This concludes tonight’s 2013 Eurovision Song contest live blog. Goodnight Europe
11:50- there it is folks, this years winner- Denmark!
11:10- ‘SHE GONNA EAT ME IN MY SLEEP’- Screams BHT as Lena gives the points with perky jumpy aplomb
10:55- It’s not the winning r beating the UK that counts, it’s the shirtless men.
10:50- Azerbaijan looks like the Predator Alien.
10:45- GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT MY ASS. 800 YEARS.
10:42 Sweden’s judge looks like a character from Final Fantasy. Ireland got two points, ripple of ‘wooos’ spread through the room.
10:40 BHT is hugging her wine bottle, sobbing and singing along to winner takes it all
LIVEBLOG SUSPENDED because how on earth could you top that.
10:25- ‘Is this really funny or do I just really like Sweden?’ ‘You just really like Sweden. And you’re drunk.’ (Then the titties happened) SKIRT RIPPING
10:10- Maybe this is the wine talking, but BHT predicts A MILLION POINTS for Dreamboat Dolan tonight. Interval act is a medly by last year’s winner, wearing a dress that has crashed into a seagull on the way to the Arena. Sex Kitteh likes her hair, but is uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of ‘We got the power’ alongside white flag and military jumpsuits.
10:05- Georgia are really fuckin’ boring so instead we’re waiting for DREAMBOAT DOLAN to wrap up the show, and seeing what kind of riverdance knock off Sweden have planned for the interval
9:55- ‘FUCKIN’ DUBSTEP!’ BHT declares, spilling half her wine drunkenly as Danaerys Stormborn takes the stage for Norway.
9:50- Team BHT now wondering what happened to make Lena so fucking weird the year after she won Eurovision as Italy takes the stage. Fun fact- Italy were never regular attendants at Eurovision until recently, where they’ve performed… dreadfully. Italian singer having a bit of a wobble during his song.
9:40- The most homoerotic song of the night from Azerbaijan. Greece next with ‘Alcohol is Free (but trousers are expensive)’. Any song with a bazooki solo is fine by me. Sex Kitteh wants to vote for Greece, so Germany will have to pay for the party next year.
9:35- Denmark is tonight’s favorite to win doing a Sandie Shaw and singing barefoot. Sex Kitteh and bearded Avenger have named her Hermione Granger. ‘If there’s nothing but teardrops between you I’m sure you could sort it out with some vigorous sex.’ Thor representing Iceland now, which seems like unfair advantage to BHT. Then again, only other skilled singer from Iceland=Bjork, who is probably an Alien.
9:25- BHT’s brother would like it to be known he wants Hungary to do well because he did three weeks of chef training in Budapest.
9:20- ‘Thats just what Bonnie Tyler SOUNDS like!’ BHT snaps defensively to Sex Kitteh and Bearded Avenger.
9:15- Romania, otherwise known as the best fucking song of the entire fucking decade. BHT is excited, BHT sex kitteh is intrigued and BHT Beard Avenger asks ‘Is that the bad guy from Tekken?’ We will hear no bad words spoken about counter tenors. Second Dubstep breakdown of the evening.
9:05- Jesus up there currently. Armenia is so boring we muted them so we could listen to 2011’s winner, Lena. First glasses of wine cracked out. the Nethelands up next, dark horse entrants into the contest from last week. BHT hopes Adele is listening.
8:55- Eupoooooooooori- Whoops, sorry. We meant Gloooooorious. Germany standing atop the bare staircase of Austerity. Pretty symbolic.
8:55- Malta, home of Malteasers on stage now. Poor guy sounds like Bruno Mars with kidney stones. Worst instrument miming of the night goes jointly to the Acoustic Bass and ukulele mimers. Maltese Bruno Mars, following girls is not cool. Russian entry singer needs to reconsider the position of her parting as she continues the scourge of maxi dresses. Cascada up next for germany, prepare to relive MTV in 2006
8:40- Estonia has broken the Eurovision by switching off the colour. BHT sex Kitteh is dissapointed with the lack of skirt ripping so far. Maxi dresses and beach coverups dominate tonight’s wardrobe. Enough dry ice to smother the first five rows. Giant disco ball from which emerges slutty Taylor Swift singing for Belarus wearing a Gina G style sparkly dress.
8:30- Spain off key and boring. Awkward instrument miming all up in here. BHT co-host ‘sex kitteh’ asks ‘What are the chances some of Spain’s dress coming off?’ Wishful thinking, BHT SK. Are bagpipes native to Spain? Belgian performer is only 18 but still has the eyes of a serial killer (BHT Sex Kitteh thinks he’s sexy.) (no she doesn’t). BHT SK- That’s ‘the is it thrush?’ dance from the Belgians. FIRST DUBSTEP BREAKDOWN OF THE NIGHT
8:25- ‘Oh wait! There it goes!’ Skirt is growing. Resembling a volcano. As Finland takes the stage, Feminists everywhere gird their loins for the problematic lyrics. WIND MACHINE VEILS
8:20 First superfluous dancers of the night from Moldova AND a bloke miming the piano. BHT party currently arguing about Molodovan performers skirt. ‘Is it growing bigger? No thats just the lights on it’
8:20- Everyone in Lithuanian entry singing off key. Strobe lighting giving BHT and co-hosts a small seizure. Verdict- this really sucks.
8:15- BHT waiting patiently for the ABBA reunion interval show. Assuming Benny and Bjorn are backstage trying to squeeze into their stretched out jumpsuits. France first, a rather jazzy entry of the style which has left them bottom of the table in recent years. Entry looks like Ke$ha and Country Love crashed in midair.
8:10- Out Ireland comes in dead last. BHT hopes this is not an omen of things to come…..
8:00- Fuckin’ neon butterflies invading Malmo via the sea. If BHT was the olympic opening ceremony BHT would sue….
7:55- Fever pitch! Here’s our spotting guide and an awkward photo of Dana
1-Skirt ripping (or someone emerges from someone else’s skirt)
2-awkward attempts at humour from the host
4-completely superfluous dancers
5-Obviously mimed instruments
6- Graham Norton says something bitchy
7- Marty Whelan tries to sound like Terry Wogan and fails.
7:45- dreamboat junction in fifteen minutes
7:30- Prep underway. Hair blowdried and backcombed, leather pants applied. Wine uncorked.
11:30AM – Bank Holiday Tuesday will be liveblogging and tweeting the 58th Eurovision Grand Prix tonight from 8PM. Follow on twitter @Keofunkel and @BankHolidayTues for the proceedings which are sure to include alcohol, camp and shrieks of joy at the sight of the return of those leather pants to Irish eurovision hopes.
Niamh ‘BHT is back in business baby’ Keoghan
Lately, on my wanders through this world, I’ve encountered a strange phenomenon in Ireland and the discussion around feminism. This is when I throw up one of my feminist cards- like talking about rape culture, or casual misogyny, or consent- I’m usually rebuffed with ‘well what about the MEN? Men get oppressed by sexism TOO, you know?’ And this makes me sad. Because most of the people who say this are very cool, groovy, right on people who are concerned with justice and fairness. We’re on the same page, guys. We shouldn’t be fighting! But most alarming to me in the ‘mens rights’ camp is one John Waters, who has been on my radar for a long time. Oh Mister Waters. I used to read you column in the Irish Daily Mail back when I was a baby writer. You taught me more about writing than anyone else- I just didn’t do whatever you did. Lately he’s got a gig trotting onto various radio shows and wailing against feminism and women’s rights as infringing on the rights of men.
Now, Mister Waters is absolutely, 100% right in saying that men are oppressed. Try getting married to your male partner or adopting a child to raise together or indeed, even try walking around town at night holding hands. You’re pretty certain to get a shit storm of abuse. Also rather oppressed is the Trans man, who some feminists have said very mean things about and who a lot of people will still be really resistant to accepting. Oh, if you’re a working class man or a man with a mental illness, you’re likely to get shit too. If you’re a man from the travelling community you’re probably getting a fair bit of ‘we have the right to refuse admission’ off bouncers and dying about 10 years earlier than your settled peers. So yes, men are oppressed.
But the men that are decidedly NOT oppressed are ones like John Waters and David Quinn. Middle class, comfortably employed, conservative, catholic broadsheet columnists are doing pretty okay in this country. You’re not being oppressed on the basis of your religion or your gender. If you’ve been interned without trial for simply being a catholic well then you’re totally being oppressed, but somebody talking about the massive industrial scale slavery that religious orders ran or the institutional rape that was covered and perpetrated by the Catholic church isn’t. If I have to as a feminist deal with the stupid shit Caitlin Moran has said on twitter then you guys have to deal with the criticism of your religion’s hierarchy.
I should probably point out here that I have heaps of what is now fashionably called ‘privilege’. I’m white, straight, comfortably supported financially by my parents and studying at university. I get misogynistic comments and sexist bullshit but it’s usually of a sort that doesn’t ruin my life or severely impede my liberty. I get a little bit more bother for being outspokenly atheist and left wing than I do about being a woman, generally.
That being said, I do get some strange comments. When I’m told to cover up and not get drunk in order to avoid getting raped- guys, why doesn’t this attitude to rape bother you more? I give out about rape culture and a lot of guys take offence to the idea that women are always victims and men are always the rapists. But this ‘look after yourself and avoid dressing a certain way’ is so insulting. It basically says the men can’t control themselves- that if given the slightest chance, they would rape a woman for showing skin or being vulnerable. It reduces men to animals unable of control or restraint or respect for bodily autonomy. I think about the men I know- the kindest and most polite gentlemen you’d ever meet- and I know that’s wrong.
But yknow, women do get oppressed and in Ireland, we were fucking chronic for it. In my lifetime, there were Magdalene women imprisoned in laundries. Women had to sneak over the border to get contraception and sneak it back. The original premises of the Irish family planning association had a back exit just in case they were raided. Information about abortion- not even the procedure itself but information about it- was banned from distribution. Women weren’t even trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies with all the relevant information and options. Symphesiotomies happened until 1986. In the same year a fifteen year old girl gave birth and died in a grotto in Longford. People see Nell McCafferty on telly and roll their eyes. I get hounded for expressing the apparently radical opinion that I should have a voice.
Really what John Waters and David Quinn are afraid of isn’t being oppressed. They’re afraid of losing the position of power and privilege that the Irish catholic male has held since 1922. They don’t like women speaking out because they then lose the ‘right’ to speak for them, act for them and make decisions for them. They wail oppression when the old taboos are broken- when we criticize the church openly and bitterly, as it should be criticized as an institution. You can’t claim to speak for ALMIGHTY GOD and ask us to lay off when your massive rape ring is uncovered. That’s insulting to your members, your followers and insulting to everyone else.
Women don’t always just get oppressed for being ‘the women.’ Often it’s influenced by race, by ethnic background, by social or economic status. One of the challenges of feminism now is how we collate all these different little bullshit things and kick them down. But whatever the complications and challenges of the movement, You simply can’t ask women to get back in the box. It’s arrogant. Please stop politely and reasonably asking to be treated as something more than a baby and cake dispenser, because you’re oppressing John Waters. Stop politely and reasonably asking for reform so that childcare and custody are equally shared between parents. Stop politely and reasonably asking for equal marriage and gay rights. Stop politely and reasonably asking to change things, because it’s making John Waters feel challenged. Yeah.
I’ll get right on that.
Niamh ‘crushing you with the boot of my polite requests for fairness’ Keoghan
Let me marshal my thoughts as best I can; I’ve just finished watching the Late Late Show debate on marriage equality, which I experienced first via the so called ‘river of bile’ on Twitter- a surprisingly moderate, inoffensive river all things considered although I do think calling Wendy a cunt and telling her to stick things up her fanny was unhelpful and immature- on the whole, twitter was being it’s usual twittery self. I think it says an awful lot of David Quinn blacklist of bile-y tweets mostly consisted of balanced, moderate comments and a kind of eye rolling disdain for the usual weak arguments against marriage equality. A few things did strike me about the debate hat I think I, as something of a feminist and general know it all, ought to clear up.
1. The ‘gender equality’ point
Both Darren and Wendy set forth this point; that in every other area of society be it in politics or business, we’re always striving for an equal number of men and women representing on boards and in government. The argument seemed to be that in these areas, there was a recognition that you needed both men and women for there to be fairness and equality, so why is it different when children are being raised? It was said that this notion of gender equality recognizes that men and women have different skills and approaches that are both valuable.
The thing is, that’s not what gender equality really stands for, or at least my conception of it. The idea is, quite radically, that gender doesn’t actually matter in these cases- that men and women can both do the same job equally well without difficulty. The problem emerges when there’s such a massive disparity in the gender balance of a company board or parliament- because if gender really, honestly wasn’t the issue, we’d have a 50/50 balance of men Vs Women. The whole basis of this is that like race, gender doesn’t actually tell you anything about the person. Women can be just as aggressive, stoic or tough as men, and men can be just as passive, emotional or sensitive as women. There’s nothing wrong with being whatever- people are simply people, their gender can inform their identity but it doesn’t define them.
2. Biological mammies and daddies are best
The first thing that strikes me about this entire argument is how insulting it is. To reduce the love I have for my parents- who have cared for me, protected me and given me a stable home for 20 years, loved me no matter what my difficulties have been- to reduce a relationship so complex and fulfilling to biology is woefully simplistic. I have a mother and father, but to reduce their roles in my life to simple cardboard cutouts of ”MAM’ and ‘DAD’ fitting into this narrow gender binary is ridiculous.
When I was a child, my father worked nights and my mother worked during the day in town. At the time I was sure that she basically owned a company and so was very happy mammy went to work in the day. Because my dad worked nights, I spent most of my day with him- we’d get up and watch sesame street, then we’d go in the buggy to town, or to the park, or to any number of places. My dad changed my nappy everywhere because there were no changing facilities outside of the ladies toilets in an era before parenting rooms, so he improvised, most famously on the grave of an archbishop.
My Dad is very stoic. He’s not a very touchy feely guy. He’s told me he loves me exactly once in his life- on the phone, after my mum had gently informed me that my grandmother, his mother, had passed away while I was on Holiday in Galway. He’s an old fashioned, Colm Meany in the commitments sort of Dad. He doesn’t say he loves me, but he certainly shows it- everything I’ve ever needed is provided for. I’ve never gone hungry or been cold or scared. He’s worked hours of overtime to pay for my education and my school trips. He was a very hands on father when I was a kid, sharing the parenting duties with my mother. As well as my mum and dad, I was cared for by two grandmothers who without fail babysat us four days a week when dad started working in the mornings again.
My mother worked in town full time for most of my childhood. When I was a little kid, she’d ring from her office in town once during the day, and then arrive home in a big beige 90s style rain mac, usually holding an umbrella and her handbag. On the weekends, she’d cook a spaghetti bolognese on Saturday and a roast on Sunday. We’d all go on outings- my mum, dad, brothers and usually my grandparents- together as a family.
Bottom line- my parents both mucked in and got on with it. I wasn’t particularly aware of gender roles when I was a kid- if I cut my knee, I ran crying to either parent. As I got older and needed help with other problems, I gravitated towards two people- My mother, and my uncle Fran. My uncle is like me in personality, articulate and great at conversation. I don’t gravitate towards my mother because women are just naturally better at dealing with their daughter’s problems, I do it because my dad just happens to not be as easy to talk to. My brothers go to my mum with problems too, the same way if we have a wobbly desk we go to dad.
It’s not to say that they have set roles that are defined by their gender- they’re just two people primarily, who raised a family together. The really important thing that they gave us was stability- I never had any doubt that my parents were a team, and working together. It’s stability, not gender, that’s really important to a kid.
3.Marriage is only for makin’ babies
This obsession with kids being the only outcome of marriage kind of irks me. No it bloody isn’t. The primary function of marriage as a social institution? I would have imagined it had something to do with the people actually getting married and not just their potential offspring. This also discounts people unable to have children, or who just plain don’t want them. Again, reducing marriage to just being about biological reproduction is ridiculous. There’s also the question of adoption- Sometimes the sad fact is that biological parents aren’t capable of raising children alone or together, and that’s okay- kids get adopted all the time, and it doesn’t fundamentally distort them. I suppose it’s okay for them to be adopted by straight couples because then there can be a pretend biological bond, by Darren and Wendy’s logic.
To me, the biological argument is bullshit. It insults adoptees and children raised diligently and happily by step parents, grandparents and any of the other million grey areas there are in the world. The ‘protecting the children’ rhetoric also completely ignores the legal limbo that the children of gay parents now exist in, with only one official parent. It doesn’t make sense to me.
4. George Hook is kind of the man.
Has to be said because I have done mean impressions of him on many occasions and he was a total dude up on that podium.
5.They’re gonna ruin marriage for everyone
God you know, as a straight, cis female who wants to someday have children, I know exactly what will put me off marriage forever- two chicks being able to do it, amirite? I mean, what would be the actual point of getting marriage and having babies if the gays are going to come in and RUIN MY MARRIAGE? It’s just not bloody fair. An entire generation of straight women and men would be discouraged from getting legal protection and starting families because sure now EVERYONE can do it, it won’t be cool anymore. Or something. The opponents to marriage equality are never very clear about how that bit works…
The idea that my relationships are cheapened by somebody else’s just confuses me. I don’t care if gay people can marry- my ability to produce more of me doesn’t somehow make me a magical, sacred person capable of deep sorcery that my gay friends don’t have- it just makes me fertile, and I’m a lot more than that. My relationships, both romantic, platonic, meaningful and shallow, are all based on more than that.
In the end, marriage equality isn’t really just about kids, though that seems to be the way the debate is always framed. it’s also about legal protection, clarity and the reinforcement of the principle that it actually doesn’t matter what you choose to do with another consenting adult. The re appropriation of ‘gender equality’ for something that’s just reinforcing the very divisions we’re trying to remove is laughable, and David Quinn’s river of bile is probably the most rational, balanced thing ever posted to the Iona institutes website.
Niamh ‘did not get onto the rivers of bile list. devastated’ Keoghan