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Russia’s 2015 Eurovision Entry

May 17, 2015


Polina Gagarina – “A Million White Voices”

There is a school of thought which says that sporting and cultural events should be detached from politics and should be subject only to their own internal terms of reference.

This school of thought is, of course, stupid and wrong. Attempting to divest any kind of international competition from larger political dynamics is an exercise in culpable naivety of a peculiarly arrogant nature.

Just try watching this…

This song and video “A Million White Voices”, an otherwise unremarkable bit of shouty power balladry, features a singer who is unbelievably white.  A very very pale skinned platinum blonde in a Persil White dress. Against a white background.  If she were to shut her mouth and her eyelids, she’d just be a pair of eyebrows suspended in mid air.

Around her, a bunch of white heterosexuals cavort.  Mostly children.  There are also images of pregnancy.  This is a song for white people engaged in heterosexual reproduction.  Being white.

And what’s with the number “million” anyway?  It’s the kind of number that sound big and impressive but isn’t really when you try to think proportionately.  “A Million Voices” is a kind of lazy and duplicitous way of affirming a truth value.  It’s like saying “a million people can’t be wrong” (when of course they can – millions voted for Hitler).  A million voices represents a very very small fraction of a percentage of all the voices in Europe – and quite a small percentage of all the voices in Russia.  When people make claims based on “a million voices” I fear the onset of the dark arts of political synecdoche – making a part stand for the whole.

You can vote for a nation like Russia, that has enacted a raft of homophobic legislation of the past few years – effectively defying the clear trajectory of equality legislation that most of the rest of the continent has been developing – OR – you could vote for a country which will have just (by Saturday) voted to give Equal Marriage the backing of a national plebiscite.

As a Eurovision voter, you have a right to vote for whomsoever you wish.  But you don’t have a right to “not know” the substance of the preceding paragraph.  You have no right to exist in some kind of pristine aesthetic bubble, where political implications perish for lack of oxygen.

Meanwhile – other (mostly better) songs…

Romania’s 2015 Eurovision Entry

Netherlands’ 2015 Eurovision Entry

Macedonia’s 2015 Eurovision Entry

Hungary’s 2015 Eurovision Entry

Georgia’s 2015 Eurovision Entry

Greece’s Eurovision Entry

Finland’s Eurovision Entry

Estonia’s Eurovision Entry

Denmark’s Eurovision Entry

Belgium’s Eurovision Entry

Belarus Eurovision Entry

Armenia’s Eurovision Entry

Albania’s Eurovision Entry


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