Monday, May 22, 2006

Eurovision - promoter of unity, promoter of discord

It's no secret that Eurovision voting patterns say as much about international relations as they do about the quality of the songs.

Although occasionally - as with the UK's dire 2004 entry's failure to pick up any points at all - politics is blamed when it's actually the fault of the music, there are certain definite patterns: former Soviet states have a tendency to vote for Russia; former Yugoslav states vote for their neighbours, as do the Scandinavians.

When these voting patterns are not followed, based as they are upon the votes of the people of those nations, they can often reveal much about the shifting attitudes of European to their neighbours. Although sometimes - as when Portugal unusually failed to vote for its neighbour Spain on Saturday - they can just indicate that the music's utter rubbish.

This year, however, some have pointed fingers at the song contest itself for inspiring a real-world political crisis, rather than acting as the focus for the European public's political attitudes.

Serbia & Montenegro was the only former Yugoslav republic not to make it through to the finals, and the free national publicity they can provide. The reason? The inability of the Serbs and Montenegrins to agree on a representative.

After a Montenegrin boy band won the vote, the Serbs threw a strop - hurling bottles at the poor saps and forcing them to flee for their lives from the stage (a tactic we should have used on this year's God-awful British entry) - and demanded a new contest. The Montenegrins refused - and after a heated spat the country was forced to withdraw from the competition in an ongoing argumentative stalemate.

Yesterday, the day after the song contest itself, there was a referendum on Montenegrin secession - and on a record turnout of over 86%, it seems that Europe will now have a new country on its hands.

Yet another new country from the wreckage of the former Yugoslavia after its bloody and vicious civil war.

Yet another new country from the former Yugoslavia which has been born with some fairly serious issues with its next-door neighbours and erstwhile fellow countrymen.

Now who was that idiot who blathered on about how "if music be the food of love, play on"? Then again, if we're unlucky and this seccession provokes a fresh outbreak of the kind of violence we saw in Yugoslavia during the 1990s, the full quote could prove prescient:

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
The appetite for unity beween Serbia and Montenegro, it would seem, has already died - and music appears to have been one of the crucial catalysts in its sickening.

7 Comments:

Blogger Jarndyce said...

isn't a burgher of Podgorica called a "Montenegrin"?

5/22/2006 01:55:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

I see you`re deleting posts without telling others you`re deleting them-true to form

5/22/2006 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Jarndyce - I think you may be right, come to think of it... I might just skip back and edit that.

Robin - I specifically posted "enjoy being deleted until you get back on topic" before deleting your last pointless interjection. And I very much doubt you'll be able to find a single example of me deleting a comment on this site that hasn't broken my comment policy, so quite how it's "true to form" I have no idea. After around 1,500 posts and about 7,000 comments on this site, I've deleted a grand total of about 30, not including spam.

Your last was deleted for being off topic - as it this latest contribution. And now that I have (for the hundredth time) explained to you that off-topic comments will be deleted, either say something about Serbia and Montenegro or Eurovision voting patterns, or don't say anything at all. Thank you.

5/22/2006 02:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Fettisch said...

Its all a pack of lies! Germany has won the Contest!

Eurovision: The German Horrorkabinett wins Song-Contest!
They cant govern and they cant sing neither: Still the German Horror-Kabinett won!
Get all the Infos and Pics at Fettisch.de!
Eurovision: German Horror-Kabinett wins!

5/22/2006 04:50:00 pm  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Exeunt all, except Clown

.

5/22/2006 07:28:00 pm  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

I still don't understand why Serbia wants to hang on to Montenegro, unless there's some concept of clinging on to whatever remains of the old mini-empire.

5/23/2006 10:22:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you may be mistaking the symptom for the disease, so to speak. I doubt the Serbs disrupted the Eurovision prequel because they really disliked the song that much - people voted for it, after all - and I doubt the Montenegrins voted for independence because the Serbs stopped their band from going to Athens. Both events simply reflect the fact that they just don't get on.

5/23/2006 10:55:00 pm  

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