Archive for March, 2013


Every year in the spring, most of Europe goes culturally bonkers, regardless of what else is happening in the world (barring a world war or something equally occupying). It’s like a whole section of the world map is doing a tacky off-off-Broadway musical gala, and a few other sections on the map – like for instance Australia (a country and continent with truly bizarre tastes) are watching, but the rest of the audience is entirely composed of family members and pets..you know, folks that *have* to watch, to show support. It’s the goddamn Eurovision Song Contest again. A spectacle which i used to love when I was a kid, looking at all the tacky glam costumes (Yes, Abba did win this contest back in the day, that’s how they started off their career, and the wardrobe tone has not changed much since), listening to all the toddler-pleasing simple tunes. Once in a blue moon there would be a song that wasn’t horrible, and then everybody and their dog would treat it like a Picasso, talking about how great it was, and what innovation was shown.

For those unfamiliar with the phenomena; ever since the 50’s or something like that, European countries compete against each other in a great big song contest, to show “cultural diversity” and other nonsense which is not really very often what is going on. Most of my friends who actually watch this, do it in a sort of post-post modern laid back way. They usually do their best Oscar Wilde imitation, with a limp hand motion, speaking in a faux gay voice under half closed eyelids about how they watch it and drink and vote on which performance is the most hilariously awful. And then of course we have the whole crowd that hates the spectacle and will tell you so on any given occasion: “The situation in Rwhanda is bloody awful, and those fuckers here at home are watching the F*****G Eurovision Song-CONTEST, grrrr”.

In the age of Facebook and Twitter and other social media, a new wave of this has become very visible, as I’ve noticed. The Eurovision Song Contest is one of those things which everybody and their hamster has to have a reaction to, and let everybody else read about, on facebook. It is literally like you cannot be post modern enough for this drama, and your level of postmodern innovation in one-sentence status updates determines if you are a winner or a loser. In fact, in the age of post modern social media, it will tell more about you than your dating profile on E-Harmony or your credit card statements would! 

For instance, the statement: “I HATE the f****g Eurovision Song Contest!” clearly shows an individual completely out of tune with this day and age. Too much emotion, entirely misdirected, and worst of all, vented in public. Clearly this person will one day in the near future haul out a semi automatic and start shooting people in public places.

“I LOVE Eurovision Song Contest and CANNOT wait for it to start!!”  ….well…people reading this would assume that their friend was probably abducted by organ selling gangsters and lobotomized, and the part of their brain which used to love music and had good taste in clothes is now sold off on the black market.

So people with any sense for the post modern are now trying their damndest to hit the right tone and level of distanced amusement or lack thereof to this clearly very engrossing event, and then post it on social media.

Parents of kids are the ones who have it easiest, they can just imitate a tired sports commentator at the end of a drawn out world cup of some sort, reviewing everything, shielded behind the enthusiasm of their offspring (kids always love this shit for some reason, I did too, back in the day).

If you live in a dorm or some kind of collective, you can safely do the drive-by I’m-on-my-way-somewhere-else, one-liner review. It’s okay, someone else is watching this, I am innocent and just going to the kitchen for some juice, because I got thirsty from reading all that Marcel Proust in my room. And WHAM, there I saw this bizarre singer from Turkey, rapping in a fake gangsta-Turkish accent! It was like an eclipse, I couldn’t look away!

And then of course we have all the straight as well as gay people who sort of do a mini-pride celebration of what they envision is the common conception of mainstream gay culture. They wear tiaras, sit around and get pissed and imitate the performances as best they can while slurring and wearing fake bling. Usually this sort of thing is not very family friendly and ends in loss of both memory and fake jewelry, which is just as well, but probably worth it.

But lately, I’ve noticed a new trend in the post modern review of the Euro Song Con. It’s a sort of post-post Modern reaction to the reactions of the reactions  to the thing. Very complicated, and somewhat exhausting. Sort of: “why do you bother being irritated at people who like singer X from Bosnia. It really tells more about YOU than about singer X, or Bosnia or Lisa Larsson who loves Singer X from Bosnia and the E-song Contest! Were you  bullied in preschool? Is that why you need to come down so hard on Lisa Larsson who likes singer X from Bosnia? And then someone pipes up: Hey, stop griping on Lars, for being irritated on those who write lyrically about Singer X on Facebook! Bosnia is SO much more than Singer X and the damn song contest, and having a reaction to that reaction is a valid reaction!

At this point I’m contemplating taking up Yoga again, that’s how bored I am, and I have no problem at all writing a post-post-post modern rant about reactions to reactions to reactions to…and somewhere at the end here we can finish off with the name of some Balkan country, because lets face it, they always make up the best endings to rants.

[ETA: Sweden won last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and this year’s drama is hosted in my childhood town of Malmö, so that may be why part of Swedish Facebook has its knickers in a post-modern twist right now]

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