Since I now live in Europe, I find myself drawn in to the Eurovision song contest. On the one hand, it's an international contest even more fraught with under-the-surface (and on-the-surface) politics than the Olympics; one is drawn to root for one's team. But on the other hand, it is a festival of massively-produced pop music. I mean, the live performances use the very highest technology available — massive LED matrices, realtime projection mapping, elaborate robotic sets, even goofy two-wheeled contraptions — and the music is processed to within an inch of its life. Which is actually kind of fun to watch. Of course, all the songs are horrible earworms. So be warned; the video below is lovely and apropos for this blog, but it will be stuck in your head:
Oh, and of course, it's astonishingly gay — the hosts opened with a string of jokes about all the gay fans, and I saw at least as many rainbow flags as I did flags from any nation (should I make that any geographical nation?).
Below the jump I'll post a few others that I particularly liked (that is, they're hopelessly stuck in my head).
I feel compelled to post the Dutch one just because I live here:
I had no idea French was an official language of Austria:
Really spectacular androgyny:
I like the song, and the video, but weirdly, not the dancer guy:
Worst earworm award:
There's something really creepy about the German entry (and yet it's still stuck in my head). Maybe it's the little-girl outfit, or the line "who's scared now?", but somehow to me it suggests something ugly in the past:
I don't know why but I really like the Bulgarian entry:
And of course the winner:
There was a stink about this one (mostly from Russia) because it's about Stalin's deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, and the contest rules specify that songs can't be political. But I think this is a nice illustration of the difficulty of separating the political from the personal: Jamala's grandmother was among those deported. This is family history. The fact that it's also topical... well. If you set out to repeat history, you don't get to complain that people remember the last time.