2016 Review: Austria

After realizing that beards alone do not score points (and neither do beards paired with flaming pianos), Austria decided to forgo the beards entirely and select a female artist this year, picking Zoë and her song “Loin d’ici.” Yes, it’s in French. Yes, Austrians typically don’t send songs in French. Yes, Austrians typically don’t speak French as their first language. Yes, a French song doesn’t seem that representative of Austrian culture.  But how many Austrians speak English as their first language? And how many times since 1999 has Austria sent English-language songs? English songs don’t exactly represent Austrian culture either. And the one song that does have stereotypical dirndls is sung in part Spanish. (Sorry Julie Frost, but as a fellow American, your ranting on how badly written the lyrics were, was not cool. Would you like to dissect your winning Eurovision lyrics from 2010 like you did to the Austrian entries? No? Then cut the lyricists some slack since we all know none of these lyrics will end up on the AP English Literature test.)

“I bought new underwear, they’re blue. And I wore them just the other day” – text by Julie Frost

Rant aside, here’s the song:

Given that I just quit trying to play Legend of Zelda OOT on my phone after (FYI the emulator sucks, get a real console or you won’t get out of the Deku tree) and spent a lot of time listening to the soundtrack, the first thing the song reminds me of is some kind of video game background music either in the Mario or Zelda world. It’s kind of atmospheric and retro-ish (to the point that it feels somewhat schlager-y but not enough to call the song schlager), and the “dreaming of a paradise far from here” lyrics work with the background.  I’d be suspicious to whether the poisonous-looking mushrooms are actually edible or not though…

Also spoiler alert: She’s actually walking on a treadmill hidden under the fog.

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Ace Awareness Week continued

Okay, so it’s still asexual awareness week so I’m not putting my ace flag down yet. (Actually I just taped a flag to my laptop so it’s always out, and I realized that my grey marker has completely dried out. Aesj.)

wpid-wp-1445638616360.jpeg

So now you’ve met my laptop…

Anyways, part of the asexual umbrella includes the aromantic community (not aromatic, but aromantic, as in no romantic attraction).

These herbs are aromatic, as in they smell good. Note the lack of an “N” in the word.

Lack of romantic attraction is probably harder to imagine than lack of sexual attraction, but the easiest way to describe it would be that there are different types of love, and romantic love is just one type. The issue is that romantic love is the one type that gets shown on TV, and that’s the first kind of love that people think of when they say 3 words. It’s also the one type that aromantic (aro for short) people don’t feel.

“Vaidas you might want to put the mike down if you’re going to sneeze…”

Outside of romantic love, there’s friendship love…

familial love…

and love for your home/country

But aro ace, non-aro ace, or non-ace, can we please agree that something’s wrong with his pizza?

*Note: Even though I’m asexual, I’m not aromantic. The people at AVEN probably know how to explain things better than I do, so check them out for more information.

Gender PSA

It’s already a bad idea trying to read YouTube comment wars, especially when the wars are obviously started by some troll who wanted to see drama. It’s also really annoying going through the comments on Dana International or Conchita Wurst, and finding that over half the comments are about their genders and not about the music. So let’s go back to the basics:

Lithuania was represented this year by Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila. As far as the media’s concerned, there aren’t any issues with how the two should be referred. The person on the left is female and can be referred to as she/her/hers, while the person on the right is male and can be referred to as he/him/his. Now let’s move on to the next photo.

Dana International, the person on the left, represented Israel in 1998. She identifies as female and is referred to as she/her/hers. It doesn’t matter that she is transgender (despite this taking up 80% of the media); she is female.

Conchita Wurst, the person on the right, is the drag character of Tom Neuwirth. When the person is in character (e.g. in the photo above) as Conchita, people refer to the character as she/her/hers. When the person is out of character, people use he/him/his to refer to Tom.

Just as a PSA to everyone, if you don’t know how to refer to people, just ask. Because they know themselves better than other people or the media ever will.

 

And the winner is…Sweden!

I was going to post this yesterday, but congratulations to Sweden and Måns Zelmerlöw for winning the 60th Eurovision Song Contest with 365 points!

It’s also Sweden’s 6th win since ABBA in 1974.

Ranking:

1. Sweden- 365 points
2. Russia- 303 points
3. Italy- 292 points
4. Belgium- 217 points
5. Australia- 196 points
6. Latvia- 186 points
7. Estonia- 106 points
8. Norway- 102 points
9. Israel- 97 points
10. Serbia- 53 points
11. Georgia- 51 points
12. Azerbaijan- 49 points
13. Montenegro- 44 points
14. Slovenia- 39 points
15. Romania- 35 points
16. Armenia- 34 points (Tie Break)
17. Albania- 34 points
18. Lithuania- 30 points
19. Greece- 23 points (only 8 of which came from Cyprus)
20. Hungary- 19 points
21. Spain- 15 points
22. Cyprus- 11 points (And Greece only gave Cyprus 10 points. Death and taxes are still guaranteed, but Greece and Cyprus exchanging 12 points isn’t anymore.)

23. Poland- 10 points
24. United Kingdom- 5 points
25. France- 4 points
26. Germany- 0 points (There were points somewhere in the split voting but they disappeared)
27. Austria- 0 points

 

 

2015 Review: Austria

After returning to the contest in 2011 and getting not-so-decent scores for three years (as in: one 18th place and two DNQ’s), Austrian broadcaster ORF chose an internal selection and won. Now that Austria’s going directly to the final as a host, they decided to hold a national final again.

“We’re actually having a national final this year?”

I didn’t watch the national final “Wer Singt für Österreich”, but it looks like the same story as Sweden 2013, when the public selected Robin Stjernberg after Loreen’s 372-point victory. Nothing in the national final seemed half as awesome as the previous winner. I would have picked a more “risky” entry, “Absolutio” by Johann Sebastian Bass (reminiscent of Finland’s Opera Skaala), but the televoters and jury went for the MakeMakes and their song “I am Yours.”

This is the kind of song that my dentist would play in his office while waiting to stick a tiny pneumatic drill in my tooth. It’s to calm people down in case the anaesthetic doesn’t work 100%. Otherwise, the song would feel just right in a small coffee shop/pub stage.If the MakeMakes are intending to give that feeling with a stripped-down, music-only based performance, they’re succeeding. However, I don’t know if the song is able to fill a 15,000-person arena. They might be able to pull it off with smaller camera shots and if their relaxed feelings can pass through TV screens. At the same time, since it is so calm, the only thing keeping my attention on the screen is that their piano is on fire. Unlike Ralf Gyllenhammer’s controlled flames in Melodifestivalen a few years ago, the MakeMakes’ piano gradually catches fire to the point that the lead singer would have to stop, drop, and roll if he kept playing.

Does anyone have the local piano store’s number? I kinda need to get my piano fixed, after it went up into flames…

I have to tell you something…to fix myself

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed from everything right now. I keep waking up hours later than I used to wake up, and I constantly feel cranky and/or tired. Instead of paying attention to assignments that are due the next day, I spent the day sitting in front of my computer watching the South Park movie multiple times while nursing a bottle of Mountain Dew, eating dry ramen 2.0, and complaining that I don’t have enough tea packs to make paper cranes with (even though I could have simply stood up, left my room, and found some tea packs as well as gone to class). And then I keep thinking, “Aw, it’s only 6:30; my classes don’t start until 3 hours later. Why do I have to get up?” or “But the class moves so slowly and/or feels so pointless and/or I’ve done something similar to this in the past, so why do I have to go to class?”

So why am I posting this? I’m doing this because if I just say it in my head I’ll probably end up going to stay in my room watching the South Park movie for the nth time this week instead. If it’s written and posted I can’t take it back. So here goes: From this day forward, I will not skip class nor will I miss any assignments. I’ve had the issue with assignments for too long and it’s got to stop.

I just wish I had a bit of support like how Manuel Ortega describes in his 2003 entry. Maybe it’s super cheesy (then again, I should be going to bed soon), but it’s something I need right now: enthusiastic, supportive, and repetitive enough to get the job done.