Saturday, 20 May 2006

The Death of Culture

Since I have two Masses and five Baptisms tomorrow, I decided to have a quiet evening. I wasted part of it by watching the annual Eurovision Song Contest, held this year in Athens. This consisted of the usual Eurotrash, made bearable by the cynical BBC commentary of Sir Terry Wogan. When it came to voting, politics rather than music was the key factor (for example, the Balkan and Baltic countries tended to look after one another). And I'm always amazed that Turkey and Israel are allowed to take part in a European competition.

It proved an instructive evening since it reminded me that popular European Culture is well and truly dead. Much to our shame, the United Kingdom gave its highest marks to two of the most ridiculous pieces - 10 points to Lithuania (a crass football chant with unfunny antics entitled 'We are the Winners') and 12 points to the eventual winners, Finland - a song performed by the 'rock horror' group Lordi, who were dressed as monsters. They were a controversial choice even in Finland, where Christian groups condemned their name as sacrilegious and accused the group of having Satanist links. The band, however, claims it's all tongue-in-cheek - but what does their triumph say about the state of Europe? Their charming ditty this evening was entitled 'Hard Rock, Hallelujah' (at least they recognised it was Eastertide).

It would be fun if the Vatican had an entry in Eurovision - after all, Andorra and Monaco get the chance to qualify and vote...

I think I need to listen to some Rameau before I retire for the night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as I enjoy the mutual voting antics, and the quality music, isn't there something rather sad about the very fact of having a Eurovision contest at all?
Just another reminder that true culture is only to be found in Australia-and in the One True Diocese of Sydney at that.

3:07 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Yes - the wonderful musical musical tradition of Australia! Putting to one side the many baroque and classical composers produced by the country, how could we not be envious of class acts such as Kylie and friends?

3:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And which country did she move to again? (thank God)Where was the market??

11:09 pm  

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