EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
I saw my first one two years ago when I was over here job hunting. The Netherlands' entry didn't even make the final that year (I think it's restricted to about 20, although all 253 European countries, or however many it is, report their voting one by one after the audience has suffered through all 20 performances; thus, the whole debacle lasts for hours). Anyhow, the Dutch group this year decided to show off their country's prowess at foreign languages by performing a song consisting mostly of nonsense syllables--the point apparently being that we don't need language to understand each other. The Lithuanians had a clever idea: their song was called "We Are the Winners," and the lyrics were along the lines of "We are the winners/of Eurovision/vote for the winners/vote for us." The Portuguese are going with a latter-day Abba approach, not a bad move given that the original version of Abba won this thing twice. The Ukrainians went to the same formula that their countrywoman won with two years ago, viz., buxom singer wearing very little clothing. Come to think of it, that's the formula that won for Greece last year.
I can't bring myself to turn it off. It's mesmerizing in its awfulness.
Remember, we may be the country of Britney Spears, but we're also the country that gave the world jazz, blues, and rock and roll.