February 2008: Dustin’s Eurovision

At last we have a Eurovision entry that we can truly be proud of. The choice of Dustin the Turkey to represent Ireland in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is an inspired one by the sophisticated Eurofarts of Ireland.

If, like me, you have really grown to detest a contest that is purely a masseur of egos for certain charlatans of the music world, then you are probably delighted that a hand puppet will be showing them all up in Belgrade next May.  Long gone are the heady days of Dana’s dancin’ and romancin’, not to mention lounge lizard Logan’s flippant attitude to facing another lovelorn year.

While the doyen of snowdrops and daffodils dabbles these days with politics and religion, and Johnny dives into a McDonald’s Eurosaver in between tours of Denmark, Dustin took a vulture-eyed look at the state of Ireland’s recent entries and decided to try and save Europe himself.  And so he came up with an amazing ditty …amazing because it actually got through the politics of the music industry to be performed in the Irish Eurovision final last weekend.

Of course, the likes of Phil Coulter, the man who brought us the talentless Bay City Rollers (ask your mother), Frank McNamara, who played piano on the Late Late Show when it was the Late Late Show and, once upon a time, fancied himself as a PD, and Shay Healy, whose only real claim to fame is writing successful Eurovision dross (i.e. winning songs) were apoplectic about the acceptance of Dustin’s “Irlande-Douze Point” into the contest in the first place.

McNamara said RTE were giving the “two fingers” to the country’s song-writers, as if Christy Moore and Paul Brady were really worried about Dustin’s parody.  Healy wondered “how any bunch of grown-ups could manage to come up with this as a solution”. By “solution” presumably he meant a solution to the problem of Ireland winning the thing so often that it’s an embarrassment to the rest of us.

Coulter decided that the whole competition had “gone down the tubes” and said we were faced with “following the trend of ensuring the hairdresser is more important that the song-writer”.  Surely, Eurovision has gone down the tubes years ago and the hairdresser was always the most important person in any act’s entourage, Philly boy? Or did you really think it was the song-writing that was important?

Naturally, Dustin was not too pleased with such stinging criticism from Ireland’s these guys that are legends-in-their-own-lunchtime. He said that he had thought of withdrawing from the contest for “nearly a full second”, adding “I am doing this for Ireland”. This turkey is a true patriot and martyr, it seems.

And the nation did not let Dustin down last Saturday night. In their droves, they proved that there are no bounds to bad taste as the modern day equivalent of a Coliseum audience gave their texting thumbs up to the turkey rather than to any of the other gladiators in that amphitheatre of eurotrash.

Emperor Ray D’Arcy had no choice but to release Dustin onto the world …well, Greater Europe at least … with Dana registering her disgust by using the “fowl” word. That other bastion of good taste, Louis Walsh sat dumbfounded, after saying that Europe will “just not get it”. Well, they will be getting it now, Louis, whether they like it or not. And maybe it’s Louis who just doesn’t get it.

With this great parody of all that the Eurovision is, Ireland is finally sending the right message to Europe. Basically, the people of old Ireland and are saying to new Europe: “Listen, we’ve won this thing so many times we don’t care…we don’t take it seriously any more and this is why we have sent a turkey to represent us this year, to take the piss out of the farce that Eurovision has become. As well as that, we know that you guys, you Croatians, Bosnians, Slovenians, Macedonians, Serbians, Montenegrins all vote for each other, or don’t, as the case may be, so there’s no point in entering a real song and  expecting to win”.

Do you remember the good old days, when the only controversy was whether Great Britain would vote for us or whether Germany would vote for France? Nowadays, you can’t keep track of how many countries even enter this thing, not to mind who they vote for. I’d swear that one year I heard an entry from Kosovo, even before it was a country but maybe I was wrong.

And two years ago, I had a nightmare that some dressed-up monsters from Finland actually won the competition.  Wheeling out a turkey in a shopping trolley, to sing off-key in a contest full of turkeys is not as mad as it sounds when you dream such things.

Some people feel that having Dustin represent Ireland will present a poor image of the country to Europeans.  These people should visit Temple Bar on a Saturday night, when all the puking drunks pour onto the streets at closing time. Now that’s the real image of Ireland that we’d like Europeans to see, isn’t it?

That and the old one of the leprechaun, with his green coat, false promises and false Irish brogue. At least, with Dustin, you get the real thing, with no strings attached albeit if he has an arm up his oxter.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t fall foul of the strict “Bird Flu” regulations between now and May, when we will be able to laugh at Europe as they laugh at us. We’re quite good at that.





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