May 2012


On (1) why Eurovision matters, and (2) why it had to be in Azerbaijan this year.

I neither got around to reviewing the second Eurovision semi-finals, nor to discussing the Eurovision Finals – badAdam.

I have a good excuse: I was exhausted and any free time I had this weekend, I was asleep. Friday’s super early alarm (4:30, after 5 hours of sleep) in combination with a late evening (home past midnight), had some serious knock-on effects with respect to sleep.

Somehow I managed to stay awake through the Eurovision Finals Saturday evening – it was tough, and I was super happy that I’d decided to stay home because I was brushing my teeth during the voting, and ready to jump into bed the second the credits started rolling; and I did.

The show was, as usual, awesome.

I must admit that watching the semi-finals, in some manner, screwed up my Twitter snarky-ness during the finals because I’d already seen how bad some of the performances were – like how much can I lambast Lithuania for their cheesy, blindfolded, singer, singing “Love is blind.” Can you hit the metaphor over the head with a gigantic hammer any harder?

This year’s Eurovision contest wasn’t without its controversies: Iran, the theocracy that it is, withdrew its ambassador from Baku because it claimed that Baku was hosting a gay parade called Eurovision.

Besides the craziness of Iran, there were a number of discussions in Western European media about the human rights abuses caused by the government of Azerbaijan and that, perhaps, Eurovision shouldn’t have been held in Azerbaijan at all due to these abuses.

To this I say, phooey.

Eurovision is special – it’s a contest that, upon winning, the winner gets to host.

That’s the point.

Sure, some countries have, in the past, turned down hosting duties (see Israel not hosting in 1980) – but not recently.

Eurovision is, at its core, an unusual opportunity for outsiders, who might never otherwise have paid attention to a country, pay attention to a country.

Honestly, because of Eurovision, two of my very-well-educated colleagues were talking about the country – sure I had to verify where the country is located, but the fact remains that without Eurovision, Azerbaijan would only be in the news under two circumstances: (1) an oil or gas pipeline event happens; or (2) war breaks out with Armenia.

In other words, it is that parade of homosexuals coming to town that forced a public discussion of human rights in Azerbaijan.

It wasn’t the major media deciding that it was time to talk about human rights abuses, nor was it Amnesty International that captured everybody’s attention with respect to Azerbaijan.

It was the fags.

So there.

Just wait until Belarus wins – and it will, because they keep sending some of the most awesome, gay, Eurovision songs ever created, and they will win.

Then the spotlight will shine on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the one who just a few months ago said, “Better to be a dictator than gay.

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