FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Eurovisionary Contest

by Rev. JOSE M. TIRADO

With even the New York Times noting it’s widespread appeal Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest 2012 provided viewers around the world (some 125 million of them) more of a continuing, and hopeful trend. It not only offered flamboyant relief from bad economic news, discontent over state repression, and racialist rumblings among immigrant rich countries, it showcased a visionary, mixed race selection belying the ostensible Euro-resistance to multiculturalism.

In 2010, when Angela Merkel dismissed the efforts at “multikulti,” as having “utterly failed,” she touched off a firestorm of indignation and liberal hand-wringing at having said openly what many Germans, and other Europeans, have long felt. Yet “Europe” (and being “European”) itself is, and despite all claims to the contrary, always has been, a rather flexible concept.

The very fact that Shia Muslim Azerbaijan is included in a “European” contest is indication enough of the growing flexibility in definition, and an obvious statement that more and more countries want “in” on Europe, whatever that now means. (It used to be equated with “Christendom.”) But culturally “Europe,” as we all know, means many things to many different peoples. Jewish Israel, is part of the Eurovision “Europe,” yet so is Sunni Muslim Turkey. (Turkey, part of “Asia Minor” when I was growing up, won in 2003.) Ukraine is in there and Cyprus and Malta (two island nations in the Mediterranean), as well Iceland, so geography is stretched too.

The entertainers in the Eurovision contest have increasingly included this blending of cultures. When Norway won a few years back, its winning entry was the terminally catchy “Fairytale,” sung by the terminally cute Alexader Rybak, from Belarus.

This year’s entries were a splendid example of this kind of this continuing cultural intermingling: Ukraine sending a half-Congolese woman, France an Indonesian Muslim woman, the UK with a 76 year old half-Indian man, Norway an Iranian man, and the eventual winner from Sweden, Loreen, a 28-year old Moroccan-Berber woman. One can be forgiven for assuming that, while the musical corruption represented by Eurovision has long been decried among the more snobbish types, in front, right out there on the stage, is the present future–a truly “multi-kulti” Europe.

So I’ll admit to the political machinations which result in repressive measures in order to produce this annual spectacle. And I’ll share whatever reports and images come my way to others concerned about human rights abuses wherever they occur, as well as critique the wasteful extravagance used to promote this show in times of economic adversity. But my children (Puertorican-Icelandic) and I will also enthusiastically watch ever year, with popcorn on our laps and joy on our faces, this crazy, ever-more culturally diverse musical event, and root for the home team.

Rev. JOSÉ M. TIRADO is a poet, priest and writer finishing a PhD in psychology while living in Iceland.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail