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Some lives may be a bit TOO perfect. Germany’s 2017 Eurovision Entry.

May 11, 2017

germany

I can’t shake the feeling that she may have been working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. When I met her.  Maybe it’s something about that bleached hair, and the impression of overpowering Daenerys Targaryen whiteness.

I can’t get excited by the Levina and her “Perfect Life”, or indeed by the idea of anyone living a “perfect life”.  The only lives that can possibly be perfect are either very dull or very brief.

It’s also hard to get too fascinated by someone who in interview cites her “long legs” as one of her three most interesting characteristics.

The lyrics elicit a state of confusion regarding perfection and imperfection…

I come alive Inside the light of the unexpected Maybe I thrive Outside the comfort zone What is a prize without a fight Yeah I got addicted To what I thought I wanted And all along I’ve been walking asleep Dreaming awake Finding I bend but I don’t break Almost a sinner Nearly a saint Finding with every breath I take I’m not afraid Of making mistakes Sometimes it’s wrong before it’s right That’s what you call a perfect life Gathering thorns from the stems of a thousand roses Weathering storms on the long way home I look for the sweet in every bitter moment tasted In every last mistake I see the other side I’ve been walking asleep Dreaming awake Finding I bend but I don’t break Almost a sinner Nearly a saint Finding with every breath I take I’m not afraid Of making mistakes Sometimes it’s wrong before it’s right That’s what you call a perfect That’s what you call a perfect That’s what you call a perfect life I’ve been walking asleep Dreaming awake Finding I bend but I don’t break Almost a sinner Nearly a saint Finding with every breath I take I’m not afraid Of making mistakes Sometimes it’s wrong before it’s right That’s what you call a perfect That’s what you call a perfect That’s what you call a perfect life.

There are songs that I care enough about to lineate their lyrics properly and songs that I don’t.   Reproducing these lyrics lazily as a prose poem accentuates their confusion I think.  She seems to be trying to say that imperfection IS in fact perfection.

I suppose there’s a Leibnizian natural theology – argument from design – that might justify this tendentious point.  Think of Pope’s Essay On Man with its breezy, offensive, and perfectly cadenced assertions that all partial evils are part of a universal scheme.  I share Samuel Johnson’s extreme distaste for this kind of thinking.  I think she’s theologically in trouble as well.   Nobody is “almost a sinner”.  Either you’re a sinner or you’re not.  And everybody is.  At least, everybody that I’ve ever met.

Here’s the video which is clean and pristine, and just a bit too perfect:

The video shows no thorns and no struggle and no sin – only bright lights and geometry. Imperfection is not so much integrated as erased by this performance, preserved rhetorically but abolished experientially.

I haven’t lived a perfect life and I don’t see any life of complete perfection beckoning to me over any horizon.  It is possible that this sort of proximate perfectibility seems within reach of rather more people across Europe than I think, and these people who think a perfect life is realisable will all vote for this song.

Or maybe everybody who thinks Essay on Man is Alexander Pope’s best poem will vote for it.

If I’m pondering theodicies with Levina, I find myself pondering something very different during the Spanish entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/do-what-exactly-for-your-lover-spains-2017-eurovision-entry/

Still, Spain is a better bet than the UK – unless Lucie Jones decides she actually WANTS to win and makes the obvious decision to sing in Welsh:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/borrow-a-giant-dragon-flag-from-the-manic-street-preachers-and-sing-in-welsh-its-lucie-jones-only-conceivable-hope-the-uks-2017-eurovision-entry/

Israel, like, Spain, is to be found at the beach:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/facing-westward-israels-2017-eurovision-entry/

Meanwhile, there’s Estonia.  Which enrages me:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/i-am-professionally-obligated-to-hate-this-song-estonias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Lithuania’s entry  is flashy… that’s all I can say:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/not-quite-as-good-as-i-sort-of-want-it-to-be-lithuanias-2017-eurovision-entry/

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/the-freshest-face-of-all-bulgarias-2017-eurovision-entry/

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/id-feel-a-lot-happier-about-this-jolly-video-if-i-wasnt-afraid-that-it-was-filmed-at-gunpoint-the-belarus-2017-eurovision-entry/

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/who-do-you-think-you-kidding-mr-nietzsche-if-you-think-apollos-doneswitzerlands-2017-eurovision-entry/

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/whenever-im-told-i-have-to-jump-up-and-seize-the-day-i-want-to-go-back-to-bed-and-do-absolutely-nothing-for-at-least-a-week-norways-2017-eurovision-entry/

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/a-neat-trick-if-you-can-do-it-croatias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/im-wondering-how-many-nightclubs-there-are-in-san-marino-and-thinking-maybe-just-one-san-marinos-2017-eurovision-entry/

For youthful angst – Ireland:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/too-much-pain-irelands-2017-eurovision-entry/

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/some-eurovision-songs-you-really-struggle-to-say-anything-interesting-about-denmarks-2017-eurovision-entry/

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/i-just-wish-this-song-was-the-product-of-a-nation-with-a-slightly-less-horrible-government-hungarys-2017-eurovision-entry/

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/the-three-sisters-go-to-kiev-rather-than-moscow-the-netherlands-2017-eurovision-entry/

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/this-one-has-the-drunk-vote-in-its-pocket-and-thats-a-critical-demographic-romanias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/drowning-by-numbers-maltas-2017-eurovision-entry/

So you might prefer Macedonia:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/is-she-alone-or-isnt-she-macedonias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/he-doesnt-actually-run-all-that-much-austrias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/forget-phil-collins-tijana-bogicevic-is-in-too-deep-serbias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/no-theyre-not-a-boy-band-its-just-robin-swedens-2017-eurovision-entry/

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/omars-on-his-way-with-costume-changes-and-interpretative-dance-slovenias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/marlene-dietrich-is-alive-well-young-bearded-and-living-in-portugal-salvador-sobrals-2017-eurovision-entry/

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/am-i-supposed-to-take-you-seryiously-just-because-youre-naked-pompous-nudity-and-polands-2017-eurovision-video/

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/do-not-attempt-to-dance-within-a-five-foot-radius-of-this-man-as-the-knot-at-the-end-of-his-pigtail-will-take-your-eye-out-montenegros-eurovision-entry-2017/

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/chisinau-thats-what-i-call-music-moldovas-2017-eurovision-entry/

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/anyone-else-miss-early-90s-trance-music-meet-latvias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/bring-your-dottir-to-the-slottir-icelands-2017-eurovision-entry/

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/big-dress-big-voice-big-chance-greeces-2017-eurovision-entry/

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/she-knows-where-the-bodies-are-buried-finlands-2017-eurovision-entry/

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/hovig-loves-hovig-and-i-want-to-slap-him-cyprus-2017-eurovision-entry/

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/my-turn-probably-not-czech-republics-2017-eurovision-entry/

Belgium looks like a better bet:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/belgiums-2017-eurovision-entry-i-always-get-it-wrong-but-this-could-win-really/

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/azerbaijans-2017-eurovision-entry-keeping-you-awake-at-night-with-skeletons/

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/she-once-met-whitney-houston-apparently-armenias-2017-eurovision-entry/

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/oldyoung-isaiah-firebrace-australias-2017-eurovision-entry/

And here’s Albania…

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/albanias-2017-eurovision-entry-the-centerpiece-of-a-dystopian-german-expressionist-musical-called-fritzlanglangland/

 

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