Pointy Hats and a Sex Goddess 47


This blog enjoys the Eurovision song contest – it is the only fault to which I admit. I was proud of the UK last night, because we gave 8 points to a group from Moldova who played bizarre rock while wearing nine foot pointy hats; they were accompanied, inexplicably, by a girl in a pointy hat riding a unicycle. It had the peculiar innocence of an old Soviet TV special. The moment I saw it, I said (out loud – I have witnesses); “British people will vote for this, just to take the piss”. And I was right. I am in tune with the warped sense of humour of my fellow countrymen.

Nadira tells me that the huge pointy hats are in fact traditional in Moldova. They obviously don’t have low bridges in Moldova. Or maybe the bridges have long triangular notches cut in them above the pavements. Wearing those hats on horseback, snow must have collected on top.

Italy took part in Eurovision for the first time in fifteen years, and obviously had forgotten the rules, because they entered a jazz musician and ensemble of genuine musical talent, who almost won. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Italy was united from a series of fractured states and provinces. They thus deprived themselves of about 72 first place votes in the Eurovision Song Contest. Splitting apart. like the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia, provides you with bucketfuls of interchangeable Eurovision votes between statelets. You see, Garibaldi and the Risorgimento weren’t thinking long term. They could have had Eurovision. They left only San Marino to give them twelve points. Which reminds me – why don’t the Papal States enter? Think of it – on second thoughts, I am not going there.

The whole event was very much less sexy from a heterosexual male viewpoint than in recent years. There were far less female singers and backing dancers; boy bands were a dominant theme. Those women who were on stage were comparatively demure, as were the camera angles (if Eurovision isn’t a perv-fest, what is it? It’s hardly a song contest).

Lena from Germany was an exception. Last year’s winner was demure and quirky, but she returned this year a smoking hot sex goddess. She looked as if she had spent the entire intervening year shagging. You will have noticed that I am not over-given to political correctness. But even I thought the message of her song, “Taken by a Stranger”, was somewhat dubious.

The UK again had an extremely cheap looking set and stage presentation. More disastrously, it sounded like we had the driver on the mixing desk. But we didn’t come last. I am happy to say I completely missed the existence of Blue when they were famous. I presume they used to be better?

Azerbaijan have been desperate to win for years – last year they spent more money on their entry than anyone had ever done before – and they finally made it with the most forgettable song of the evening. But they did provide attractive backing singers, so I was happy. Next year the event will take place in a country that seriously is not a democracy. I doubt Eurovision are that bothered. It is also worth noting that Azerbaijan, beyond argument, is in Asia. It is east of much of Iran.

Nonetheless, I suspect Azeri presenters may have a more comprehensible, indeed discernible, sense of humour than the Germans last night. And what was it with those dull intermissions about foreigners working in Germany? And why were they virtually all male? There was some unintended humour – they could only find a Moldovan window cleaner; and the UK was represented by a two hundred year old and improbably large rowing cox, when we glimpsed Simon Rattle in the background of another country’s feature – but mostly this was balls-achingly dull.

As was Graham Norton. He is so toned down. Ranging from silent to scarcely audible, he had plainly been told not to start taking the mickey until the voting started; the people reading the votes were effectively mocked, but why had the bands not been? Norton needs to be given four stiff vodkas before the start. Or better, chuck him and bring in Joan Rivers.


47 thoughts on “Pointy Hats and a Sex Goddess

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  • Parky

    I had a Falklands moment when Azerbaijan won and had to google to find where the hell it is. It seems to be quite rich in natural resources and so can jolly well pay-up its fair crack for running the Eurovision spectacle from now on, as can all these other little piss-pot ‘statelets’ that pay very little but have the same voting rights as the big boys with around 10x their populations and cover the majority of the Eurovision Qunago running costs.

    If the UK wants to win in future, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the song, artist or performance, then splitting up the UK into seperate countries (10 should do it) and each entering some kind of ‘my lovely horse’ song is the only way to do it!

    The only satisfaction in the old days was hearing Wogan’s wise cracks on the state of play but sadly Norton just doesn’t manage it, maybe he’s been told to tone it down. It was said Terry used to get through a whole bottle or two of Baileys through the evening and maybe thats where Graham needs to get his inspiration from.

  • evgueni

    Parky,
    are you proud of your ignorance of geography? Well at least you have learned something new. On your main point – presumably the UK is in ESC of its own volition and if it has any sovereignty left it could withdraw, or renegotiate the terms, e.g. trade unconditional entry for a more modest contribution. What do you think? Oh hang on, it doesn’t matter what you think or what anyone thinks because the UK is not a democracy in any reasonable sense of the word. So all you have left is to rage against those damned johnny-foreigners and their “little piss-pot ‘statelets'”…

  • YugoStiglitz

    That’s right, Richard, the minute you respond to hatred of Zionists (or whatever word you prefer) you’re immediately accused of being a paid-for secret agent man. Thank you for demonstrating that phenomenon.

  • Jon

    Yugo – you’re seeing ghosts that just aren’t there. Spectral didn’t mention ‘the Jews’ at all, and Zionism is perfectly fine to rail against. Again, you’re the first to bring up 9/11 on this thread.
    .
    There’s only a light-touch deletion policy here, and I’ll not delete you where people want to engage with you (see Clark above). But if something is here Craig/mods must agree with it? Utter nonsense, as you well know.
    .
    Anyway, as ever, see if you can talk about something else. What would you talk about, if you were on a bus with a stranger? Any strong views on pointy hats or unicycles?

  • ingo

    Yugo, is it antisemitic of two students to put two fingers up to the Israeli flag?

    Now that you have all our attention, which is always your first aim, what will be the next seed of thought you’ll plant here.

    Whilst we are at it, what rights of self determination has Israel got, where are they manifest and why should they prevail were other countries don’t? Laws of the sea is just one example, assuming that gas fields off the coast are theirs is another.
    Three points you could write reams on, do please us with some constructive argument why don’t you?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Just to add to this what others seems missed, is that Azerbaijan is ‘absolute monarchy’ state. Current ‘president’ Ilham Aliev inherited power from his farther Geidar Aliev who was chief of Communist party in Azerbaijan before its independence. There is no opposition to Aliev Jnr and parliament has no real power.

  • Parky

    @ evgueni 18th May 2011 “Calm down madam !” Whether or not I’m proud of my ignorance is my business and certainly none of yours! Life is of course full of new experiences and who knows I might even want to go to Azerbaijan one day. This time last week Graham Norton probably didn’t know where it is too, but in a year he’ll be there and be experiencing all it’s wonders and delights!

    Of course if I name any piss-pot statelet in the world, you would know right away where it is, tell me the capital city and population, where the nearest Starbucks is and tell me the best route to get there. If so please leave your email address as I haven’t got too much time to go googling if you already know all that stuff! Sorted !

    As for your main point, the bigger states pay the lions share of the European Broadcasting Union fees because historically they always did and could afford to. Maybe about time these smaller states payed their fair share if they want full voting rights as some of them seem rather quite wealthy.

    I say bring back the bing bang a bong songs and garish costumes for us next year, its only a bit of fun afterall.

  • angrysoba

    No one has mentioned that Azerbaijan was the place of birth of none other than “The Russian Linesman”! And in fact, Mousavi, the de facto leader of the Green Movement of Iran is also Azeri.
    .
    I met someone from Azerbaijan in March. He’s just completed a PhD in International Studies. This is no doubt very uninteresting to everyone.
    .
    By the way, Peter Tatchell also has issued some words of condemnation against Azerbaijan and points out that political opposition is quickly slung into jail there on trumped up charges. Plus, LBGT is seriously harassed making a Eurovision Competition there surely all but impossible.
    .
    http://www.petertatchell.net/international/azerbaijan/eurovision-2012-serious-human-rights-abuses-in-azerbaijan.htm

  • angrysoba

    “here is another good issue Yugo could really get huis teeth into, with plenty of jews involved.”
    .
    Uh-oh! I’m really not sure what you’re going for here.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr Murray,

    Is it just me or any topic on your web blog initiates hot anti-Semitic (anti-Israeli) discussion. I am frequent visitor and reader of your blog and noticed that whatever topic is being discussed majority of the comments are blaming Jews for whatever is happening in whichever country. I say root of all problems in people themselves. Problem of Uzbek people is because we Uzbeks bear such bloody dog as karimov as head of our state. I do not see any Jews being major reason of why 27+ million of Uzbeks are enslaved today. And the same can be said about problems of majority of other nations (with exception of Palestinians).

    Commentators, STOP blaming Jews and look at the mirror, read some cleaver books, find real root of the problems and share your cleaver ideas on how would it be possible to end them.

  • evgueni

    Thanks for clearing it up for me, Parky. You have left me in no doubt about your ignorance, there is evidently plenty more where that came from. It is considered proper in polite company to address your opponent’s argument rather than to restate your own, but that is by the by. Let’s make a deal – I shan’t preoccupy myself with you, and you will refrain from calling the place where I was born and grew up a ‘piss-pot statelet’.

  • Parky

    Hey Evgueni, thanks for that, but you should really stop repeating the words of others you don’t like so much. Who said anything about polite company, this is the internet afterall and you should concentrate on discussing the issue at hand and not attacking the person, that is really low but typical of someone who has usually lost the argument. Anyway well done Azerbaijan for winning, well deserved !

  • mary

    Free Eynulla Fətullayev
    .
    Newspaper editor Eynulla Fətullayev, aged 34, was sentenced on 6 July 2010 to two and a half years imprisonment for possession of drugs. On 1 February 2011, his appeal against the conviction was rejected.

    This is just the latest in a series of trumped-up charges brought against Eynulla, and is widely believed to have been fabricated in order to keep him in prison. This is despite a European Court of Human Rights judgment in April 2010 relating to charges from 2007, ordering his immediate release.

    We believe that Eynulla is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned in an attempt to silence his critical reporting of the government. Take action

    UPDATE: 20 April 2011 Fifty Fətullayevs protest
    Around 50 people gathered opposite the Azerbaijan embassy for a demonstration organised by Amnesty International UK, ARTICLE 19, English PEN, Index on Censorship and the Media Diversity Institute. For an hour, demonstrators wearing masks bearing a photograph of Eynulla Fətullayev’s face faced the embassy and sent their message loud and clear, calling (in both English and Azerbaijani) for freedom for Eynulla Fətullayev.

    http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=531

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