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Eurovision fest time

I’ve been watching Eurovision for approx.30 years (giving away my age here), and yes it has changed over the years.  If it hadn’t moved with the times, would we all stop watching it – yes, that includes you too.

Eurovision is one of those strange phenomena that some of us in this country (and the UK also) like to be rather snooty and superiour towards.  Why? Are we bad losers and rubbish a competition unless we perform well in it?   Is our range of musical tastes so narrow we can’t appreciate something different?  Do we have issues with Eastern Europe?  Do we…………..?  Can we not just get over ourselves and enjoy the Eurovision?

Eurovision has become more than just a song contest.  In my view, there are three aspects required for a successful entry – the song, the singer, and the performance presentation on the night.  All three have to be working well for an entry to do well.  When we insulted Europe and ourselves by sending Dustin the Turkey we scored zero points on all three.  If we send rubbish why are we expecting gold?  Watching the national finals this year, our entrant had a reasonable song, poor-ish singers but singers who could be relied on to present a good showing on the stage.  What happened in the Dusseldorf semis on Thursday night – Jedward pulled off a surprisingly good job on the singing (good on them, I felt rather proud of them), and their stage presentation was excellent (kudos to the designer of the electronic backdrop, by the way).  The odds on Ireland shortened considerably.

A thing that I love about the Eurovision is the variety of genres on show.  A winner needs to be the best representation of its genre in each of the three aspects above.  Whether a given viewer likes a particular genre or not is irrelevant given the sheer size of the audience numbers watching. There is an audience for just about everything.  Take Lordi (representing Finland a short number of years back) – they, their song and their stage presentation were excellent in the hard rock genre.  To the non-hard rock brigade anything in this category sounds like pre-historic monsters growing at each other. Does this matter?  No.  There were enough supporters of this category to appreciate what Lordi had to offer.  With only minor exceptions, this has been a consistent feature of Eurovision over the years.  The best song, singer, performance representative of a particular genre comes out on top.

This year, the French have sent a song and singer in the classical-pop cross-over genre.  Anyone, having a gander through my ipod is in no doubt as to where my taste in music is.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGfxvasqqVE&feature=related has been played several times on this laptop.  In my mind, the French entry is head and shoulders over everything else I have heard.  Admittedly, I haven’t seen the entrants from the first semi. Nor have a I heard the Italian, German or Spanish entries. I have no idea how the French will present on the stage tonight.   Nonetheless, from what I have heard, my top 5 are: France, Ireland, Austria, UK, Sweden.

Now, whose commentary do I listen to – Mary Whelan or Graham Norton?  Decisions Decisions!

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Gadgets…….

…. are expensive. Mine are getting seriously outdated but I can’t afford to update them. Here’s a run-down –

Ipod – it’s a first gen 40GB one, with 9,000+ tracks on it, I’ve had it for a number of years now and its starting to act up – the battery doesn’t last so long, and lately it kicks up a fuss when I try to connect it to the laptop.  But it was so expensive when I bought it nearly 5 years ago that I need to get more out of it.

Phone – a Nokia that I’ve had for quite a while now. It makes and received calls and texts (even pic ones), it takes pics, it records sound and vid, wakes me up in the morning, reminds me when my birthday is so I don’t forget, etc, etc.  But it’s not an iphone or any equivalent. Todays Sunday Bus Post suggests Nokia’s newest offering is worth salivating over. They’re probably right but my saliva’s staying put. Splashing out on a new fancy phone when the existing one meets minimum requirements is just too extravagant.

Camera – again, I’ve had this for a number of years too. The digital zoom can be a tad wobbly and the viewfinder is small. It had another bang over Christmas – picture this – dog A spots fast-moving rabbit and gives chase, dog B refuses to be left behind and takes off in pursuit of dog A, dog B forgets he’s on lead, extendable lead extends very very quickly, extendable lead reaches its end and your-truly grips it tighter instead of letting go, yours-truly gets pulled off feet into heap on the ground.  At least no major damage done – but while camera continues to help me take good pics, its too extravagant to replace, especially given how expensive it was in the first place.

Laptop – a small light Acer, that’s had to have its hard disk replaced and new RAM put in. The speakers are tinny so its not great for apps requiring sound.  It gets carried around a lot and so is bound to get a bang some day soon. The SBP reviewed Getac’s everything-proof one today. It’s got a good spec too. But for €2660 it wont be mine.

Book reader – still not an owner of a Sony E Book Reader, and at €250 I probably won’t be for some time.

And as for tvs and dvd players and such like …………  I never quite got the “big-tv” thing so they’re wasted on me.