Eurobonkers by Barbara Nadel

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I am a self evident, self confessed Eurovision addict even though it almost sends me mad with frustration and sometimes just plain boredom. Won by what I felt was a rather limp offering from Denmark on Saturday, this year’s contest was characterised by the continuing demise of western Europe. It was all about former Soviet republics and Scandinavia who absolutely dominated with only minor breakthroughs for a couple of pleasant songs from Malta and the Netherlands. Former Eurovision giants, Ireland, came last!

The principal funders of Eurovision are what are called the ‘Big Five’ countries; the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. All but Italy were at the bottom of the heap this year and that was probably because the Italian singer was a very handsome young man in an excellent Italian suit. You can’t really argue with a handsome Italian in my experience. But he didn’t win, in fact he got nowhere near the top of the leader board. Oddly he was overtaken very early on by a man singing on top of a perspex box which contained another man who was clearly trapped in the box and needed to be let out – urgently. But he wasn’t. The whole experience was worrying and, for a western European like me, dire.

So what are western European countries like the UK, Spain and Ireland to do about this apparent international rejection of their Eurowares? We’ve thrown both known and unknown artists at them and Ireland have even treated the world to a rubber turkey, but to no avail. Where on earth do we go next? Well if we want to win (and I cringe to speak his name) I think that maybe the UK should call in ‘X Factor’ mogul and pop Svengali, Simon Cowell. Unlike Dan Brown I don’t think that the symbol for the Antichrist is hidden in some painting in Venice but resides at the back of Cowell’s oddly shaped head. Not only creepily cruel he also brought us ‘One Direction’ which proves he is the Great Beast. At the moment the spot cream scented miasma that is ‘One Direction’ would win.

But I don’t think that we should aim to win any more. What we do is not appreciated and so why put ourselves through the stress of going for gold only to get shit? Therefore I think that the Big Five, plus Ireland, should mount a race to the bottom. We’re all very pragmatic countries, most of whom (with the exception of Ireland) have had empires in the past which means we have been derided for decades. So why not go for it and if we cause some offence both at home and abroad along the way, then all the better.

Ireland had the right idea some years ago, as I said before, when they entered ‘Dustin the Turkey’. A childrens favourite, rubber turkey Dustin sat in a shopping trolley and sang ‘Irlande Douze Points’ a blatant and chaotic plea to the rest of Europe to give Ireland twelve points in exchange for a bit of Irish stew. It was genius on so many levels. It was tacky, obvious, loud and some Eurovision enthusiasts even said that it was offensive because it was so bad. Excellent. Next year I think they should go even further and have the fine actor Frank Kelly reprise his role as Father Jack Hackett from that brilliant comedy classic ‘Father Ted’. For the one person who doesn’t know, Father Jack is  what is known in Ireland as a ‘Whiskey Priest’ in other words a drunken cleric. In the case of Father Jack, not only is he drunk, he is also wildly offensive as he leers at young women, imbibes toilet cleaner and shouts out ‘Feck!’ ‘Arse!’ and ‘Drink!’ to anyone in his vicinity. I really think that Ireland should enter Father Jack maybe with a ditty outlining the pleasures of a damn good stomach pump called ‘Fecking hell me duodenal ulcer’s bastard bleeding again!’

Here in the UK the pattern should also be one aimed at the bottom of the table and peppered with open offence. And seeing as there is such a massive hoo hah across Europe about  gay and transgender marriage at the moment, I’d like to suggest a row of besequinned transsexual vicars high kicking to a song in praise of Queen Anne Boleyn’s vestigial fingers. She was a bit of a goer, even if Henry VIII did cut her head off, and I think she could make it to, albeit belated, gay icon status if the UK really puts its back into it. Part time Dobby the House Elf and full time President of Russia, Vladimir Putin won’t like it one little bit – he’d like to make all forms of sexual difference illegal in his country – and will probably have to do a bit of light judo with an underling in order to calm himself down. But then I think that’s great. If we can help the oppressed of Europe through our bad Eurovision songs then our myriad humiliations will not have been in vain.

So spread the word blog readers. Send this post to all your friends and colleagues and let’s make sure that next year in Copenhagen, we make people’s pants explode with righteous indignation.

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