Friday, 17 May 2013

Sophia's Eurovision 2013 preview...


Ah wisnae gaunnae this year, but... ach weel why no?



Ah hae tae say ah've no been as excited this year as ah usually get, maist years there's nae livin wi me in the weeks runnin up, but listenin tae this year's songs ah wis mair Meh than Yeah if ye get ma drift...

Untill the semis that wis. It jist goes tae show ye how great performances can transform mediocre Eurovision songs, an efter haein ma appetite weel an truly whetted ah'm gettin masel intae quite the tizzy fer th'morn's night. So here's the deal, ah'll quickly run through them, then ye can watch me stick ma neck oot an nail it tae a mast, er...

Nothin much tae see in the first half-dozen...

France - fairly forgettable...
Lithuania - underwhelmin...
Moldova - musical run-o-the-mill, but a lovely frock an great hair, awfy arrestin...
Finland - Trash. Next...
Spain - Completely uninterestin...
Belgium - No great, an the dancers made me feel a bit no weel...
Estonia - Really auld-fashioned balled, heard it afore...

We get a bit mair uptempo, an nearer the meat...

Belarus - Gaun fer the Greek vote this year, but no the greatest Greek entry...
Malta - Nice enough, but a bit twee...
Russia - Big happy song wi a peace thing gaun oan, should dae awright...
Germany - Actually really unimaginative, an their 'big name' disnae bring big chances ah fear...
Armenia - How did this get through? Wet pants so it is...

Purple patch comin up...

Netherlands - Beautiful song, as deep as ye get in 3 minutes, hope everybody sits doon an listens...
Romania - Whit can ye say, crazy song, crazy guy. 11/10 stagin an a bit o a Lordi-dark-horse...
UK - Weel we aw love Bonnie, even if she is singin a ditchwater-dull song...
Sweden - Great uptempo tune, no a winner, but should end up near the top...
Hungary - Yin o ma fave songs, but ah dinnae think it translates tae a stage, sadly...
Denmark - The favourite, but no mine. Disnae stand repeated listenins...

Then the last section starts low but builds tae a nice climax...

Iceland - Another surprise qualifier, gey depressin tae hear an tae watch...
Azerbaijan - A pit-ye-tae-sleep song, but the choregraphy weel worth watchin...
Greece - Ach ye've got tae let the Greeks hae a wee laugh this year, it's only fair...
Ukraine - Cannae understand this bein a favourite, an the giant cairryin her oan, er, whit?
Italy - Anither quality ballad entry fae Italy, if ye like that sortae thing...
Norway - Ah think she'll win the frocks stakes, an it's a bangin, if hollow, song...
Georgia - Huge ballad cut fae the same pattern as Azerbaijan's Running Scared...
Ireland - Great placin fer a top dancer that ends things oan a high, as gay as it gets...


This year the producers decided the order, barrin a first-half/second-half draw, an ah think it shows, guid pacin an variety should help aw the songs tae stand oot. Kindae obvious tae me that the winner's gaunnae come fae the last few, maist likely Norway or Georgia, wi Italy no a kick in the erse aff it...

Ma Top Ten (pre-performance mind, that can be crucial) in the order that they sing...

Moldova
Russia
Netherlands
Romania
Sweden
Denmark
Italy
Norway
Georgia
Ireland

Clunker at the bottom - Belgium or Iceland

Special mentions tae - Netherlands, which might dae surprisinly weel, an Ireland comin up oan the ootside...

And the winner is - Georgia by a nose ower Norway...

An there ye hae it, neck firmly nailed... ah hope that disnae interfere wi ma drinkin th'morn... ;-)




Monday, 6 May 2013

Cast yer mind back...



Jist cast yer mind back fer a meenit, tae the Sixties if ye can, an mind how different life wis, fer abody. Mind coal fires, mind men at work an wummen daein messages, or spendin an entire day washin claes, mind weans gettin hammered, mind makin parritch the nicht afore, mind... weel mind yer ain life, whit wis it like fer you personally 50 year ago? How different wis it fae the life ye hae noo?

Ah'll bet, like me, it wis a different world, an no jist oan account o nae washin machines an haein tae soak yer lentils, it wis hugely different oan a political level an aw. We were at the height o the post-war British welfare state project, we were still bein reminded daily o whit we'd been through tae get that, aulder fowk had seen real sufferin baith afore an durin the war,  an how if we worked hard fer the country, through times that were hard, it wid gie us somethin that fowk really valued, it wid gie us security..

It's the mark of the enlightened society ah want tae see that offers that tae abody that bides here, basic security. An that's whit's bein whittled oot o the system since Maggie took office an steered this country taewards bein a neurotic 51st State. Every man fer hissel an deil tak the hindmaist, untrammled markets, makin money oot o money, an haein fowk in unemployment an underemployment, in poverty an ignorance, in worry an anxiety an fear, bein judged a price worth payin, so's that the same corruptin greedy interests can stack their profits withoot a care... That's no the country ah want tae bide in.

But think back again tae whit that meant fer us aw, fer a while we aw committed tae the same consensus. That pact wis broken in 79 an hasnae been fixed. We've had a generation o right-wing governments pursuin free market policies an their thirst isnae yet sated. Gied free-rein the Etonian cabal we've currently allowed tae sit in government wid turn this country upside doon wi neo-liberal outrages, think aboot it, an the best that can be said o the Westminster alternative is that Milliband probably widnae dae much but he'd slow the process, he's certainly no a socialist, an oan the sidelines there's a pale-blue Liberal rump wi twa faces an a brass neck haudin the coats...

er... ah lost ma threid there... ah wis thinkin, oh aye, ah wis jist thinkin aboot how much has changed in 50 years, it's like anither world really int'it? An whit we've got tae think aboot noo is the 2060's... we've got tae think aboot how we pit oor mark oan the future, whit sort o a country we want tae gie the 60's weans tae bide in, the yins tae come. It'll be as hugely different tae them as the 60's wis tae us, er, is tae us, er... d'ye get whit ah'm gettin at?

We cannae influence everythin, ah've nae doot there'll be mair channels oan the telly pumpin oot mair keich, fowk'll no ken a twin-tub if it came up an hit them, an aw stovies'll come in a wee sachet, but we can influence the things they write in the history books. We've  got a choice tae make atween twa futures. We can stick wi a system that's gettin dragged ever further right, where a bunch o fruitcake teapartyists can get a quarter o the vote an the Tories reaction is how far wid ye like us tae lurch? An an opposition that frankly breaks yer heart, where goeth the Labour party? ... We can stick wi that, or we can choose a different path, an we can build a new consensus, tae tak the powers that we can wi independence tae build a better nation...