Jemini: the UK face in Europe
Save your kisses
Time to embrace Eurovision: it’s the future of anti-imperialism. Words: Tim Abrahams
t‘s that time of year again: time to remove our faculty for taste and stick it
behind the sofa. Time to get the booze out and choose a country to support
at random. Time to address those perennial questions: will Wogan be pissed'.’ Will the (ireeks dress like extras from .S'rmjeurr' again'.’ (‘an Germany finally escape the guilt of its inherited past by refraining from giving top marks to whatever pile of crap lsrael comes up with‘.’ Yes. it is time for the festival of laughing at foreigners.
Not everyone likes liurovision. of course. Bizarrely there are those who don't enjoy the idea of watching the frequently tragic modern-history of a continent expressing itself through very bad pop music. Put Abba to one side and liurovision is solely about politics. You jrrst have to witness Wogan‘s annual rant at the republics of the former Yugoslavia as they exchange the full douze points in a touching but rather misguided attempt to compensate for killing each. This year is no different. We will snigger at their production values. but the Latvians are about to join the [‘1' and the rest of liurope will be watching them. If some of them are laughing. who cares‘.’
Latvia is a country that has been shat on by pretty much every major liuropean power and it is finally finding its feet. The executive producer of Latvian TV has said that because the men and women of Latvia died either fighting for the Soviets or the Nazis. it has no heroes. Apart from a certain Ms .\'aumova. he added. who won the contest last year and brought the competition back to Latvia for the country shamelessly to promote itself during a couple of hours of prime-time TV.
‘Pity the country that has no heroes.‘ says a character in Brecht’s Gull/('0. ‘No. pity the country that needs heroes.‘ is the retort to which could well be added the qualification. ‘especially if she's a blonde girl who sings terrible songs in skimpy clothes'. Brecht‘s words. along with the excitement of the president. do not reflect the bemused attitude of the majority of Latvians. They are laughing at it too. even while they understand its importance to their national profile abroad.
A massive event is taking place in a whole swathe of eastern Europe. of which Latvia is just a part. In May next year the EL’ will have 12()-rnillion new citizens. Something big is going on and the British press is ignoring it. The UK is now divided between those who srrpport our alliance with the CS and those who wish we adopted the same stance on Iraq as the leading nations in the EU. Perhaps the latter should think about the events that are fonning this supranational organisation. If they want to create a bulwark against a US govemment bent on behaving exactly as it wishes. then we should discover what we have in common with countries such as Slovenia. Slovakia and Lithuania. Who would have thought that an evening spent laughing at tATu inexpenly snogging each other could act as the springboard to European-wide cultural understanding?
Something big is going on and the British press is ignoring it
10 THE LIST 22 May—:3 Jun 2033
1 The Matrix Reloaded
Film Quite simply the most eagerly anticipated film of the year. Keanu and co don't disappoint. See Film. page 26. General release.
2 Six Feet Under
TV Series one ended with a soothing calm descending on the tunereal Fishers. it doesn‘t last long in the show that just gets better and better. See Watch it this Fortnight. page 103. Channel 4.
Games The Wind Waker is a masterclass in wild graphics and bizarre plotting that could take you a lifetime to conquer. Why worry about Lara. when you can have Zelda? See Games. page 110. Nintendo.
Music On new album Black Cherry. Alison and her crew crank up the heat after the ultracool Felt Mountain. Come and be entranced. See feature, page 12. QMU, Glasgow.
Dance Karole Armitage, Jiri Kylian and Christopher Bruce provide the heavyweight choreography for Rambert's latest venture. See feature, page 14. Theatre Royal, Glasgow.
6 John Harris
Books When Noel and Liam were getting high, John Harris was busy chronicling the Britpop era. The Last Party is the excellent result. See Books, page 104. 4th Estate.
7 Visions for the Future V
Art Beck's Futures victor Rosalind Nashashibi is among those unveiling new film and video work. See Art, page 88. Fruitmarket, Edinburgh.
8 Felix Da Housecat
Clubs Mr Stalling Jnr brings his achingly cool electro-punk all the way from Chicago. the home of house. See Clubs page 76. Ego, Edinburgh.
9 Werckmeister Harmonies Film Hungarian miserablist Bela Tarr's remarkable movie from 2000 about a postman, a stuffed whale and ‘the Prince' gets a rare outing. See Film, page 28. CCA, Glasgow.
1 0 International Festival of the Sea
City Life Tall ships. classic boats and RN warships help celebrate all aspects of marine life. See feature, page 16. Leith Harbour, Edinburgh.