Art for rats’ sake

Well, we’re back in Blighty after an unaccustomed week away in the glorious Isles of Scilly. I won’t give a travelogue on that. But being over our baggage weight even without a computer, world news was limited to overhearing the BBC bulletins on the house radio as my wife tuned in for the weather forecast.

Even with that intermittent eavesdropping, the same pattern of relentless narrative management we have got used to was obvious. The leading item on increasing energy poverty was carefully separated from the climate alarmist story with “experts” demanding quicker transition to green energy, as if the two are not the same thing. The piece on world food shortages cited the war in Ukraine, but not the murderous Western trade sanctions on Russian and its allies’ grain and fertilizer, as the cause. Not only was the unconditional surrender of the Azov regiment huddling in tunnels in Mariupol presented as a Kiev-ordered “evacuation” of freedom fighting defenders of the city (unaccountably to Russia, and in dribs and drabs over several days), but concern over the safety of several thousand Nazis long engaged in violence was somehow kept entirely separate from the item on the conviction of one man in Britain simply for membership of a proscribed Neo-Nazi organisation.

But the big event was the Eurovision Song Contest, which made it to pub blackboards and overheard conversations in the streets of Hugh Town, and even led to our landlords emerging in fancy dress for some celebratory event (even though the Scilly Isles seems not to have qualified this year…). When I saw the first blackboard, I said to Mrs G., “What’s the betting Ukraine will win it this year?” Sure enough, a newspaper headline in a newsagent showed that Ukraine, though making its last stand for survival at home, had enough time and resources to send in an entry, and was the favourite to win. It duly did.

Even more significant, I think, is that Britain – the European country most gung-ho about cajoling supporting Ukraine with weapons and veiled promises of plastic boots on the ground, came second, having been soundly placed last in both 2021 and 2019 in obvious punishment for Brexit (2020 was cancelled because of COVID). Britain has been consistently low in the pecking order ever since the Brexit vote, and even before that, as we were regarded as the only Europeans out of step, so that our sudden success is a sure sign of our redemption through promoting the interests of the Global Military Industrial Complex.

Even before the Ukraine polarisation, though, one could easily detect that voting was along social justice lines. You could be more or less guaranteed a win by wearing a bushy black beard and a ball gown. What a far cry from when we came second 61 years ago, and you just had to be Everlies clones:

Even when a friend of a friend of mine from Cambridge wrote and played the winner in ’97 there was still some idea that the songs were being judged, not the countries, since the singer, Katrina Leskanich, and two of the other band members, were American:

Voting for the songs may still be true further down the ratings, but even so, this year NATO wannabes Sweden, Lithuania and Estonia did surprisingly well compared to previous years, as did Moldova which NATO has been bigging up as Putin’s next victim and which is pushing for European integration. Poland, which is almost as belligerent as Britain (with rather more excuse), also did well, whilst France and Germany, both of which have shown some wavering in solidarity over the war, came last among the qualifiers as if to teach them a lesson. Russia, of course, in the interest of art for art’s sake, was banned from the competition.

In short, politically-loaded voting, which has been noticeably increasing in the Eurovision Song Contest over a number of years, was this year more in evidence than anything about songs. The question is whether this is purely a culture-wars phenomenon, and that all the judges from every nation are so woke that they can be relied on to be For The Latest Thing, or whether there has been actual political pressure, particularly from a now overtly globalist and imperialist European Union.

In either case it is another small indication (small in that nobody really takes the event as anything more than a rather kitsch Oscars ceremony anyway) of how our culture has been thoroughly politicized by the globalist elites.

A more worrying thing is that, although I cannot be sure having studiously avoided the thing on the night, it’s likely that in pubs and living rooms across the land, a majority of Brits probably cheered the plucky Ukraine, of their well-programmed imaginations, for their win, even if they thought the song was awful.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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1 Response to Art for rats’ sake

  1. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Looks like this is how it was done!

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