|... after-thought ... I watched the final this morning, scrolling through the stream pretty fast (except for Poland) ... now I feel a bit guilty about posting this rather gloomy old-man's take. Yeah, it's a human event that made a lot of people happy (I think), and inspired good feelings (I hope). I was struck again by how much the Netherlands excellent song (compared to the others) seemed like the two performers had just stepped off the stage of the Grand Ole' Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Hungarian entry could have been a hip-hip/soul homeboy from any American inner-city. ... So, mea culpa.
I made the serious mistake of watching the two EuroTrashVision semi-finals. I had never seen ETV before, never read anything about it, had only a vague that it was a bunch of Euro countries competing every year musically. Yes, I am (by choice) that disconnected from pop culture on every continent and hemisphere. And, beginning in November of last year I broke a six-year television fast to sign-up for an on-line streaming service that gets me the BBC channels, the ITV channels, and a few others.
Naively, I thought, perhaps I'd hear performers singing in their own native language, perhaps have a chance to hear some music using ethnic instruments.
Never did I dream that I would hear the worst of the world's what I call "Happy Meal" music, a mongrelized blend of blues, rock, soul, pop, hip-hop, night-club-pseudo-operatic, and the usual shouting, screaming, blasting through dense layers of synths and sound-effects to thundering drums. Okay, I did, I think, in the
Armenian Montenegrin (?) entry, hear a lovely sound of a single-reed a little like the Armenian Duduk, but, could have been a synth playing a sample.
Almost all the songs in English ! uhhhh ... what about national pride ?
I did enjoy the Polish entry with the sound-track turned off: thanks for the lovely twirling maidens in traditional dress, superb visuals, and very special thanks for the lovely young ... exceptionally well-endowed ... woman simulating washing clothes in a way that gave "rub-a-dub-dub" a whole new meaning for me !
I admit I enjoyed some of the remarkable visuals ... when I wasn't having seizures from the strobes and visual fireworks, punctuated by belching pinnacles of fire.
The vocal abilities/qualities of the singers were, for me, barely perceptible given the din they were entombed in.
If this contest represents Euro culture (and, I don't really believe it does), then I think the USA has indeed conquered Europe: the worst of American "culture" and music, that is. All of the hormones and none of the musicality.
Taken as farce, as what the great Russian literary critic Bakhtin would have called a manifestation of "carnivalesque" ... yeah ... it works, I guess. I just hope it's not a preview of the particular Hell I am undoubtedly bound for.
Well, that's just another nail in the coffin of my curmudgeonhood, I guess.
“I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so.” Jorge Luis Borges
modified 11-May-14 0:00am.