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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  • mary

    Ha!

    You are third on the list when googling ‘moldova pointed hats’ –

    Craig Murray

    9 May 2011 … Nadira tells me that the huge pointy hats are in fact traditional in Moldova. They obviously don’t have low bridges in Moldova. …
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ – Similar

  • Graham

    Ah, I enjoyed this post. I missed the whole Eurovision thing now I’m located in Ghana. We got the royal wedding here but they missed this equally culturally significant event! I rushed to YouTube to watch the pointy hats and unicyclist after reading about it on this post. The British sense of humour you highlighted is one of the few things I miss being away from home.

  • mark_golding

    Not a fault Craig – do not put yourself down – it is countries cooperating together which appeals to an adept and tactful mind.

  • MerkinOnParis

    Careful there.
    Down with pointy hatism.
    I’ve just bought a uni-cycle on E-bay.
    It’s the way to go.

  • CheebaCow

    Eurovision isn’t televised in my part of the world, I only got a chance to see a ‘highlights’ reel on the BBC. From what I could tell, the Moldovan act was the best. The UK act was terrible beyond belief. Ricky Gervais would make a much better replacement than Joan Rivers *shudder*. Gervais absolutely killed at the Golden Globes.

  • Jessica McFarland

    I was so happy that the UK voted for Moldova! Shame on Graham Norton for saying we “weren’t taking it seriously”…they were the only act for which i dropped everything and stared at the screen, open-mouthed!

  • nextus

    I was listening on the radio. Having tuned in just in time to catch the bland UK boyband drivel, I then heard the Moldovan entry, which seemed to me to have great energy and vibe (despite the sardonic Woganesque R2 commentary). When I saw their performance on the TV roundup, I thought it was utterly ridiculous. But well done to the Moldovans for keeping up the spirit of the event! I don’t want to watch an annual TOTP – the Eurovision spectacle is all about cultural silliness! Douze points from me, with Jedward well deserving of dix points (but being deservedly pipped at the post for their unanticipated musical accomplishment; they’re not supposed to be that good!).

    And an honorable mention for the Georgia entry for ripping off Skunk Anansie so competently.

    Spain would have done rather better in my book, having garnered quite a few hottie points for that short dress. (The song was a bit shit, though.)

  • Capvermell

    Many thanks for voicing in such an amusing mannner many of the same thoughts that I had about last night’s Eurovision song contest. So far as Blue is concerned the mixing of the song was very suspect almost as though it was being deliberately sabotaged as the normally catchy repeat line of “Can’t Back Up Again” from their studio performances was mysteriously almost completely inaudible in the Eurovision hall. However I also think Blue were sunk by those ghastly screen backdrops showing video footage of each of the band members at the outset of the number rather than a video screen showing some exotic place they all aspired to be singing in and/or had sung this song in.

    With regard to Lena she did indeed seem determined to prove that she was now a cool, hot and sophisticated adult woman and not the zany, cheeky but in many ways innocent school leaving young lady of last year’s contest. She also seemed to no longer use the beautifully odd method of English pronunciation that had made her Satellite hit so popular. However her final and most disastrous mistake was to turn down the opportunity to perform Satellite again at the start of last night’s show as last year’s winner on the basis of keeping herself fresh for this year’s performance whereas had she also performed Satellite I think her score would have risen substantially in the voting as she would also have got votes for that song as well.

    I also completely agree with you about Graham Norton being far too bland and toned down in his commentary during the singing last night. Surely the whole point of Graham Norton is to say something quite outrageous and it is certainly why Terry Wogan used to be so popular. His comments about the lead singer of Lordi looking Roy Wood were a typical Sir Terry classic.

    So far as Moldova is concerned I don’t totally agree with you as they actually appeared to be deliberately taking the proverbial out of the competition (which surely has to always be applauded) whilst also having fun and being visually interesting to watch. And their lady on the Unicycle most definitely was innocent and yet hot in a way that Lena so sadly failed to be this year. To my mind Boznia Herzogovenia and Moldova were actually the two most fun and quirky acts this year and certainly far more deserving of winning than Azerbaijan’s tame Europop love song.

    However from a political point of view I suspect Azerbaijan’s victory will really ignite the argument about where the boundaries of Europe and the EU lie even though Azerbaijan has for more going against it in terms of joining the EU than Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova or Turkey not to mention all the currently non EU member countries in the Balkans.

  • joe kane

    I’m sorry to read you having a go at the plucky Moldovians Craig – there’s far too much Moldophobia about these days.

    Azerbaijan and Israel are in the Eurovision song contest, and NATO are bombing the shit out of North Africa, the Middle East and whatever bit of Asia Afghanistan belongs to.

    Bombing defenceless natives to bits is all fine a well and a noble western European tradition – but allowing non-Europeans to degrade themselves and their culture on Eurovision is barbaric.

    Maybe the Azeris think participating in Eurovision is some kind of ultimate aim of NATO strategy, which wouldn’t surprise me as both are so horrific.

    It’s a sick world we live in.

  • Paul Johnston

    Those hats!
    I want one, bet Jamiroquai is so pissed off 🙂
    Result

  • Póló

    No reason the Vatican could not compete. It is a member of the EBU.

    Perhaps the Singing Priests?

    How could they lose?

  • evgueni

    You aren’t just bitter that Scotland is not able to enter Eurovision on account of not having yet become a “statelet”, are you 🙂 The Moldovans are just as funny as I remember them from the Soviet times – they always excelled at this kind of self-deprecating jolliness. Zdob şi Zdub in particular are well known for their comical lyrical tendencies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zdob_%C5%9Fi_Zdub
    Graham Norton, well he has nothing on Wogan I’m afraid. He lacks something, tact perhaps?

  • spectral

    Eurovision, I always hate it.

    Sometimes I go to this site:
    http://www.mediatenor.com/charts.php

    The folks at that site “measure” the events and the spectacles. Notably, an imperial weeding and royal family in Anglo-Saxon countries is at the top of interest; while the poverty isn’t!? When you stop and think deeply about it…then you may ascertain why the things are, as there are. They methodology might be questionable, as a any poll, but coming over into real life, this media oppression of masses bring us to:

    General Sir David Richards has said that Nato should strike infrastructure targets

    British Commander Says Libya Fight Must Expand

    Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder wondering for whom is this, let me guess…

    While Zionist killing the people.

  • Clark

    Spectral, thanks for the link to the Media Tenor site, which I’ve added to my media monitoring bookmarks.

  • Anne

    Re. Azerbaijan being in Asia: the EBU simply extends well beyond geographical Europe on all sides. Had something to do with how they subdivided the areas after WW2, I think.

  • spectral

    You are welcome.
    .
    Robert Dryfuss (of the Nation) in its book Hostage to Khomeini (1980) says this:
    .
    “The real Muslim Brotherhood is not the fanatical sheikh with his equally fanatical following, nor is it even the top mullahs and ayatollahs who lead entire movements of such madmen; Khomeini, Qaddafi, General Zia are exquisitely fashioned puppets.
    The real Muslim Brothers are those whose hands are never dirtied with the business of killing and burning. They are the secretive bankers and financiers who stand behind the curtain, the members of the old Arab, Turkish, or Persian families whose geneology places them in the oligarchical elite, with smooth business and intelligence associations to the European black nobility and, especially, to the British oligarchy.
    And the Muslim Brotherhood is money. Together, the Brotherhood probably controls several tens of billions of dollars in immediate liquid assets, and controls billions more in day-to-day business operations in everything from oil trade and banking to drug-running, illegal arms merchandising, and gold and diamond smuggling. By allying with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Anglo-Americans are not merely buying into a terrorists-for-hire racket; they are partners in a powerful and worldwide financial empire that extends from numbered Swiss bank accounts to offshore havens in Dubai, Kuwait and Hong Kong.”

    .

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ha! Eurovision. Good post.

    On the concept of ‘Europe’, firstly ‘Europe’ is not a geographical continent. Secondly, if we pretend for a moment, as do all the atlases in the world, that it is a geographical continent, Azerbaijan (and Armenia and Georgia) which lie mainly to the south of the Caucasus Mountains, are not in Europe. However, soime atlases (esp. those published in the time when the Russian Empire/USSR was extant), do include even the lands south of the Caucasus in ‘Europe’ down to the borders of Iran/eastern Turkey/the Caspian Sea). Also not in Europe, of course, are Israel, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia (all of whom, I think, at one time or another, have had acts at the Eurovision Song Contest). The EBU encompasses, I would estimate, around 40% of the world’s landmass (excluding Antarctica) and includes all of Siberia, north Africa and Associate Members such as Japan.

    So… let’s just have oompahpapa, oompahpapa and look like Benny (or was it Bjorn?) and don white dinner-jackets and drape our visages with smiles and put on pointy hats and dream of ‘our common European home’ and wear Euro-tourist gear and have Euro-tourist hairstyles and sport slim-rimmed Euro spectacles and go to watch art films and fail to laugh at comedic moments but chuckle quietly at obtuse connections.

    So long as we don’t make a habit of chasing after hotel chambermaids…

    Oompapahpa,oompahpapa…

    PS. Does anyone from the old Eastern Bloc remember Dean Reed?

  • Jon

    @Yugo – haven’t edited out your disruptive posts for a while, but happy to start doing so again. Caricaturing your opponents as racist without saying why achieves nothing – but you always can engage fully if you wish to. If you don’t like a particular criticism of Israel, say why, and do so with civility.

  • YugoStiglitz

    So you’re censoring me for stating the obvious – that the Jew-haters at this blog (who also think the Jews were behind 911) can simply substtute the word “Zionist” for Jews and all is OK with you. The Zionists control the media. The Zionists did 911. The Zionists are responsible for what’s going on in Libya. It is so transparent that a child can figure it out.

    It’s amazing to me that pathetic Jew-haters will claim “You can’t criticize Israel, because you’re then censored” – which is simply not true – but, at venues such as Craig Murray’s blog, the minute one points out obvious Jew hatred, one’s words are stricken from the record.

    And, given that you maintain an active deletion policy, it seems clear that you have some favorable view of the insane things that commenters write on this blog. So in part this blog has effectively become a mirror of crazy American right-wing views. If Alex Jones says it, it’s sure to show up at this blog. With one notable difference – at least Alex Jones and his viewers don’t seem to stick to the “Jews did 911” crazy.

  • Clark

    Hello YugoStiglitz, Clark here. I have some questions I’d like you to answer:
    .
    1) Was it you that used to post as Larry from St Louis?
    2) Do you think that Spectral hates Jews?

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