Eurovision – More Effective than Sanctions

15 May

The sanctions imposed on Russia by the civilized world may have been as harmless as the sedated tiger so famously caressed by the fearless Mr. Putin, but, where the US and EU are failing, an unexpected hero is hitting Ivan where it hurts. I refer, of course, to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Admittedly it doesn’t take much to get the Russians up in arms – looking at them the wrong way is pretty much all that is required to have them pulling up outside your door in an armoured personnel carrier and a filthy mood – but, according to the BBC, by awarding the coveted  crown to a bearded Austrian drag queen called Conchita Wurst, Eurovision has really got under their skin. Now, I’ve been to Russia, and can report that the majority of the female population consists of what appear to be bearded drag queens, though admittedly somewhat brawnier than Ms. Wurst.

So what is it exactly that has Russian politicians choking on their borscht? Well, it seems to be a combination of two things. The first is obvious – they hate gay people, or, in official parlance, they are anxious to protect their children from hordes of rampaging bearded ladies, in pretty much the same way as they have so gallantly leapt in to protect defenceless Russian speakers in Ukraine from hordes of baby-eating fascists from the west.

The second reason is more puzzling. Several members of the Duma have expressed outrage at the conspiracy that deprived their own entry, sung by the adorable, and clean-shaven Tolmachevy Twins, of victory. They seem to have overlooked the fact that the song was shite.

Well, OK, Ms. Wurst’s song was also shite, but so were almost all the entries – that’s the whole point of the Eurovision Song Contest. There have only been about six decent songs in the whole fifty year history of the event – and, if you’re looking for a scandal, I suggest you start with Cliff Richard not winning in the corruption-soaked contest of 1968. I mean to say, Congratulations lost to this! That Spanish lady didn’t even have a beard.

So what is their answer to the not-so-bare-faced aggression of the Eurovision fascist drag queens? Well, Duma member Valery Rashkin doesn’t intend to lie down and let them trample him into the ground of the sacred motherland with their size ten stilettos. He has proposed a unilateral withdrawal from the contest and the creation of a new “Eurasian Voice” competition. Presumably this will mean browbeating the songsters of Belorussia, Kazhakstan, Tajikistan and a few more Stans to take part. The Ukrainians will have to join too, if they still have a country, and they would like Moscow to pass gas in their direction. It shouldn’t be difficult to persuade them. After all, as Mr. Rashkin says:

“I’m convinced that all sensible people, who love children and their motherland, will support this idea. The new contest will promote completely different values. Certainly not the values of transsexuals, lesbians and homosexuals.”

Well, recent events certainly suggest that Russia does indeed have a different set of values, but is all this really necessary? Building on the experience gained in their invasion of Ukraine, they could just have had their TV stations report that the Russian song had, in fact, won. Ninety percent of the population would have believed them.

So, it’s a well-earned bonus to Eurovision and this year’s Wurst performance.

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