Sunday, May 13, 2007

Of Empire and Metacultural Kitch

For a number of reasons I don't really want to do this post. The first item fills me with nostalgia of a world now definitely gone (and good riddance to it, as some would surely exclaim); the second subject is too stupid to exist, but it keeps an entire continent abuzz for weeks on end.

The first subject concerns the unveiling by Baroness Thatcher of a commemorative arch for the soldiers who fought during the Falklands War, when during the 1982 crisis, Argentina invaded the islands.

Needless to say I'm an admirer of Margaret Thatcher, who is not just one of the last generation of great statesmen, but also the Prime Minister who saved Britain from the stranglehold in which the unions kept the country. I personally was too young to remember very well, but my father assured me the country was on the verge of total collapse when she took over. Baroness Thatcher has thus left us the wonderful expression which to this day governments can take to heart: "to do a Maggy".

The costly defense of the barren, windy Falklands is something we wouldn't bother with today. So much do we desire peace in our time at any price, that we wouldn't think twice of turning the entire Falklands population as an imperialist remnant over to Argentine rule - to a murderous military junta or to a benevolent democratically elected government, is immaterial.

For fun I have purposely taken out a RSS subscription to the comment section of this article, just to see how the postmoderns' predictable reaction will be. The first one is already in: "A Great display of Imperialism!" Postmodernism is all about an imbecile's sense of justice, isn't it.

As a blog to which cultural issues are are all important, we simply have to 'deal' with that lovely, miserable piece of European metacultural bling bling that is the annual Eurovision Festival of Crimes against Culture. Year after year I swear a solemn oath never, ever to watch that piece of Euro junk again; year after year I forget my dire vow and tune in to it.

Sometimes I find myself bitterly complaining that it cannot possibly sink any lower and the whole thing is destined to become dog breakfast; in other years I have the distinct impression that the quality is actually improving somewhat, until the next performance tells me that this was merely wishful thinking on my part.

This year was of the latter category. Some countries converted to metacultural kitch, as a Baltic country performed an above average song in Italian; others are still deeply entrenched in multiculturalism. Like the Danes who had the gall to choose an illuminated Disneyland mosque as background to their jury presentation! It is only to be expected that some barbarian adherent to Operation Western Auto-Destruct at some point will call for the E.U. flags that bear cross symbolism, to be abolished as offensive to Muslims!

In many respects I thought I had passed the stage of substitutional shame long ago, yet I can't help the feeling of simply being sunk by embarrassment at some performances. Another thing one is always assured of, is that the best acts remain at the bottom end of the voting scale, while the most outrageous 'camp camp' ends up in the top ten. Yesterday was no exception. As Germany, Romania and the Baltic states produced some real quality music that remained dangling somewhere around the middle to lower sections of the popular vote; the cheap, bizarre nightmares of the Farther East came up trumps.

This phenomenon has given rise to Western complaints about an unbridgeable taste gap and even signs of open warfare on the festival as a whole. Personally I switched off the set half way through the night, entirely persuaded that the age-old rumours about political vote rigging must definitely be true! How else can you account for the advance of the Far Eastern 'bad taste' advance at the expense of the 'quality' Further West? Where's Monaco, where's Switzerland, Italy? Who's policing the popular televoting system? We don't know, do we?

Noteworthy last night was also the truly undeserved high vote received by Turkey, which must be due to multicultural positive action emanating from the P.C. West, and/or the Turkish diaspora using every phone appliance available, to ensure the homeland receives as many votes as possible. How else can the vulgar piece of ostentatious gender bending that was the Turkish contribution, end up at the very top?

I can now definitely cast some light on the Greek-Cyprus mutual admiration mechanism that the Western hemisphere is almost eagerly awaiting each year with some traditional hilarity. I can presently personally attest to the fact that the Athens commentators were sincerely surprised at so much unexpected benevolence on the part of the sister island! Thanks very much for the douze points, guys - we'll return the compliment next year!

Dutch jury anchor Paul de Leeuw still doesn't get that his particular brand of cynical gay humor simply isn't understood beyond the confines of the narrow Dutch borders! His blatant meant to shock gayness doesn't even come across as such: the Athens commentators called him an equivalent Greek colloquial term for a macho! Stop shaming the country before an international audience, Paul, and for Narcissus' sake, next year make a stop-over at the powder puff's prior to going on air, dear!

I can say I'm glad Serbia's Marija Serifovic won the contest as the ballad, entitled 'prayer' was above average and the performance was within the limits of propriety. But in good Eurovision tradition I can't say I have no suspicions.

To be quite, quite, Marija is a bit too diky - which is of course an officially E.U. recognized minority that must be compensated in proportion to their inequality. Likewise the E.U. seeks to rehabilitate Serbia as a politically correct nation, with the upcoming Kosovo independence deserving of some compensation, as for example re-instatement into polite European society. One way of doing that is winning and hosting Eurovision. Or am I simply too much giving in to the conspirational tradition?

As for the countries that make up the British Isles, they simply haven't got enough neighbours to ever win another Eurovision again! Cheerio, Johnny Logan!

Glad we got that out of the way. Perhaps the whole thing will finally blow up over the East-West taste divide, enabling us to revert to the more serious E.U. conspiracies.

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