10.01.2006 00:00 - Eurovision - The Full Horror
England doesn't get the full benefit of Eurovision - or should I say, the full horror.
You see, Eurovision, as well as sponsoring a contest to find the dullest possible songs performed by no-talent morons - a format which was way ahead of its time if "Search for A Superstar" is anything to go by, also sponsors a number of cross-border programmes which share a common language. The UK, being the only english-speaking country in Europe that admits to being a primarily-english-speaking country (Ireland doesn't count), is fortunately not counted in on this deal.
Think yourselves lucky.
In German-speaking Nations, every so often we get subjected to the concentrated dreadfulness that is the Folk-music show. (Volksmusik). This programme is broadcast to all German-speaking nations, and parts of some nations that are predominantly german-speaking, such as the Tirol.
There's no getting away from it.
Those of you in the US and the UK will hold a vision of Folk-Music which is typically english-centric, of blokes with knit-your-own-muesli sweaters and beards, sticking one finger in their ear to sing "Ay-once-was-ay-moiner-in-new-cass-sull" in a penetrating drone. Not over here, it's not. Over here it's all Lederhosen and Nehru jackets (The collarless jackets which are depressingly similar to those worn by the Beatles) or Drndls for the women - or some of the stranger blokes. The music has become massively commericalised in the same way that country is commercialised in America. However, it's also very purist, so you don't get much crossover. No electric guitars, although electric bass guitar seems to be permitted, as do rotten cheapo keyboard sounds. That wouldn't be so bad, except for the venue. The programme seems to be recorded in a former Zeppellin hangar, with all the attendant echo problems. The audience is so massive, the front row has started clapping before the back row has heard the last verse. This has the effect of removing any intimacy from the performance whatsoever, which consists of about twenty overweight characters from Munich singing "Conrad the Happy Goat" in unison, so it probably didn't have much intimacy in the first place.
However, it gets much worse than that.
You see, this programme is top granny-fodder. You can just see them all sitting in their rocking-chairs, singing along to it, with intermittent outbreaks of Stockhausen-like squealing as the ir hearing-aids begin to feedback. And, as any of you who have grannies will know, all top granny-fodder includes something that causes terror in the hearts of grown men.
The singing child/adolescent.
Yes, there he is, dressed up in his little Bayerische suit, holding a radio microphone, and gushing pure syrup down the broadcast frequencies. For maximum nausea, he'll be singing a song about his dear grandmother.
Very few of these children ever have a successful career in adulthood. Loss of looks and breaking voices mean that the grannies turn elsewhere. Many of them die before adolescence due to the extreme nausea they cause in anyone under seventy leading to mass-lynchings.
So, there you have it. The full terror of Eurovision.