Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eurovision...and the brotherhood code

The Eurovision Song Contest strikes again!

I wonder if the commenters who are not based in Europe are aware of this singing competition?
To me, and to most Brits, it's a hilarious song contest in which the best (or worst, it seems!) talent is put on display every May in the capital city of the previous year's winning country.

For most Brits, it's a waste of an evening. But I know that it is taken very seriously by most other countries in Europe. It is quite the Springtime live TV event in homes everywhere in mainland Europe.

And to be fair, it has launched the careers of many pop singers: Swedish group Abba won it in 1974 with 'Waterloo' and Celine Dion won it for Switzerland in 1988 with 'Ne partez pas sans moi' (Don't go without me).

Why do Brits have this view of this song contest?
I'll come clean. It boils down to jealousy. Pure and simple.
We haven't won it since 1997. So we might as well ridicule the whole thing.
This attitude works for us.
Whole countries have rationalisation hamsters too ;)

But seriously, the reason that Britain hardly ever gets a look-in in this competition may be totally explicable. The rules of the game are this: Every country can award 3 scores of 12, 10 and 8 points to the top 3 countries of its choice and then 7 to 1 points for the rest, in order of decreasing excellence. No country may award itself any points, of course.
At the end of voting, the country with the highest tally wins.
Simple enough.

But what annoys the Brits is the 'tactical voting' that seems to go on.
Eastern block countries are deemed the worst culprits when it comes to this. At least, in collective British eyes.

Last year, the contest was won by Azerbaijan. So this year, its capital city, Baku played host. As ever, each Eastern block countries seemed to be awarding points exclusively to one another.
Sometimes it is so blatant as to be absolutely hilarious.

Scandinavia is another culprit. Norway and Denmark always give their highest scores to Sweden and Iceland, and if they feel like it occasionally, to Finland :-) 
This year's event was won by Sweden.

Britain has no friends in Europe it seems :-(
Except perhaps Ireland, but only because they also speak English :-) So these two countries vote for each other a lot.
France never votes for Britain. Britain always returns the favour :-)
One year, Britain came away with the dreaded 'nul point' - the ultimate disgrace where no country thought that the British entry was worth even a single point.

All this makes me think of 'taking sides'. This happens a lot in the school playground.
But by the time we are adults, it seems this is one thing we don't leave behind.
In the SMP, and especially in the Manosphere, we are divided up into 'Team Man' and 'Team woman'.
All of which is vaguely amusing considering each party would like nothing better than to 'get friendly' with the other party :-)

The worse of the two culprits here!
(Sorry, gentlemen).

This whole 'brotherhood' thing and the 'bros before hos' commandment that they saddle themselves with...
Who came up with this?
The girlfriend-less omega or the honour-bound alpha? :-)

We women of course, as a rule, don't concern ourselves much with this hullabaloo.
There is no such thing as the 'sisterhood' except for a very small minority.
Mr. Alpha makes an appearance and suddenly, our best friend is relegated to the ranks of the unknown...('Jane who'?)

Just teasing...
But there is some truth to this.

A woman's greatest critic is another woman. We all know this.
In this regard, I am as guilty as the next woman if I am honest.
Women are also very good at 'building each other up' if the recipient so merits it.
Again, guilty as charged.

And what about men? From what I have noticed, men are actually very loyal to each other. But a man will also beat down his fellow man, even if it is dressed up as 'harmless' fun. Sometimes it looks quite vicious (at least to an observing woman).
But if it is not resulting in death or permanent injury, then I guess it's fine :-)

Outside of the SMP, we see this evidence of 'taking sides' all the time.

We will soon be innondated with images of the Olympics from my homecity.
The World Cup football.
Any sporting event at all.
Men and women everywhere want to kill each other over a game.

Sometimes hilarious and endearing, sometimes tragic and fatal, what is it that is so intriguing about 'taking sides'?
A man caught between wife and Mum.
A child caught between Mum and Dad.
A woman caught between boyfriend and Father.

Even if there is no detectable difference or barrier, human beings will invent one such that 'taking sides' can be executed.

Am I even within my rights to question this tendency?
Or perhaps my 'let's all be calm and give ourselves a big hug' mindset is untenable for men who are born to compete and women who are born to outshine the next woman... it that for the first time in history, men are competing against women because women started competing with men?

Did the innocence of 'taking sides' take on a sinister turn when we weren't keeping our eyes on the ball, so to speak?

So all of a sudden, we had 'Team Man' and 'Team Woman' where previously it was 'Team Human' against 'The Aliens', or 'Team Family' against 'The Government', or 'Team Workers' against 'The Union'...
And suddenly, there are people who are getting 'nul point' even though they didn't know they were being judged...

Has the SMP become the proverbial contest where we all have to sing for our dinner now?
'Dinner' being a euphemism for something else?

This song (Hold, be strong) performed by Maria Haukaas Storeng and composed by then 15-year old Mira Craig, only came 5th for Norway in 2008, in Belgrade.
Even the Brits were outraged on behalf of Norway, which was the highest ranked non Eastern-block country that year.

I like it. I thought it was better than the winning song, personally. But then I would.

I have my own version of 'taking sides' going on here.

But alas, I am not consistent in my 'taking sides'. (What's new? :-)
For when Norway won it the following year with Alexander Rybak's 'Fairytale', this failed to excite...


metak said...

hahaha... Eurovision- the gay parade 2.0 :-)

You forgot to also mention blatantly obvious voting between Balkan countries... :-) it's hilarious :-) Circus I tell you! :-)

You got one thing right when it comes to men... we are loyal. I don't know what it is but if someone helps you with something you want to return the favor...

Most people create their sense of identity by putting labels on them and identifying with them (race, nationality, religion, politics, countries, I could go on forever... :-) )

Then come the manipulators and exploit those differences for their gain... Divide et impera.

It's very easy to manipulate people when they've labels over their eyes and ears so they cannot see nor hear...

Bellita said...

I watched Eurovision for the first time this year. (Go, Jedward! Hahahaha!) It started at around 3:00 am and did not end until after 5:00 am. But I didn't know that about the scoring.

An Irish girl I know was saying that countries should not be allowed to vote for neighboring countries--but I did not understand that until you explained.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Metak,

"hahaha... Eurovision- the gay parade 2.0 :-)"

Yes, I know what you mean...
The sequins are sometimed definitely overdone in this contest - and that's just the men!

Incidentally I heard that Alexander Rybak was gay - don't know if this is true...

(I included the Balkans in my classification of 'Eastern block countries).

We do like our little labels as human beings, don't we?
What would we do without our labels?

@ Bell,

You stayed up all night to watch Eurovision? You are certainly a glutton for punishment, you!

The whole thing is rigged if you ask least for the non-Eastern Europeans!

(But that's just sour grapes from a disgruntled Brit :-)

metak said...


"What would we do without our labels?"

Something like this would happen: :-)

Morpheus: "Welcome to the real world."

Lock: "Goddamnit, Morpheus! Not everyone believes what you believe!"
Morpheus: "My beliefs do not require them to."

Neo: "Okie dokie. Free my mind."

Neo: "Hmm. Upgrades."

Link (about neo flying): "He's doing his Superman thing."

Spacetraveller said...

Lol Metak,

You should write comedies for a living...

Wait, are you actually a professional comedian?
(Wouldn't surprise me!)

metak said...


I'm still surprised that people actually vote... Eurovision, politics...
and they pay to vote (Eurovision)!!!! :-)
Like everything else that comes from "TV programs-that program your brain..." this stupid shows are only distracting you from real issues.

To quote south park. The election is always just a choice between a turd sandwich and a giant douche...

p.s. I've put together few lines from Matrix movie that sum up what I said earlier.

"Wait, are you actually a professional comedian? (Wouldn't surprise me!)"
I could be.. I'm already bitching about women and marriage... ;-)

just visiting said...

I haven't seen Eurovision, but I'd heard that there was grumbling over the host country this year.

Taking sides. Yeah, it's no longer a dance, it's a contact sport.

I suppose this is where things get "locker room". There are aspects to men and women that make the opposite sex uncomfortable. (The post on rich man poor man comes to mind) There are certain aspects we can't and shouldn't supress, but when we take those aspects to extremes, we run into problems. An example being wanting to marry a man with resources or prospects for family stability as oppossed to gold digging.

I think that this is where we rub up against problems. PUA can get extreme too. When it enters those waters, it can make women feel queasy not unlike the reaction from men toward goldigging. In fact, I would argue that the female equivallent of extreme pua is goldigging.

Bellita said...

I'm resisting the temptation to import the rest of my thoughts on golddigging to this post. ;)

Anonymous said...

You obviously have not yet grasped my "keep it shorter" when it comes to posting. *sigh*

Watching firelight ATM. Lol.

Spacetraveller said...

@ JV,

"Taking sides. Yeah, it's no longer a dance, it's a contact sport."

Agreed, JV.
And a lot of bruising ensues.
If not more serious injuries.
Occasionally it becomes necessary to take a 'time out' to recover!

@ Bell,
NC said he was going to 'shut up and eat his soup' last time he commented!
It's safe to say whatever you want to say!


Just teasing you both. I think you and NC made excellent points on the Rich man, poor man post.
If I remember correctly, I was more on your side than his (see? even here at The Sanctuary we take sides!) because you and I have similar demographics and are therefore bound to see things in a similar light.

I must say though, NC is the perfect person to flesh out these ideas with as he is a (happily) married man and can therefore be 'patient' with our idiosyncrasies. In this sense we are lucky to have him 'spar' with us. Because we won't get bruised, and yet come away with useful 'training' i.e. insight from a man's point of view.

@ Danny,

Watching 'Firelight?'
Quelle joie. Bliss.
I really love that film as you Brody watching it with you?

I am TRYING to keep it short!
You must admit, this post is somewhat shorter than most lol...

I seem to be suffering from the opposite of 'writer's block' right now, but I am sure a time will come when I have less to write...!