Liveblogging Eurovision – afterthoughts


First, thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read last weekend’s post, publishing my liveblog of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.

Second, another round of thanks to everyone who did so, for not making any comments about it.

As an experiment it was interesting, taking something in which I have form over several years for spontaneous cutting remarks, dry-witted put-downs and an ever-increasingly surreal series of comparisons that reduces those watching with me to hysterical laughter, and trying to reproduce it for a blog. It just didn’t work, did it?

There’s an art to liveblogging, several arts, actually, and I don’t have them. Could I improve? Certainly I need to sharpen up on the first skill required, which is typing faster. From the moment our local hosts, Anka, Stefan and Judit, came on stage, to the end of the last of the twenty-five songs, I was tapping away at full tilt, with no time to take in anything but a first impression, and no chance to test the phrasing of any thoughts, not when I had to try to make them intelligible before the next country were up and singing.

For that reason alone, I was on a hiding to nothing. The voice is far faster than the keyboard, and an audience for my remarks creates an atmosphere that encourages, and is conducive to spotting themes and running with them.

An audience that consisted of a laptop screen on which I spent more time concentrating on the Word .doc than on the antics on screen just didn’t add up.

And things were even worse in the voting section, where I’ve been used to coming up with a long series of scabrous (and often obscene) comments about the never-ending parade of poor schnooks vying to give of themselves for the biggest audience they’ll ever speak to whilst bursting with national pride about the invincible taste of downhome Pottsylvania, leader of world opinion.

Now that the attention seeking automatons are restricted to only reading out three actual votes, there just isn’t the time to construct elaborate fantasies about them and their minimal lack of nationalist differences.

So, ok, I tried but it didn’t work. Thanks for looking anyway, and I promise not to post anything in future that hasn’t had a lot more thought put into it.

If you do want the full effect that made a family of Eurovision-haters learn to love the annual Contest, we’ll have to try doing it a different way. Based on past history, you should invite me round, stick me on a comfy chair and open up the white wine. If you get in a stenographer to take everything down in shorthand, it might well work.

Who’s going to volunteer first? You’ve all got another twelve months to decide.

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