Eurovision 2014

Putin’s ‘Wurst’ nightmare

Conchita WurstSo, Putin’s Wurst nightmare has come true …

At the conclusion of Eurovision 2014, the fabulous Conchita Wurst was crowned as the winner.

Enter the usual suspects: the bigots, the haters and the homophobes …

Why anyone would be shocked that the campest show on Earth was won by a drag performer is beyond me. Face it, whether you like it or not, Europe has spoken on gender politics, hate and homophobia loudly, clearly and overwhelmingly … and not for the first time!

Have we already forgotten the stunning transsexual entry and winner, Dana International, in 1998, 16 years ago, or the fabulous lesbian, Marija Šerifović, who won in 2007, only 7 years ago?!

Eurovision, like most things in life, is merely a reflection of society, and LGBTI are, always have been, and always will be part of society, especially so in art, music and theatre.

Most of Europe, having lived through some of the darkest days of humanity, has clearly learned a valuable lesson about acceptance, humanity and love, and has been working hard to ensure darkness can never overcome Europe again.

Unfortunately, hate and ignorance fanned by fairy tales of the past, and power-hungry megalomaniacs are powerful enemies of light, humanity and progress. Hateful, ignorant darkness is still circling the light shining from progressive Europe like an angry, hungry beast, feeding on the fear, ignorance and insecurities of poor, sad souls like ghouls:

Russia’s Deputy PM was of course joined by the charming Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Russian MP, who chimed in on Russia 1, the main Kremlin mouthpiece:

There’s no limit to our outrage. It’s the end of Europe. It has turned wild. They don’t have men and women any more. They have ‘it’. Fifty years ago the Soviet army occupied Austria. We made a mistake in freeing Austria. We should have stayed.

But let’s not overlook the fact that Russia has given 5 points to Conchita and her single, ‘Rise Like a Phoenix‘, stormed to the top of the iTunes chart in … Russia. So, while some of Russia’s politicians are publicly frothing at the mouth, it’s clear there are many Russians who do not agree with their cruel, ignorant rhetoric. Conchita’s victory, while bringing out some hysterics, seems to have sparked a long overdue public dialogue on the current state of Russian society.

For those who are still aghast at what happened at Eurovision, I say welcome to the reality of true secular, liberal democracies, where the protection of fundamental human freedoms and rights are a given, and not subject to debate, medieval beliefs or a popularity contest. Although, in the case of the winner of Eurovision actually it was a … popularity contest in some ways with talent also playing a significant role.

Human history shows us that social evolution and progress is a natural human state, as inherent to our existence as our need to breathe. Society has never been diminished or destroyed by progress and progressive thinkers, but only by those who chose to reject progress, often on the basis of ancient, irrelevant and nonsensical arguments, and rather rip society apart than accept enlightenment.

And, if ‘respecting’ your culture means accepting bigotry, exclusion, hate, homophobia, misogyny or racism, frankly your culture has no discernible value to humanity, it deserves no respect, and needs to evolve.

As Conchita put it in her acceptance speech with utter eloquence, ‘[t]his night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable!’

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