Just Above Sunset
May 29, 2005 - Greece is the Word

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After posting last week’s edition of Just Above Sunset your editor left town - off to Carlsbad down by San Diego for a birthday party – Tiffany turned eight.

And it was too hot to think about politics and the culture and to muck about with attempts at “deep thoughts.”  At nine in the morning here in Hollywood it was in the eighties - and getting hotter by the minute.  The air was still and the sun oppressive.  Given the microclimates here it was heading toward the low eighties at the beaches, probably ninety or more here and downtown, and over one hundred in the valleys. Out in the desert – Palm Springs and such places?  Around 115 or so. Time to head out.

But one must keep up on the news, and ignoring the film business at Cannes last weekend, while scanning the news on the net I noticed we had a new winner in the Eurovision song contest. 


Yes – last weekend WAS the weekend for that competition that once brought us Sweden's ABBA – remember “Waterloo” do you? – and from the UK, Lulu.  Switzerland's entry in 1988 was Celine Dion.  She won – except she’s a Canadian from a small town near Montreal.  Whatever.  Eurovision also is responsible for those Irish clompers – Michael “Lord of the Dance” Flaherty and Riverdance.  They got their big break years ago performing between fourth-rate pop singers.

Last year’s competition was covered in these pages – May 16, 2004 – in Grim Music and Silly Music.

This year?

We have a winner!


KYIV, Ukraine - Greek singer Helena won the Eurovision song contest early Sunday. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko presented her with the prize for her seductive performance of My Number One, a mid-tempo tune with minor-keyed Balkan flavorings.

The singer, whose full name is Helena Paparizou, had been seen by bookmakers as the favorite going into the finals. Norway's Wig Wam, seen as her main competition, finished in the middle of the pack. The surprise runner-up was Malta's Chiara. Romania's Luminita Anghel placed third in the continent-wide telephone voting.

… transnational performances were by Vanilla Ninja, from Estonia but representing Switzerland, and by Bosnia-Herzegovina's Feminem, with one of its three singers born in what is now Croatia.


Ah, Greece, then Malta, then Romania!  Cool.

Curiously, I see my tracking software shows ten unique logons to Just Above Sunset from Malta in the last year.  Go, Malta!

I don’t know if Our Man in Paris, Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, caught this year’s broadcast.  I hope not.   I was not able to catch a rebroadcast last Sunday afternoon in Carlsbad – the one in California.  But I doubt that the kids at the party wanted to watch Maltese pop.

Oh well.



Ric in Paris missed the contest!


My life is three hours longer for having missed the 50th Eurovision Song Contest last night. I was on a rooftop terrace - like the second floor - wearing a sou'wester, eating Ronnie the Rabbit and watching a fuzzy moon rise over the slums of Paris. I'm not fond of rabbit - 2nd rate chicken with ears at best - but missing three hours of Europop will just about make my musical year. I'm not surprised somebody won it. It's been managed before somehow. Even the losers are first rate, for Europop.

On the subject of 'pop' - I came across a copy of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' yesterday at my local library, so I borrowed it. Of all the things I've heard about it I don't remember anyone saying that it's very poorly written. Life is short. It isn't worth reading. If bad writing makes you grit your teeth I can only recommend this book if you want to grit your teeth for some reason.

There was a nice piece about Dan Brown in the New York Times a few weeks ago. But it didn't say anything about him being a terrible writer. Is it something he's done especially for this particular book, or is he always a lousy writer? If we wonder why people seem incapable of thinking these days; look at what they read.


Brown’s book has not been covered in these pages.  Maltese pop is far more interesting, and that’s not saying much.




Last weekend –


Opening gifts…

Opening birthday gifts...

The Birthday Girl and a present she seemed to like a lot….

Tiffany and her new tiger...


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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See the Details page for the relevant citation.

This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....