So Denmark won the Eurovision Song Contest. And it was a good song, so congratulations to them. When it comes to an overall winner of Eurovision, I don’t mind who wins, pretty much. I only request that who’s picked isn’t embarrassing for the sake of the contest. No Romanian castrati, for example, or moustachioed Greeks dishing out free alcohol.
But I do have my preferences, and these were my top five on the night:
1. Anouk, “Birds” (The Netherlands, 9th, 114pts)
2. Robin Stjernberg, “You” (Sweden, 14th, 62pts)
3. Birgit, “Et uus saaks alguse” (Estonia, 20th, 19pts)
It’s that time again: Eurovision!
Every year it disappoints me, yet every year I return. And once more, the Eurovision Song Contest is upon us. For the uninitiated (though I can’t imagine there are that many people unaware of exactly what this affair entails), I have selected some of my favourite Eurovision winners from ABBA to Loreen, both of whom are Swedish, by coincidence I presume. My selection indicate two things: first, that Eurovision had a kind of musical peak between 1974 and 1982; and second, I started watching Eurovision after 1997, and in spite of the overall decline in quality, I keep doing so.
ABBA, “Waterloo” (Sweden, 1974)
Marie Myriam, “L’oiseau and l’enfant” (France, 1977)
Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta, “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” (Israel, 1978)
Johnny Logan, “What’s Another Year”(Ireland, 1980)
Nicole, “Ein Bisschen Frieden” (Germany, 1982)
Julian Assange: When Rape Doesn’t Matter
It is a sign of just how low the international left has sunk since the loss of the Soviet Union and the attacks of September 11 that they are willing to defend genocidal dictators and alleged rapists, all in the name of vapid anti-Americanism. This reactionary faction has become so farcical that it now resembles parody, as a recent comment piece in The Guardian by Mark Weisbort pointedly demonstrates.
For the sake of clarity, Julian Assange is wanted by Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Assange has refused to go to Sweden to answer these suspicions, stating that the allegations are part of a smear campaign. Indeed, Assange has gone through the British courts up to and including the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to avoid facing these serious allegations. When it became clear that he would have to leave the UK, Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London seeking political asylum, arguing that if he were to fly to Sweden, the government there would extradite him to the United States on other charges.
You might not know any of this if you read Weisbort’s article, however. After all, it does not use the words ‘rape’ or ‘sex’ once. Rather, Weisbort argues that “the Swedish government has no legitimate reason to bring him to Sweden, this by itself is a form of persecution”. Rather, it can be inferred from Weisbort’s musings that these sexual molestation and rape allegations are mere fabrication, a cover for a wider plot to organise “a second extradition to the United States, and persecution here for his activities as a journalist”.