I realise this is a bit late coming (I've been busy, ok?) and much as I hate to say I told you so, (but I did) the tragedy for Irish musical aspirations that was Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest went entirely as predicted. Only a handful of stray Albanian votes saved the nation from the ultimate humiliation of a dreaded 'nul pwonts' result.
In a fit of whatever is the opposite of hubris, John 'I'm the Daddy' Waters tried to offer a sociological explanation for the simultaneous Irish implosion and the success of Serbia.
The central questions gravitate around the cultural implications of the still relatively recent collapse of the Berlin Wall. The taste gap between East and West can be addressed in one of only two ways: radical introversion or a more enthusiastic opening up to the new. I prefer the latter. They can't stop the spring. We can't stop the spring. Who could possibly want to stop the spring?Well everyone in Europe except the Albanians it would seem. I can think of rather less binary ways of addressing the East-West 'taste gap' and John you're welcome to join me to broaden your analysis down the Czech Inn any night of the week.
In the meantime, Johnny boy, I'll stay out of journalism if you leave sociology to us pros. The only possible implication of the fall of the Berlin wall is that these guys can now enter the competition. The fact that it kept out the kitsch retro-lounge bar sounds of the former Eastern bloc was one of the few good things to be said for old-style Soviet Communism, if you ask me.
Both Terry Wogan on the night (yes, I did watch the voting section of the show) and the Irish Times suggested that the result which left Ireland last and England second last was the product of dodgy bloc voting deals done by the Balkan states. But I think the vote rigging at fault, at least in the case of Ireland was part of a darker design hatched by the denizens of Donnybrook as a means of avoiding the poisoned chalice of another Irish victory. A cunning scheme known to fans of Father Ted as the 'My Lovely Horse Stratagem'
The RTE boys don't like winning the old Eurovision at at all. It costs too much and they'd much rather spend the money on suits, tanning sessions and personal trainers for Ryan and Pat. So since the spate of wins in the 80s and 90s they have adopted an approach to the competition which uses all the guile and cunning with which only a UCD education can equip one.
It starts with the short listing of the songs from which the gullible Irish public has to choose and continues right up to voting on the night. A new refinement was added this year though. When Linda with the lovely tan (although I'm not sure ochre is her colour) announced the Irish votes, the poll actually thrust us into last place by giving votes to Lithuania and the UK. This was not, as the old lady of D'Olier Street suggested, a result of enthusiastic polling by our Eastern European immigrant communities.
Quite the contrary, it was all part of Operation My Lovely Horse 2007. Phoney results submitted to ensure that Dervish would crash and burn and demoralise the nation so severely that we won't care ever again about the old boom-banga-bang fest. Next year's choices will make John Waters and the whirling Dervish's effort seem cutting edge by comparison and My Lovely Horse more than some Norwegian elevator music.
Anyway so, for those of you who've forgotten or those who never saw it in the 1st place, I give you the best Eurovision entry Ireland never had.
A serendipitous postcript : Coming back from Dublin airport late on Monday night I had the remarkable good fortune to be driven home by an Albanian taxi-man whose surname was, I kid you not, Dervish. Oh how we laughed about that one, he and I, until he chucked me out of the cab for taking the piss out of his name.