From Everything to Hallelujah

Until a committee of television executives and politicians decides whether the extortionately expensive outfit of our «absolute star» – Anna Vissi – will go on display in a museum or will be cut up into pieces and stored in safe deposit boxes, we can only feel thankful that the «popular vote» deprived us of the top spot at the Eurovision song contest. Organizing a second contest in Athens would not only be a financial burden for state broadcaster ERT but would also consolidate the delusion that there is no better way to feed our national pride than by staging noisy but shallow events. After clinching first place at last year’s Eurovision, one would have thought we would have abandoned the belief in a conspiracy against Greece by certain dark forces wanting to deprive us of glory. But there was no shortage of complaints about the voting tactics of other countries, ostensibly guided by «political expediency» and an anti-Greek stance. Meanwhile we – the «musically guileless»- followed televised voting instructions. Ultimately, the contest was won by the Finnish «hard rockers,» who counted less on their music and lyrics than on their ostensibly subversive appearance. The essence of their «song» was their masks – the ultimate prop for pretense. Eurovision is a platform for practicing politics – not so much foreign policy (which, in Greece, is exclusively tourism) but rather domestic policy. This policy, as exercised by ERT, had an economic aspect («festivities should be fun, albeit at the cost of the taxpayer»), an ideological aspect («only Greece can throw lavish events») and an aesthetic aspect («only what is expensive and shiny is good»). Of course, a bit of levity helps us from drowning under heavier concerns, but not when imposed through TV propaganda.