May 15: eurovision

The Eurovision song contest is an excellent gauge of the shifting preoccupations of our culture, as well as a revealing indicator of the gap between ordinary folk and the chattering classes. A few years ago the environment was the great exploitable topic that was deemed viable to appeal to the groups that tune in and vote for the various songs, these groups being, I suppose, ordinary telly watchers, the young, the LGBTq community. This year it’s identity and mental health that carry the day, as though we have crawled back into ourselves after Covid. Nobody cares about the environment anymore. The way the show works is that first juries from each country vote, which count for 50%, then the telly watchers vote, another 50%. The Australian entry, an awful, self-regarding, feeling sorry for itself victim song got a decent mark from the juries, before the telly viewers put the boot in. An interesting insight into how unrepresentative the media is of the population’s instincts. In the end, Ukraine, with a decent song and a real cause, won out over a UK entry that for once was not an embarrasment. Even France gave them douze points.

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