Saturday, the 24th. May 2015. A magical night that provided all Europeans with a supernatural power— the ability to be both the harshest and fairest music critics ever. There were some key differences in the way it affected people. Teenage girls fell in love in under three minutes and grasped for their phones, all sweaty and violent, in support of their charming princes. Teenage boys pretended not to be phased with omnipresent cleavage and thigh high-splits. Forty-somethings miraculously had the reason and the energy to stay up past one in the morning.
I am, of course, writing about the Eurovision song contest.
When the results came through, my Facebook feed was flooded with a tide of nationalistic fervor that was usually reserved only for basketball championships. Oh, did Lithuania do well in the competition?, you are surely wondering. We‘re scraping the bottom of the barrel, as usual. So why the sudden surge of patriotism?
Lithuania did not give a single point to Russia.
And former Soviet countries always bloc vote, so a deviation is an unexpected upset. You see, anti-Russian spirits are high in Lithuania due to the return of the conscript army as well as Russia’s unpredictable military actions. And what better way to voice our political frustrations than to throw a tantrum during the inherently flawed and arbitrary money burning pit that is Eurovision!
Despite Lithuania’s act of rebellion, Russia still placed second. This might mean that the geopolitical situation in Europe is not that fragile. It may well mean that most people don’t care about the political implications of the contest and were only there to judge the music. It may also mean that booing that poor girl on stage was wrong. But those opinions are just plain stupid.