19 May

“Hey man.”

“Evening. Don’t think we’ve met?”

“No, I’ve just flown in from North Californichussetts City.”

“Wow, welcome to the UK.”

“Yeah, thanks, man. Hey, what’s this you’re watching?”

“Oh, yeah, errrr it’s a bit embarrassing actually.”

“What is it, some kind of talent contest?”

“Sort of – it’s the Eurovision Song Contest.”

“Oh right, like Europe Idol?”

“Weeelll… not really.”

“What? Let’s have a look-see.”

“Well, all of the countries in Europe enter a song and an act, and then all the other countries in Europe give them marks out of twelve, and the one with the most points wins.”

“Wins what?”

“Umm… the honour of winning, I suppose. And they get to host it the following year.”

“Gee, so it’s a big deal to you British guys?”

“Well no, we all think it’s dreadful actually.”

“… But you want to host it next year?”

“No, we’re in way too much debt. Ireland pulled out one year because they kept winning and couldn’t afford it.”

“Okay… so all of the countries in Europe get their best singers and their best songwriters along for this great big competition? Sounds swell.”

“Actually, no… everybody seems to enter something awful that nobody would ever listen to in normal circumstances.”

“What’s the point in that?”

“Goodness knows.”

“So who’s this on now?”

“Oh, that’s the Ukraine.”

“Is that in Europe?”

“I’ve no idea. Sometimes countries outside the EU just want to get in on the action.”

“But I thought you said nobody cared-”

“Oh, some of the countries without irony seem to like it.”

“Without what?”

“… Never mind.”

“Hey – what the hell – why’s that guy dressed as a beaver? What’s with the burning tree? Did the piano just give birth to that girl?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s fairly standard.”

“Is this what European music acts are like?!”

“Oh, heavens no. But it’s the sort of stuff that wins Eurovision.”

“Okay, you got me baffled. Who decides who wins this thing? Some guy who’s really fond of breakdancers dressed as rodents and flamethrowers?”

“Ah, well. There used to be one judge per country, but then to make it fairer they introduced a public phone vote, so anyone can ring up. Then this year they’ve also got someone from the music business from each country adding their vote too.”

“So it’s all to play for, then?”

“Well no, the countries all still vote politically, no matter what they do.”

“How do you mean?”

“Scandinavia votes for Scandinavia, the Balkans vote for the other Balkan nations, and Russia’s neighbours vote for Russia so that they won’t get bombed.”

“Ha! But surely withholding a vote on some singing competition wouldn’t be construed as a political statement?”

“Yes, you’d think that, wouldn’t you?”

“Buddy, are you telling me that you live on a continent that expresses and resolves its political tensions by having a song contest?!”

“If that’s not what it’s for, then I’m stumped for any other explanation. I mean, who would organise something this excruciating for the purposes of entertainment?”

“…. My gosh, that man cannot play the accordion. I see what you mean; there’s gotta be some higher purpose. Let’s turn over.”

“No way, I’m watching it!”

“But you said it was dreadful?”

“Welcome to Britain.”


3 Responses to “Eurobaffle”

  1. Anne Thomas 20/05/2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Ah Mel, I only turned on for the voting – that’s the best bit! Anne

  2. Anne Thomas 20/05/2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Hey, if you can tell me how to get rid of ‘Available’ I’d be deeply grateful!!! A

  3. mel 20/05/2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Anne, I cannot see this "available" of which you speak, but I think it probably just means that you are logged in, rather than that you are up for grabs, so I shouldn’t worry about it :)

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