We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Euro-MidEast international Eurovision song competition each year is usually one of my favorite shows. Each country's entry is usually superb, and making a choice of winner difficult. This year, however, the sameness of many of the entries, and the increased prevalence of English from almost all countries, made the choices easier, for me anyway. There's usually griping, with much justification, that there's much favoritism in the final rankings. Here's my favorites from the 25 semi-finalists: Greece, France, Spain (with extra points on top of artistry for being in native tongues), and for a lovely performance Azerbaijan (in English). Azerbaijan won the competition, maybe because its entry didn't have the hoochy-koochy, look-alike theatrics of so many of the others.
Here's a sampling of the top 25. After that, click around for your favorites and other countries entries. Nice way to idle away a few hours.
1) I strongly contest your assertion that "each country's entry is usually superb" - most of it is derivative Euro-trash without any local input. The move to English lyrics just underscores how most entries ape American/British pop trends - with the added "entertainment" value of often deeply misunderstanding the original sensibility of various genres (like the numerous comic-gothic entries from Scandinavia over the years - in which coddled blond socialists try to act "street".)
2) It's amazing how consistently bad French pop music is - at least what makes it to Eurovision. Initially I thought this was typical anti-French sentiment from my British friends, but it has been proven true year after year. Simply awful.
It's a combination of "The Gong Show" and "Solid Gold" but without the talent.
Chipper in Tennesseee
Interesting. Most Europeans would love to see the end of Eurovision which is considered a bunch of worthless trash.
Competitors (whether winning or loosing) sign a professional death warrant by appearing, they're (for the last 20 years at least, since Abba and Nena roughly) people who either can't get a record contract and become one day flies with a single record this way or are derailed former starlets who hope it will extend their income for a few months more before they have to find a real job.