappeared without a trace. People at home went over the top about it but really, it’s an average, predictable tune and you know exactly what’s coming next as you’ve heard something kinda similar a hundred times before.Young people switch off when they hear this kind of song. It’s what their parents are into and their parents don’t vote anyway. The old days are gone forever. It’s not even primarily about music anymore.
Please, please Ireland. Be the first country to say ‘the Emperor has no clothes’. Pull out now and hopefully this ghastly, expensive and pointless affair will soon come to an end. I’d be fascinated to see how many other countries might pull the plug if Ireland was the front runner.
Except that, those who still think that any of this means anything will be saying…..’sure if we pulled out now the rest would see it as sour grapes because we came nowhere this year’.
Hey. Stop!! Stop it! Nobody gives a shit! It’s just your silly egos. Pull the plug and give us all peace! No one will miss Eurovision when its gone except those who want to make money from it.