I am officially gay now
Everybody! Say! "OPA!"
There's no getting around it. I spent the first half of last week discussing the new series of the glorious Snog, Marry, Avoid via online chat with a female chum, and then the weekend watching the Eurovision Song Contest. I might as well just face the facts, go out and buy some leather chaps with no arse in them and be done with it.
Like any heterosexual man, I used to dismiss Eurovision out of hand with a contemptuous snort, and it was only a chance encounter with a piece of sheer unquestionable magnificence on it in 2008 that led me to even consider giving it the time of day. (I'm assured that I watched the 2009 show too, but I remember absolutely nothing of it.)
The 2010 show did perhaps the most complete job ever of reflecting its audience, which is to say that absolutely everyone on stage was either a woman or the most obvious kind of rampantly flaming homosexual. The only exceptions were the singer from the Serbian contestants – who clearly belonged to a brand-new third gender, or possibly alien race – and the Greek entrants. Which is a bit ironic, what with, y'know, Greece.
I draw no connection whatsoever between the Greek artists (Giorgos Alkaios And Friends) looking like the sort of larcenous men who'd just been dragged out of an illegal dogfight crowd, a brawl in a rough bar at the ugly end of the docks or a maximum-security prison, and the fact that their song was by a country mile the finest in the competition – the latter evident from the way that everyone in my house shouted "OPA!" whenever one of the juries awarded them some points.
Nor even that their dance routine looked like a choreographed recreation of the time they kicked a tramp to death for looking at them funny.
It's also not important that their song was everything a Eurovision entry should be – sung in their own language (the vast majority of the entrants being inexplicably in English), identifiably of its nation but with modern pop stylings (like the little chiptune/ringtone riff), having lyrics full of Abba-esque darkness beneath the bouncy tune*, and possessed of a big shoutalong chorus. What matters is that I cared.
* "I burnt the past, my old nights,
memories also became shivers
Memories and voices unjust wishes
and left open wounds in a corner"
Hell, I even voted. For the first time ever, my 15p contributed to the only worthwhile thing about the UK's participation in the event – the fact that we awarded Greece the maximum 12 points. Britain's song was a godawful atrocity of a thing, a tenth-rate-X-Factor limp dribble of tuneless whimpering, and perhaps the most joyous moment of the evening was the last-gasp 12-point vote for Belarus' extraordinary band of butterflies that lifted them above the UK and left us languishing in a dismal, thoroughly deserved last place. But at least we appreciated genius when we saw it in others.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that the perfectly pleasant German winner was an astonishing pastiche of Lily Allen and Regina Spektor, sung in a cor-blimey English accent over a quirky and hummable tune of exactly the sort that British pop is so exceptionally good at, when it's not in the hands of soulless robotic monsters like Pete Waterman. The Germans didn't just beat the UK out of sight, they took the piss by doing it with an impersonation of us.
We can but dream that whoever's been in charge of the UK's shameless parade of wetter-than-an-otter's-pocket toss for the last few years actually learns the lesson, and gets Fuck Buttons or someone to do next year's entry. (And for God's sake don't let the moron public have anything to do with choosing it, or we'll end up with the same blandest-common-denominator shite that we've been internationally humiliated by for a decade.)
More importantly, though, can someone start the World Cup or a war or something? If I don't shoot someone with a bazooka or club them to death with a rifle butt in a bombed-out ruin pretty soon, it's going to be too late for me. I'm about one nice pastry away from becoming a fashion designer.