Posts Tagged With: empty child

The Inevitable Eurovision write-up

We open, as you knew we would, in a sepia-tinted art gallery.

Ah, Madonna. I had to slap down someone on a Facebook group this morning who compared her to Cassandra from ‘The End of the World’, largely by leaving “MOISTURISE ME!” gags on every thread I posted. When I asked him to explain himself, he said (and we paraphrase) “Well, because she’s old and she’s had so much surgery”.

I’m fairly open minded, even as I stumble on towards the inevitable midlife crisis part of my forties. But I confess I don’t find this sort of thing particularly amusing, largely because it’s symptomatic of an unpleasant type of humour: namely the idea that women of a certain age are there to be mocked if they do anything to physically defy that age. Madonna, presumably, is ripe for the pickings because she’s rich and famous and she can take it, and besides she was flat when she sang ‘Like A Prayer’. From one perspective it’s harmless fun and this is a free country and can’t you take a joke? From another, it’s sneering, condescending and judgemental and it’s an unpleasant reminder of how we treat women in these supposedly enlightened times. You pick. When I called out this behaviour I was accused of having a sense of humour bypass, so I think I’ll leave the judgement to someone else.

We might reasonably call out Madonna for not really producing a decent record since Ray of Light, with Saturday evening’s clearly rehearsed ‘Music’ singalong a cynical headline grab. That’d be a more reasonable target for a poison arrow, rather than her spandex-clad buttocks. But in many ways it was textbook Eurovision: glossy, overblown and a little bit controversial but seldom making the headlines for the right reasons. That makes her the perfect choice, because it’s not about the music, and for all our attempts to pretend that Eurovision used to be a singing competition, it never really was. Madonna also made waves on the forums, not least because her eye patch thing wasn’t the only Doctor Who reference she managed to include over the course of a nine minute set.

This was just after she lined up on a set of steps to perform ‘Like A Prayer’ with a set of cowled, possibly headless monks. Go figure.

It was the closing ‘statement’, of course, that was responsible for most of the eyebrow raising. I missed the dual flags entirely (perhaps the BBC cut away from it, or perhaps I was just looking at my phone). It was marginally less controversial than the stunt that Iceland pulled, although this isn’t the place to discuss any of that: I have my opinions and you do not get to hear them. Eurovision has always been a hotbed of whatever’s topical – political squabbles, military skirmishes and financial disrespute dressed up in a negligee of supposed togetherness and solitary brother / cisterhood…seriously, don’t get me started on France. At least I could understand the words to that one: over the course of the evening the automated subtitle generator interpreted Malta as ‘melter’, ‘multi’ and ‘Mulder’. Thank goodness Jools Holland wasn’t there.

There were highlights. Denmark (“like a Tesco advert”, to quote the thirteen-year-old) was chirpy and fun, vocalist Leonora ascending a set of steps to a giant chair with her pals, while Graham Norton noted that the “WhatsApp group will probably be deleted around midnight”. And San Marino’s entry – the delightfully retro ‘Say Na Na Na’, which supposedly took five minutes to write (well, one minute and then another four scrolling through Facebook) was both naff and brilliant, and probably would have done quite well a couple of decades ago (I thought much the same about Scooch’s grotesquely comic ‘Flying The Flag’, a 2007 entry that turned up at the party at least eleven or twelve years after its friends had all gone home to bed). And the whole thing was slick and decently compered – Eurovision presenters tend to be dreadful, but this lot weren’t bad, even if there were only four of them so they could cover the entire arena at once. (And why, in these days of twenty-first century open plan introvert’s nightmares, do they still insist on calling it a green room? It isn’t a room of any sort. It’s a roped-off VIP area a meticulously timed short walk from the stage. You can’t even duck under the tables for an illicit shag.)

Anyway: gallery of memorable moments follows. All thoughts are from yours truly unless I tell you otherwise.

1. To kick off, here’s Cyprus’ Tamta, modelling the next Rani outfit.

2. Meanwhile, as Middle Earth burns around her, Albania’s Jonida Maliqi is despondent that she didn’t head into the West with the other Elves.

3. North Macedonia. I have this sudden urge for Quality Street.

4. “Lister, they’ve got to learn.”

5. Serbia? It’s Mike. He wants his tubular bells back.

6. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Elton John.

7. So that’s what happened to Mad Max 5.

8. It was all going so well for Greece, until they brought out the Prisoner balloon.

9. SLOVENIAN STARING CONTEST! GO!

10. Workprint footage from those promo videos.

11. “NARNIA IS MINE!”

12. It’s the Wiggles! It’s the bloody Wiggles!

13. And finally, the inspiration for Spain’s set design proves fairly obvious.

Same time next year? I’ll bring the Prosecco.

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Things to do on a Monday evening

You can see where we were going with this.

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“Save me a costume. I love a knees up”

Subversive things to do at a Doctor Who-themed birthday party:

1. Give every new arrival a gas mask and when there are four or five, have them all wait in silence in the lounge. Now every time the doorbell rings, you usher the next guest into the hall and have everyone groan “Muuuuuummmmyyyyyyy…….”

2. Go as the Master, then shave your beard off halfway through, before re-emerging from the bathroom announcing you’ve regenerated.

3. Serve actual fish fingers with a custard dip. Right before home time.

 I have been vetoed from item three. Item one would have been the most fun, but gas masks are extremely hard to come by unless you have the cash, or access to a community theatre group who’ve just put doneOh! What a Lovely War. Item two is, of course, my choice completely, but even after scouring all the charity shops in town I can’t find a black turtle neck that’s going for less than thirteen quid – and given that I’m never going to wear the thing again, it seems like a bit of a waste. I love Josh dearly, but even I have my limits.

We will have to make do with this. Less daring, but it should keep them quiet.

And so on. Said images – four of which are included below – will be stuck around the house.

You get the idea. The numbers, by the way, are – well, you’ll figure it out. Really they’re just there to make sure the kids actually play the game properly, rather than just spending the first two minutes working out that the answer is ‘Sonic Screwdriver’. You have to fill up the time…

(We’re also going to play Musical Weeping Angels, which is like Musical Statues, except – well, you’ll figure it out. I promise photos.)

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Celebrity Undeathmatch

Responses needed for this one, folks.  Joshua would like to know who would win in a fight between a Weeping Angel – yes, them again – and the mother-obsessed Empty Child.

I have my suspicions. They involve the Empty Child getting spirited away by the Angel, who has touched him. But the Angel would then presumably contract the virus in the process, and wind up as a quantum-locked gas mask-wearing zombie angel. So ‘stalemate’ was my first impression.

On the other hand, the Empty Child gives no impression of either looking nor looking away, so would the Angel dare to move in on him? Come to think of it, does the Empty Child actually see anything at all, given that he’s technically deceased? Either way, I’m stuck. And I therefore need your help. Please comment. Otherwise I’ll look like one of these idiots with a blog that people follow but nobody actually reads. Which may be the case, but let’s not give the game away…

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