Eurovision 2008 is an Irony-Free Zone

It is customary to live-blog the Eurovision song contest on this site. It is what Spinoza would have wanted, great European that he was. It won’t mean anything at all to most of you, especially if you are US-based financial people, but then we only really blog for ourselves, so that’s OK. But it should mean something. Eurovision is a great window onto the current state of Europe, into the state of its development, and the mindsets of countries we know hardly at all.

More than that, for us it has largely replaced war. You Americans should try it. Have a geopolitical song contest with North Korea and Iran.

Annoyingly for you if you are interested, I’ll only be able to blog the first part, coz I have to tootle off to  the airport later and pick up a friend, who I will then have to entertain. But I’ll hopefully pick it up later.

First overall impression. Those hoping to sneer at the traditional kitsch of the Eurovision are in for a major disappointment. The songs are really really good! There’s no hopeless Balkan leather clad duffness with whips and over-acting. Even the Albanian entry was good. There hasn’t been a clunker so far, and we’re 12 songs in!! Turkey is on now, and we’re normally treated to something crap, but they are singing a really good rock ballad. I think this is extremely hopeful for our common European future! I feel more likely to support their entry into the EU, this is PROOF they can integrate!

Fuck me, the Portuguese are fielding a tank! Sorry, opera diva. She makes a serious impression. Or rather an indentation. Good song, nomally would be in a with a chance, but not this year I think.

WIfe thinks the most crappy so far have been the Icelandic techno entry (techno is big there we watch Lazytown every morning and it is well techno) and the Armenian. I can’t disagree more, the Armenian wins prizes for serious hotness. Ukraine has a good one there, too.

First novelty entry. Latvian Pirates. “We are the Lords of the Sea.” Lords of the tanning salon, more like. Is an OK song, but I think they have seriously misjudged the mood. Latvia is clearly making progress so they can field an irony entry, like the west have been doing for years, but now we’ve moved on. They’ll catch up.

Ooh Sweden. A favourite to win. Singer is kinda weird looking, like someone injected DNA from some sort of cat at conception. Great song, though, a soaring catchy Euro chorus. Terry Wogan, the legendary UK TV commentator says there is something slightly scary about it. Even HE likes the contest this year though, the level of his traditional bitter sarcasm is extremely low.

Denmark now. “That’ll get a few votes from Iceland,” says Terry. Not that low. Georgia is on with a blind girl. “Peace will come.” Let’s hope so. What they lose on the floor show (she doesn’t move, but sings great) they may be hoping to make up with a sympathy vote. Decent song. To make up for her immobility they have weird strapped up backup dancers who walk around on their knees.

OK, one of my favourites now, the French. Great song heard it already. In fact I can’t get it out of my head. Quirky, catchy, sensitive, surprising –fantastic. And in a real effort to win it, they are trying to sing in English. But they have seriously pissed me off with the floor show. He’s a heavily beearded Jesus look-alike, and he got all his female backing singers to shove on fake Life of Brian beards. He drives on in a golf cart. He has seriously misjudged the mood, too.

The Azerbaijani singer has the most fantastic castrato falsetto I’ve ever heard. If I was in a group I would want him to be the lead singer. This is great.

Greece on now. We’ll be voting for this anyway, so it had better be good. Wife is getting down. the singer is, shock horror, not actually properly greek but has a cute pre-insanity Britney thing going on. She is from New Jersey. So many of these songs are just NOT ethnic or nationalist-folk based. Not a balalaika or accordion to be seen. Thankfully. I get the impression they really just tried to make good songs.

OK off to the airport. We’ll see who wins when I get back. Go Bosnia Herzegovina, my personal favourite!


2 thoughts on “Eurovision 2008 is an Irony-Free Zone”

  1. Thank you. I just showed Michelle the Latvian entry on YouTube, and she almost threw up, she was laughing so hard.

  2. Have printed out your archive and am slowly reading them, so pleased to find your site. My website is Spinoza On Science & Stress, also on wordpress. Hope to give you comments soon as I also hope you do on my stuff. Dick

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