And Gutenberg Lived Here: What, A European Song Contest Isn’t Enough?

Yesterday morning my other half and I watched,

make that fast-forwarded,

through a video of the European Song Contest.

(I have to. My voice  students and adult beginners’ choir regularly ask questions on such things, and are always disappointed if I say “huh?”)

Anyway, the ESC

no jokes about an escape key, please,

is something so popular over here,

a huge crowd stood outside all night

in the pouring rain, no less,

on the Hamburg Reeperbahn.

(The Reeperbahn, for those who haven’t heard of it,

is in the harbor district,


in addition to things like the Ohnsorg-

a world-famous North-German dialect-speaking theater,

Quatsch comedy-

a very good international stand-up comedy club,

several huge musical houses,

and the largest branch of the Salvation Army anywhere,

is also the largest red-light district in the world.

And, apparently,

an atmospherically correct place to watch Swedes,

and others,

dress in Ghengis Kahn suits,

horned helmets,

“you pathetic earthlings” costumes,

a formal Japanese kimono so huge the poor bald-headed singer was nailed in position and unable to move,

and, for Germany,

a teen with a, in my opinion, wonderful voice,

and a lot of talent,

but in a wierd cross between an Alice in Wonderland and a Lolita costume.

with cotton knee socks, no less.

Topped by a bizarre manga-Minnie Mouse headdress she built herself.

Which, I have to admit, should have gotten her the talent section award.

Especially since, in my humble opinion,

she and the young man from Poland

were the only ones who could,

or were allowed to,

really sing.

But that’s not what it’s about here.

In case you haven’t watched,

or haven’t really understood what was going on-

how could you-

The point being,

as the show hosts,

with a lot of panache,

and chutzpah,

sang to us-

in my opinion,

the only song worth listening to all evening-

unless you like lyrics like:

“they don’t know how to value unicorns,”

“you ride a black horse in the rain,”

“you’ve been wierd, been a mess”


“under the spotlight, I howl in the moonlight”


No wait,

maybe I can meditate and go there.

Surely I can understand this…


So the point was,

the moderators told us the absolute truth:

the computer analysis of how to win the contest:

Take a lot of costumes and scenery and computerized special effects,

add an aged gentleman from the country singing at the moment,

dress him in a local costume from about 1800,

have him pretend to play an instrument no one has ever seen before,

add a group of Japanese ritual drummers,

a dj who scratches,

sing a text with bizarre lyrics

and a fast refrain of la la la,

or dum da da dum

so everyone can sing along…

And then there was the winner of the night,

who, regardless of my personal humanitarian and political views,

sang a “non-political” song for the Ukraine

about 1944,

and Stalin,

called “they kill you all.”

My heart is with her.

But the point of the contest is,

as everything else at the moment,


And money.

Which is why the Australians are singing in the ESC.

Or, as it was explained on local tv here in Gutenberg land,

the ESC want to expand.

With an Asian contest,

taking place in Australia,

and then, on to…

the other two who were greeted last night?

China and the USA?

So the next step can be a Universal song contest,

with the winners from each of the continents?

And who knows-

since scientists have now discovered new, possibly habitable planets,

maybe an

out of this world

galactic song contest.

With performers from…

wasn’t there a bar scene somewhere in Star Wars?

Be still my heart.

I wonder how they’ll glue those Manga headdresses

On Venusians?

copyright 2016


4 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: What, A European Song Contest Isn’t Enough?

  1. OMG!
    what is it the kids say now? LMAO!!!
    or I laughed so hard I fell outta my chair.
    I PERSONALLY LOVED the bar scene in star wars! LOLOL!

    you have yet another profession! a live entertainment critic!
    and to think…
    all america had to compete… was honey boo boo. except they don’t even have her anymore.
    her pitiful show got cancelled since her red neck mother’s boyfriend apparently made out with her older sister when she was 12 or something. a very class act was that group of entertainers.
    good grief.
    sort of puts your harmless dress up wannabe singers into perspective!
    the question is…
    do they fart on the stage? the honey boo boo people allegedly did. I confess I never watched it.

    I think i’d rather hear grownups dressed up in outrageous garbs singing songs like
    “under the spotlight I howl in the moonlight!” than farting red necks any day! LOLOL!

    this is a great post!
    i’m getting back into my chair now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, I don’t think you really liked that show. I could be interpreting your review wrong…

    I can’t blame you, especially if there is a whole reality show element of behind the scenes crapola attached. I hate that.

    Liked by 1 person

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