Eurovision song contest harms Azeris

I like sports. I like songs.

However, if a big sports event, like the London Olympic games; or a big singing event, like the Eurovision song contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, gets intertwined with polluting corporations, militarism, etc., then I don’t like that.

Shirin Baji Rzayeva in the ruins of her home in Baku, photo: Mitra Nazar

Translated from Dutch daily Metro today:

Song contest a curse for Baku

Residents of song contest city in Azerbaijan driven out of their homes for music festival.

“It was like a bomb exploded.” The Azeri Shirin Baji Rzayeva (58) had some experiences in her life. Soviet tanks in the streets of Baku and later the Karabakh war with Armenia. But when two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, a bulldozer destroyed the roof of her home, she was terrified.

Her whole street is now a ruin. Everywhere there are concrete blocks, loose stones and pieces of wood. The roof of the old apartment is a gaping hole. The sun shines directly on the kitchen table inside. “I hope that visitors of the Eurovision Song Contest will also see this. Our president treats people like animals,” says Rzayeva with a distorted face.

After winning the Eurovision Song Contest, the controversial president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev rapidly increased construction. … Millions are spent on expensive hotels, marble walls and brand new office buildings with shiny windows. The world’s tallest building is under construction and currently they are finishing building the extremely elitist Crystal Hall, where the contest will take place in late May.

Last month, 280 families were driven from their apartments for a new boulevard near the Crystal Hall. Then, it was the turn of the whole Shamsi Badalbayli street where Rzayeva had lived for decades with her family.

Azerbaijan: How President’s Daughters Ended Up Owning Mega-Million Dollars Holding Company: here.

Eurovision 2012: Azerbaijan’s gays not welcome at home: here.

Portuguese workers’ song at Eurovision song contest

This is the music video of the Portuguese entry into this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

From Socialist Worker weekly in Britain:

Tue 10 May 2011

Eurovision Song Contest

Socialist Worker doesn’t usually recommend you watch this festival of cheesy Europop.

But this year may be one to change a lifetime of viewing habits with Portugal’s entry, “The Struggle is Joy” by Homens da Luta.

The two brothers at the heart of the band are children of the Portuguese revolution of 1974–5, and use its imagery and ideas in their work.

The song has become an anthem for those fighting against the austerity measures being imposed on workers.

Their presence could transform the final on Saturday if they get there—they are in Tuesday’s first semi-final.

Give them your vote to celebrate the resistance to the attacks we face across Europe.

Dutch broadcasting organization VARA in its weekly attacked Homens da Luta and their song.

Somewhat surprising, as the historical origin of the VARA is the (social democratic) labour movement.

Maybe they did not understand the lyrics, which are in Portuguese?

Or, worse, they did, and as the Dutch social democrat party has been in coalitions with Rightist parties so often lately, the VARA has moved to the right.

UPDATE: as Homens da Luta sang, the Dutch TV commentator said that this was the anthem of struggle in Portugal against European Union cutbacks policies; and that many people did like it.

A bit unexpected, as the festival is broadcast by the TROS. This broadcasting organization, contrary to the VARA, has a rather Rightist than Leftist history: it originated from a commercial offshore TV station. Yet, a TROS commentator more positive on the Portuguese song than the VARA weekly …

UPDATE: Portugal won’t be in the festival final.

The ruling elite in Portugal are planning a social counter-revolution following the general election on Sunday June 5: here. And here. And here,

The European Union is currently using Bulgaria, which has the lowest wages in all of Europe, to set standards that could become a model for all of Europe: here.

Europe: song contest won by Lordi, Styracosaur hard rock band

This music video is called LordiHard Rock Hallelujah (Finland) 2006 Eurovision Song Contest Winner.

The Eurovision song contest of tonight was won by heavy metal band Lordi from Finland, with their song “Hard rock hallelujah”.

Their web site is not working right at this moment, probably due to overload.

They look like Kiss, but with even more make-up.

One of them looks like a styracosaur dinosaur (see also here; and here).

Interesting to see different music from usually win.

Usually, the climax of the Eurovision song contest is the winners playing the winning song once more.

BBC television seemed to dislike Lordi and their unusual song so much that they finished their broadcasting of the contest prematurely.

Heavy metal fans from various European countries had campaigned on the Internet to vote for Lordi.

This is a Styracosaurus video.