Friday, May 13, 2011
We're about to embark on a series of holidays, so it may be a while till I get the time to properly blog. Until then I'd like to touch on two cultural phenomenon that are ramping up to a head (and express some annoyance at the Blogger issues this week).
The Queen's visit to Ireland
The first royal visit to the island since 1911... coming on the anniversary of the Dublin and Monahan bombings... will be paying a visit to Croke Park (of the Bloody Sunday)... And even though I am at heart a Monarchist (like all good Canadians), I am rather disenchanted by the Queen's visit.
1. To start off with, I have yet to hear ANYONE express a positive sentiment about the royal family. Even the wedding was greeted by a rather blasé attitude.
2. Ireland is already in trouble for calling the Queen "Your Royal Highness" in radio adverts. Apparently the Queen is only refereed to as "Your Majesty", "Your Royal Highness" is only used in reference to the rest of the family.
3. Last years bomb scares were practically non-existent. This year has seen the number steadily rise, including quite a few in Dublin this week (1, 2, 3, 4).
Clearly, most people don't really care if the Queen comes (Obama is an entirely different story), and some people REALLY don't want the Queen to come. So why does she have to come? She's here for 3 days, and will be on a "Royal tour" and will be seeing a crazy amount of sites in Ireland. The place is going to be a zoo of security and potential terrorism threats. Quelle drag.
How to explain Eurovision to an outsider... like you, last year I would have been chagrined by the over-the-top gaudiness to the whole thing. I would have made fun of the incredibly lame "pop-trash" songs and the cheesy comments from the presenters. I was a definite dis-believer in the cultural phenomenon. This year, due to peer pressure at Brad's office (yes, even the mathematicians seem to follow it) we have tuned in. And boy do I LOVE IT. Give me more cheesy Euro-flash with spangles and text-type voting because it is not just entertainment, it is the popcorn and beer too!!
I'm sure you can watch all of this Euro-loviness on Youtube. The finals are on Saturday, and we have only watched one set of the semi-finals so far. But I liked Denmark, and Ukraine (not for the Music but the art). Brad liked Moldova and Estonia. And I'll include Russia for the relations... and Belarus for the controversy (seriously, who would vote for a song called I love Belarus... from the only dictatorship left in Europe). Note: I am not willing to discuss Jedward... other than to say, they seem to be quite popular in Ireland... a fact that probably officially means that I am no longer "cool".