Eurovision season in Iceland is long, overly long, stretched, annually, like a small condom over the nation’s collective face: that which was meant to contain a brief spurt of joy, for this or that amorous individual – winds up dulling the senses of the entire populace for months on end; the world recedes beneath a latex film.
But I like Eurovision, I do.
I like the self-delusory ambitions, ambitions which rout any skeptical tuning fork, or which dismiss the protestations of any similarly pitch-wise individual as mere envious hatred.
“Haters gone hate.”
I like the blinkered aspirations, aspirations that propel all manner of mediocre fantasists onto the stage, luring them into debilitating arias (I’ve been guilty of similar overreach in the past) and retrospective ridicule.
“If this song wins I’m going to move abroad.”
I like the shameless appropriation; the opportunistic grasping at trends: the ham-fisted youth hitching a ride on the coattails (note-scales) of American pop sensations, hoping that their mimicry goes unnoticed (all my life I’ve borrowed).
“Bruno Mars much?”
Lastly, I like the thunderous power ballads; the dramatic gesticulations of talented outsiders, reinforced with artless lighting and brazen visuals (I’ve never been one for subtlety): the relief of the rare on-key performance (like a pocket of air beneath a breathless ocean).
“What a performance.”
Furthermore, I like the notion of pop music as a competition, as a spectacle, as the steady whittling-away of eager contestants by a coalition of democratic and expert means:
I like wondering who – among this herd of musical animals – will survive a Darwinian gauntlet of adaptation and resourcefulness; will stand victorious, unpared, unscathed; who will be awarded respite from this our inhospitable island with a ticket to the mainland?
But, most of all, I like Eurovision because it is a mirror to our society; we are, all of us, scrappy underdogs, trying to make the most of our meager talents, ravenous for attention, approval, and respect – while secretly wishing that we had been born Swedish.
“God damn that Mons.”