The blender principle

As a typical sign of cultural globalization, the annual recycling of monotony at the Eurovision song contest reminds one of the sole principle they have to respect if they really wish to succeed: the blender principle. If we wish to stand out, we have to conform. If we wish to distinguish ourselves, we have to become one and the same, music-, language- and dance-wise (given that we accept that robotic movements are a type of dance), and merely add a touch of local color, a brushstroke of particularity – in folkloric style, of course, so as not to upset the stomach of a market that is used to easily digestible food. Hence, «weak» languages (even German and Spanish) have to succumb to English, the predominant language, and comply with market requirements. Music, for its part, has to shake off its particularities and sound as if it has been produced by one of these musical instruments which are capable of imitating the flute, the violin, the drums, or the sitar. Beyond this, it depends solely on chance whether one will excel or go down: Antique did well last year, for exactly the same reasons that Michalis Rakintzis’s «S. A. G. A. P. O.» failed to ensure Greece’s participation in next year’s event. There is no international conspiracy behind this principle of conformity and assimilation – a principle which, in any case, does not apply to music alone. Blasphemous as it may sound, the current trend of Americanization is dictated by a logic similar to the one which once dictated that we translate the Holy Scriptures into Greek; the logic of adopting a language with an international prestige. Every age has a ruler. The question is not whether some villages are still holding out, as in the time of Asterix. The question is whether their resistance is doomed to exhaust itself inside the boundaries of picturesqueness, quaint though it may be.