Eurovision Apocalypse



It is true that the Eurovision Song Contest is watched on television by millions of people every year. It has been going on since 1956 and may even be the biggest event in pan-European popular culture. However, the music is generally benign pop – mediocre and dull, and no one takes Eurovision seriously. Except, it has now been demonstrated, the contest’s organisers. Rumour has it that they are considering banning this year’s Israeli entry because of its “inappropriate political message”.

The Israeli song is called “Push the Button” and it is performed in three languages, sometimes with comedy accents, in a tongue-in-cheek manner by a band called Teapacks. The song is anti-nuclear war, with such stunning lyrics as “I don’t want to die…I wanna have a lot of fun, just sitting in the sun.” The problem for the folks at Eurovision is the line, “He’s gonna push the button.” The reason being, of course, that “he” probably refers to Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Needless to say, the difficulty of rhyming anything with Ahmadinejad kept the band from actually using the name in their lyrics.

“It’s absolutely clear that this kind of message is not appropriate for the competition,” said Kjell Ekholm, a Finnish organiser. Which is a ridiculous claim because mediocre pop bands often sing about war or the end of the world, and the song’s message, after all, is anti-war. And, of course, if the organisers hadn’t raised such a fuss, no one outside the Eurovision sphere of influence would ever have heard of the song, including me and Mr. Ahmadinejad.


3 Responses to Eurovision Apocalypse

  1. emalyse says:

    I do find it a little hypocritical for the organisers to state that politics has no part in the contest when it certainly comes into play during the voting process every year. It’s almost embrassing being able to predict which countries will give the max points to whom based entirely, sometimes on political alliances. It’s always been an anomaly that Israel gets to be in Eurovision beacuse it’s in the European Broadcasting Union rather than being geograpically in Europe.

  2. Max says:

    Em, you know a bit too much about Eurovision.
    Israel’s participation in Eurovision is not at all an anomaly. The criterion for a country’s participation is membership in the European Broadcasting Union. It has nothing to do with geography. You can ask some of the other past and current non-European participants, like Morocco and Jordan, for example.

  3. Niquemg says:

    Ahhh, Eurovision! The height of “European” campy culture, where only the organizers take it seriously. I remember many a year watching this crap on TV…lighten up, Eurovision, the Israelis are just singing a song.

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