Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Gayest Thing In The World, Ever

Imagine if you will a hot sunny day, with Judy Garland being blasted out from enormous phallic speakers. Now imagine a succession of skinny young men gyrating about in hotpants of many colours. Sweating gamely on top of all this, picture a kitsch Christmas parade of cheerful tall elves (in hotpants), with necklaces of baubles bouncing off their six-packs. And now summon up in your minds eyes a gaggle of drag queens tarted up to the nines and making cutting yet witty barbs at fat men with colossal beards of Edwardian proportions that tickle the rim of their tight leather waistcoats.
Got that? Now ponder fragrent lavender skies with rainbow clouds that rain cum.

Well you're still nowhere near The Eurovision Song Contest, an event gayer than Liberace sewing thick pink veins onto an enormous cotton cock. And what I wrote above.

Eurovision was conceived in 1955 by Frenchman Marcel Bezençon, a member of that proud nation who also gave the world the extra-marital affair, the indifferent shrug, and ducking as an official army manoeuvre.
Oh, and the word 'manoeuvre'.
Back in the postwar 50s, Bezençon suggested to his employer, the European Broadcasting Union, that they establish an international song contest to be transmitted live to all participating countries. And ever since, it has grown in scope to enliven our drab lives. It is currently camping it up right now on my television - because this particular Saturday night can be filed under 'Non-Eventful'.

For the non-Europeans here, or just the plain bored, some 20 or so countries perform a song at the final (a song which each country has selected during semi-finals beforehand). The final takes place in the country that won it the year before. This year's final is being held in Helsinki after Finland's Lordi won the 2006 competition. Despite being a heavy rock band dressed in ridiculous demonic outfits, they looked stupid enough to have enormous camp appeal. And presumably a good tune, although that's never stopped the previous winners.
After all the entries screech their songs, we go live to some 30 countries where their beaming representatives congratulate the host country for a great show in charming stalled English, and cast their votes.
'Congratulations, you set Europe alight!' said one just now.
A bit like Germany in 1941, then.

But it's not all bad. For one thing, the annual televisual Gay Pride parade that is Eurovision guarantees me several certainties, namely:

- Listening to the disembodied voice of our commentator and national treasure, Terry Wogan, as he gets progressively more drunk and sarcastic, like watching the programme with a genial and slightly racist uncle.
- The United Kingdom's song being crap. At the time of writing, most votes are in and we still have 'Null points'. In fact, we're the only ones yet to score. Typical.
- Awkward pauses thanks to time delays.
- Cyprus always giving Greece 12 points and vice versa, even if their entries consisted of goatherds playing the spoons for three minutes.
- Countries voting for each other solely on historical or geographical reasons. So it's all perfectly unbiased and above board, then.
- Always wondering why Israel are in a European contest. But not really minding that much, for perfectly unbiased reasons.
- The French representative casting their votes and relaying their best wishes and congratulations to the host country in French, regardless of who they're speaking to and whether they can be understood or not.
- Wondering why all the women are technically attractive yet disturbingly bland, like the cold-eyed sucking automatons in European Private porn movies.
So people tell me.

As for the music, the songs are generally terrible - Romania's was a petrifying infusion of folk, techno, and yelling - and Eurovision is also responsible for introducing the world to Céline Bastard Dion when she sung for Switzerland in '88, so that should tell you all you need to know. However, it also launched Abba, who could write genuinely catchy pop music, grow hefty beards, and look blonde.

To be honest, and all usual bitterness and cynicism aside, it can be quite uplifting. It's really quite a spectacle, giving you a very real sense of a world outside of your living room, a seething mass of celebration and fun and homosexuality, as every entry seems to attract hoardes of gay men and fag hags to the theatrics of the night. In fact, I demand we give these people their own homeland, a place free from persecution and hatred, where they can sing and laugh and perform bad songs. A land with a rainbow flag, and the Weather Girl's 'It's Raining Men' as its national anthem. I'm thinking of a hot and roomy country in need of a regime change.
Saudi Arabia, perhaps.

But in the meantime, look! Some Serbian lesbians have won.



luna said...

hahaha! What tosh you're watching!
The Irish the Brits and the Frogs all lost because they sang in English which the whole world understands.
No poetry there.
At last Serbia will be famous for something else besides genocide.

Jack's Shack said...

Eurovision bores the hell out of me.

Angela-la-la said...

I must admit I found it strangely compelling last night. Wogans rocks my world with his snarky asides.

Scooch were total shite though.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I purely watch it for Wogan. One of my clients works for the BBC and was there. He promised me he would buy Wogan a pint on my behalf to get him even more drunk for me!

londongirl said...

Eurovision is an institution and I don't know where we'd be without it. I particularly like it if you organise a Eurovision party. Each friend has to support a country of their choice, bring a bottle of firewater from that country (this probably isn't possible if you don't live in london, but hey), dress as the contestant, learn the words of the song and perform alongside the original act. Brilliant fun.

And spot on re terry wogan. He's incredibly politically incorrect, but somehow, every year, he gets the gig again. thank god. With a serious commentator it'd be the dullest programme in the world.

fwengebola said...

Luna ~ I don't think it's down to languages. I'm sure when it started, each nation sung in their own tongue, wearing their national costume, and to a tune played on regional instruments. Now we're one big homogenous bland arse.
JS ~ Right. Thanks. Welcome.
Ang ~ To be fair, I could only stand it when it was on in the background and I was typing something. And from what I could bear to watch of Scooch, I thought they were probably all evil.
Vi ~ Well he certainly sounded pissed. Probably an occupational hazard, doing that job.
LG ~ Hey, that sounds like a unique evening, albeit almost definitely devised by women and gay men one evening. So perhaps that's the Gayest Thing Ever.

Waynecoff said...

I hate wogan, I don't know what I hate most the temporay traffic lights in Hampstead or wogan, I find him boring, he is about as interesting as anything Tony Blair might have to say about politics.
ps, have you had any problems with these temporay lights, they seem to be everywhere.

me said...

i was rather taken with the head banging cello players

elif said...

i will never understand why serbians won. it was boring and the singer reminded me of hiro nakamura. i mean if it's about girls and presentation and stuff, russia should have won.

Han said...

I can't believe I missed it (thanks to having to work as a stripper on Saturday night)so thanks for writing about it. I know it's technically awful but I still feel obliged to watch it.

fwengebola said...

WC ~ I am indifferent to Terry. And temporary traffic lights, as it happens.
me ~ And I was amused by the chap who deepthroated one of those halogen tubes. Well done.
elif ~ I had to Google Hiro Nakamura to find out he's in a programme called Heroes. I don't think we get that.
Serbia's singer reminds me more of that really butch stand up comedian from a few years back. Can't remember her name, but you'l be left with no doubt as to what side she bats for if you ever saw her.
Dan b (since deleted) ~ I'd welcome you, you little fucker, but seeing as you've come here via a blog search on Judy Garland just so you could advertise your fucking fan site here makes you no better than a junk mailer. Kindly don't do that again. Or just fuck off.

Will said...

I actually really enjoyed it. Am I officially gay now?

Note on the headbanging cellists. I've actually seen these guys play live (it was at a festival, all right?) - they're called Apocalyptica, they generally cover Metallica songs and, against all the odds, they're totally great.

toby said...

Ditto the comment in your side-bar. Your template is crap!
Clearly, you have an acute observational eye and an elephantine memory but zero imagination.
I missed Eurovision too. I was working. Not as a stripper.

fwengebola said...

Will ~ What kind of festival would host Metallica loving headbanging cellists?
How gay.
Toby ~ Only your site is crapper. And it would appear I don't have an elephantine for anything other than unnecessary embarrassing stuff I've done. Great.

funny sparky said...

"Eurovision is an institution "..I don't want to be in an institution! I'm in Spain and boy, is it big here, all the spanish TV channels were showing it! Thank God for Sky!

fwengebola said...

Good God. It amazes me how popular that show is.