After years mocking the Eurovision Song Contest, the time has arrived to take positive action on the things that I love to hate, be more constructive and spread some love and good vibes in the process. I’m not a hippie, at all, but if we’re gonna tackle the Eurovision we have to also adopt some of its gross cheesiness to be able to subvert it.
So here is my plan and invitation, to you and to the universe.
I come from Malta, an island of 400,000 girls and boys who keep building their houses until there will be no more roads and the only way to get from north to south will be by boat, which is probably for the better given the road rage and the street tragedies that keep happening, only that we might scare off all the fishies that are still alive and we might end up bumping into the million fish farms producing fat sea creatures for Japanese sushi.
So that’s the context. You can imagine that for such an overpopulated ridiculous population (people abroad never get it that being just 400,000 is already of tragic proportions when our island is just as big as the Gaza Strip – where there are 1.6 million people incarcerated by Israel … well I guess that analogy doesn’t help either but look up on google and wikipedia and they’ll explain what population density means etc… that’s not the main point of this message) there is not much happening to give amusing distraction. There is the occasional MP flaunting his secondary school mid term test results to prove that he’s got legitimacy to bring down the government; there is the occasional bishop who dyes his hair while writing his panegyrics against poor IVF babies; there is the occasional freemason judge who believes road rage against gays is an act of survival; there is the occasional construction magnate who has so many politicians in his pocket that he can tell them to fuck off, publicly, and they just smile back at him lovingly… that sort of things.
So you can also understand why the yearly Eurovision Song Festival has become for Malta the annual feast for which the world has to stand still, to listen to our song from sunny Malta (even if it’s always broadcast at night), and give them some of our love, our passion, our dance mutated by the ages and our latest values, moving on with the trends – from tolerance to exalting gays and transvestites; from innocent love to the passion of the single middle aged woman who is emancipated enough to want to fly.
It’s hard to explain when all the outside world looks at it from Terry Wogan’s inimitable lens. I love him, but for the Maltese the Eurovision song is our yearly national anthem, changing according to the latest flagship that will put us on the European stage and beyond. I’ve just learnt on a trip to Bali how much Australians love it too and that the Eurovision would be their one and only reason to want to be part of Europe.
In Malta, the Eurovision song has the sacredness of the best patriots’ national anthem, repeated on every radio station, talked about at the barber shop and at the grocer’s, hummed by the baker and willed by the banker. The progressives sing it at mass, strumming their guitars, the conservatives quip sweet little harmless prudish jokes at cocktail parties and weddings.
For a few years, I’ve hidden under the pseudonym ‘Redato’ (too complicated to explain to the non-Maltese – sorry) and written my own subverted version of the song that ends up making it to the stage of the golden stars. I had my own secret distribution network, sworn to extreme loyalty, and total secrecy, of which I declared them freed of today. They’ve been loyal comrades in this little crusade of ours to put things where they belong – a journey into the absurd taken with lots of seriousness and hash.
This involved journalists, graphic designers, internet wizards, lovers, former convicts, con artists and all the secret groupies that used the best distribution form ever – word of mouth, now extended to email, facebook, twitter, blogs and telepathy. It is thanks to them that Redato became real and the much-expected parallel song in Maltese that copied the official song but with pure Maltese words, coming straight from the heart and the guts, the kind of song you’d want to sing in the shower to lighten your mood before going to your shit job.
The kick of it was mostly that it was in Maltese, because for a while now Malta decided that having a song in English is more “accessible” to the audience out there that for some strange reason still doesn’t get the greatness of our songs, teasing us at best by placing us third, or just giving us a bloody knockout to last place or something. It’s a very cruel love affair for all the Maltese. It’s unfair.
So here’s my decision to act on all this. I have written a song for Eurovision, it’s ready, and I need to get it out. This is a global world, so I need all sorts of helpers from all sides of the world, but we will do this for my little island. Being a Maltese citizen, I will submit it as my country’s entry for the next Eurovision Song Festival. It will have to win the national contest, so I’ll need local logistical support, especially given that I’m at the moment living under blockade elsewhere. We’ll need the obvious: a band that is formed for the occasion, a title, a real fortune teller/astrologist (preferably both) and a wizard. Pompous people are needed for the front line. Groupies welcome as long as they’re not entirely destructive.
Those selected will be sworn to total secrecy. All the public work will be agreed to by the Supreme Command Committee that I’ve set up, to which I report as Second in Command (like Subcomandante Marcos… got it??). My dog Marx is my advisor with some limited executive powers (like deciding on dog food quality, rationing, and the communist curriculum for our new recruits in consultation with me).
Those interested will forfeit any item in their possession to the Supreme Command Committee’s Treasury – this item has to be deemed and proved to be of high emotional relevance to the person submitting it, and will be held by the Treasury for until the project is over. People breaking secrecy will automatically forfeit their item forever, and will be exhibited in the future Museum of Love and Shame, that will also include all the personal items donated lovingly by our secret fans, together with their explanations and all the messages they’d love to show to the universe.
Spies will get caught by our Preventive Dark Arts Team (P-DART) within 24 hours and handed over to Julian Assange for a few sessions of total naked scrutiny in the public realm and permanent shame on Wikileaks, in line with the Secret Global Comradeship Act of 2012 signed by yours truly and organisations and individuals sworn to complete secrecy until directed otherwise.
For the sake of transparency as agreed to in the aforementioned Act, I also hereby declare that at the moment there is only one reader who is my muse, my love and my life, and that the Supreme Command Committee has agreed to my request to extend to her an invitation for lifelong membership, as governed by the Footnotes to the Rules of Memberships in the Past, Present and the Future.
If you’re still reading and somwhat still taking me seriously, you should write to me now, or miss the bus forever. email@example.com, with EUROSTARS_MALTA_PROJECT in the subject line.
Only those worthy of a reply will get one, at the right time. Those caught informing others that they’ve applied will be publicly named and shamed. By getting in touch with us you are already agreeing to these conditions.
It will be a journey into the absurd taken as seriously as fuck.
Let the mailbox receive you. We’ll fight in the trenches, but we’ll be looking at the golden blue Eurovision stars, making the rainbow look like a cliche of the mediocre.
Keep the faith.
Hasta la victoria siempre
Victory is neither God’s nor the Devil’s. It belongs to Madness