Just back from an excellent Eurovision Song Quest (feel your heart beat!) party with friends. I guess that by party I mean we all sat around kibitzing each and every song sung and eating various forms of sugar (and an excellent dinner).

In the end, Denmark managed to finish fifth, which is a pretty decent showing. Azerbaijan won it. The whole thing was a pretty fun experience (if a tiny bit interminable), and there’s really nothing quite like group heckling to make the hours go by in good cheer.

There’s really so much that’s bizarre about Eurovision. The weirdest thing, for a pan-European contest, is how basically everyone sings in English. Obviously English is “the language of pop” or whatever, but it seems so bizarre that all these radically different and interesting cultures essentially jettison what makes them unique in favour of seeking our the sweet-spot of an English-language pop hit.

So you mostly get a bunch of anthem-y pop songs, some of which are passably good, and then one or two super quirky songs. France sent in an opera singer for some unknown reason. Italy had a weirdly funky/jazzy group that everyone at our party hated with strange vehemence apart from me (I quite liked it).

You did find your brain kind of slipping into Eurovision mode, though, and you’d quickly be judging things based on whether it was suitably stirring, had a good chorus, a strong beat, etc. It became crucial that they re-sing the chorus an octave up at the finale. You become enveloped in the strange audio signs and symbols of “pop song”, and you judge accordingly.

So, it’s another deeply cultural experience stowed away in the memory banks. Definitely a major plus to life to have seen it, much like watching an entire Miss Universe competition or whatever. You have to see it to understand a certain something about humanity and its utter strangeness. We really are a bunch of weirdos.

Come on boys, come on girls, in this crazy crazy world…

15 May 2011
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