we interrupt our regularly scheduled coverage...
... of war, corruption, and misery because today is the date of a Very Important Annual Event: the Eurovision Song Contest finals, this year coming to us on a time-delay from Moscow. Longtime readers of Texas in Africa know that I absolutely adore Eurovision. I wait all year for the nonsensical lyrics, bad lip-synching, and out-of-nowhere props.
What's so great about Eurovision? It's partly that the ludicrous definition of "Europe" used to determine who participates includes everything from Iceland to Azerbaijan. It's also one of the few times when you can see jingoistic nationalism play out in real time. The Turks never vote for the Greeeks and vice-versa. And then there's the flat out nuttiness of some of the acts. And the trying to figure out whether the Swedes entered a woman or a drag queen.
Basically, it's totally awesome.
Given Our Tough Economic Times, most of the acts this year are unfortunately fairly low key. Most of the truly wacky, can't miss ones are from Greece, Romania, Bosnia & Hercegovina, and Albania. Apparently wasting money on over-the-top crazy never goes out of style in the Balkans. Especially when it involves break-dancing mimes and an alien stalker-lover:
Then there's Ukraine, which, as per usual, defies explanation:
I hope no children were watching.
Oh, and Norway has a fiddler surrounded by acrobats. But Finland totally topped that with the flaming baton twirlers.