Monday, February 11, 2008

Diary of a February

“Snow Surprises Road Workers” - a title seen every year in Serbian media when out of nowhere snow falls in the middle of winter. I felt like a Serbian road worker yesterday, when out of a blue sunny sky a snowstorm descended upon New York and this morning as I checked the weather and saw the ominous “feels like -21C”. Lulled into the comfort of a warm sunny winter, I was in shock to see snow in February. Those whose warnings of the harshness of New York winter I laughed off must be happy now.

I’m reading Valjarevic’s “Diary of Another Winter” on the subway and am thoroughly enjoying myself. Apart from the fact that it made me want to write some more, the book has had therapeutic effects. I guess I am learning things. At least I am aware of my problems and willing to try to resolve them. I have to learn to be more patient and to appreciate the little things in life, to see the beauty in the ordinary. And I think I’m starting to get there.

Oh and the elections are over and I didn’t get to say anything about that. Eventually I did go and vote to give Boris another chance. And honestly, I am happier with the results than I thought I would be. Although the country is going to hell and I’m glad I’m not there, at least the end of that ghastly coalition government is in sight, and with it hopefully the end of kostunica. So that would be one big problem out of the way.

But Serbia would not be Serbia if it didn’t find something to be divided about. And I’m not talking about politics or Kosovo independence but Eurovision. It’s the time of the year when we decide who will represent Serbia in… hm, Belgrade. On YouTube there is a heated discussion, full of insults and aggression over who should sing in the Arena in May.

Surprisingly, having in mind all the additional media attention, no really big names on Beovision this year. The overall quality of the songs is lower than ever. I guess everyone is saving their better work for some more exotic location. Not as much fun when you can take a taxi to the venue and not get to stay in a fancy hotel free of charge. Some names are popping up as potential winner, so here’s my view on the three main contenders.

Ridiculously named Beauty Queens, the back-up vocals from our entry last year, have another Molitva-esque power ballad, and look like they are ready to pose for a bridal hairstyles catalogue. I think not.

The much lauded favourite, another ethno hit from the Zeljko Joksimovic, stands a good chance of winning, but I hope it won’t. Apart from the fact that I think this song is actually about Kosovo, it’s just another in a long line of songs with the same recipe. The lyrics don’t really make much sense, but you add a few archaic words, some tears, dreams and stuff, a touch of rural through the mentioning of a domesticated animal, crop or something similar, a tone of religiousness, and superimpose that on an unidentifiable world music tune from somewhere between Iran and Ireland and you’ve got a Joksimovic Eurovision hit. But, really, this is getting a little old.

My personal favorite, and the only actually decent piece in the lineup is the even more ridiculously name Zoe in Groove Land or whatever. It’s catchy, positive and fun, and I hope they win. With a touch of calypso it has a sort of Little Mermaid – Under the Sea vibe. So if we fail to join the EU, maybe we can eventually join the Caribbean Union. In the spirit of the omnipresent US election, in my neighborhood: I am Reluctant Dragon and I endorse Zoe.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Well, it's about Vidovdan, so pretty much...