The campest cabaret has come to town. This year, the good burghers of Baku are proud hosts to the financially crippling annual Eurovision Song-fest. At least the well-oiled Azeris can afford to stage the ritzy affair without going cap in hand to the IMF. Various tone-deaf bottle blond painted divas with floaty hair, mincing pretty-boys in tight white lycra and hairy ruritanians in ethnic pantomime drag have parachuted into town to compete for the most infamous music prize on the planet. The Azeri autocrats are rubbing their hands in glee. As usual, votes will be cast along political and ethnic fault lines regardless of the quality (or otherwise) of the compositions, most of which will be badly sung in banal single-syllable pop English. It’s music, Jim, but not as we know it. Expect plenty of back slapping Balkan bonhomie between recently befriended old foes, top marks from the Turkish jury to their Azeri pals, the usual love-in between Athens and Nicosia and friendly hands across the Baltic. Pity poor Engelbert, he hasn’t got a hope in Hell. To not come last will be a decent achievement. Regardless of the shameless predictability of it all, we’ll be popping our euro-corks courtesy of a lovely Bitez Babe. We’ve promised not to trash the joint as Engelbert’s nul points come rolling in.
The glitzy shindig has caused quite a ruckus in the Caucasus. A couple of Eurovision websites have been hacked by anti-gay cyber attacks, leaving the catchy slogan “here is no place to immoral gays in Azerbaijan. Leave our country, no place to stay in Azerbaijan for gays who look like animals.” Now, who are they calling an old dog? The Iranians have thrown a hissy fit at the prospect of all that decadent fun and frolics from the sexually suspect just across the border. The Iranian ambassador has been withdrawn in protest, there’ve been riots by the great unwashed and a fatwa or two from the mad mullahs. Like the Puritans of old, it seems the Iranians have forgotten what is it is to have a little glittery fun. These days, what passes for Saturday night entertainment on state-controlled TV is ‘Lynch the Queers, Live”. Now, where did I put my knitting needles?
While I’m looking for them, check out the Russian entry from the singing grannies.
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