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At last on PM: my EuroTrash v. Brit Election column.
Achingly kitsch and bordering on absurd, the Eurovision festival gives new meaning to television endurance both in the sense of an event whose format has changed little since the '70s, and as an extraordinarily drawn-out viewing affair that inspires spontaneous invention of drinking games. Its tawdry hosts swap tepid gags from the autocue; it has song and dance routines more revealing than maniacal interpretations of '80s music and aerobics; it always has a bunch of guys banging drums in a pointlessly dramatic spectacle; there's more sweeping camera angles and fancy lighting than your average awards ceremony or Lionel Ritchie video.

Meanwhile, following the campaign of Blair's opponent, Michael Howard, would be another group of flunkies, seemingly spontaneously-appearing to protest his policies while bearing suspiciously on-message posters. They'd make their presence felt for the television cameras, then disperse and regroup wherever Howard went, as long as he was made to look consistently unpopular. All of these troublemakers were Labour operatives — some even parodied the vampiric demeanour of Howard by dressing up as grim reapers. But the net purpose of all their dishonest tactics was not to be a political disruption or provide a sarcastic side-show to the dull familiarity of electioneering, but rather to control the tele-visual environment (and perceived reality) of the whole election; as one of the commentators in the documentary said, the election became an exercise in "organised deception".

posted by rino breebaart  # 8:12 am
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Alternatively, read about it at: The Slow Review or the long blog. Or even Nurture Health

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