Monday, May 16, 2016

Eurovision 2016 wrap up

My poor little blog has been dying a sad and pathetic death over the past six months or so. Early last year, I was averaging a couple of posts each week. Now, I'm lucky to hit two posts a month. For the most part, it's because I haven't had a lot to say. But it's also partly because I've been spending way more time and energy on the Youtube side of things, which leaves very little time for, you know, using my words.

Still, after recapping the past four years, I couldn't let the Eurovision song contest slip by unnoticed. I've been horribly sick all weekend, and so didn't have the energy to do a full recap. So instead I present to you my 2016 Eurovision prizes.

On the whole, I thought this year was pretty disappointing. It was like everyone realised that with the US and China watching for the first time, and Australia for reals competing, they had to tone down the crazy and actually seem serious. There was a truly shocking number of ballads, and while some of the costumes were utterly cracked out, it was more...Beyonce than Lady Gaga. Which, frankly, was a major let down.

Still, there were a few highlights, so let's talk about those.

CATCHIEST SONG: Belgium

She's like a tiny human disco ball of energy, with diverse back up singers, fun dance moves, and a decent tune.

BEST DRESSED: Croatia

Not only was it one hell of an outfit on its own, but it included an on-stage costume change. And you guys know how I feel about an on-stage costume change.

BEST USE OF THE STAGE: Ukraine

This one was a little tough, but I had to give it to this year's Eurovision champion. I wasn't a huge fan of her song - though it's a very important song and I totally understand why it won - but the projections that accompanied her song were stunning.

MOST DRAMATIC USE OF THE STAGE: Russia

When this started out, I was all "Blah blah, you're just copying last year's winner". But then he took it to the next level, and I was gobsmacked.

WEIRDEST HEADWEAR: Serbia

It's a headdress made out of nearly 80 bobby pins. I mean, it looks pretty amazing. But WHY.

WTF WERE YOU THINKING: Germany

Dear God, Germany, we need to talk about cultural appropriation. I'm sure she's lovely but this outfit had nothing to do with her song and was just a bigass distraction.

VOTE FOR ME AND MY BOOBS: Slovenia

Holy hell, girl. I'm STILL astonished you didn't have a nip slip on stage.

HEY, DON'T I KNOW YOU: Lithuania

It took me a while because he now looks like a llama, but Donny competed in 2012. It's always nice to have repeat performers.

BEST USE OF PYROTECHNICS: Switzerland

She was literally on fire. No amount of fireworks or fire-curtain-things can compete with a smoking bodice.

BEST USE OF TONY STARK'S TECHNOLOGY: Australia 

I actually really liked our song, but there's a chunk in the middle there where it looks like Dami's been borrowing tech from The Avengers, and I still don't understand it.

BEST BACK UP PERFORMER: Azerbaijan 

The dude in the crop top armour/football gear had basically escaped from Rocky Horror, and it was HILARIOUS.

JUST POPPED BY ON MY WAY TO SOMEWHERE ELSE: This one was a three way tie.

Armenia looks like she's about to compete in a rhythmic gymnastics competition.


Poland looks like he's on his way to defend the barricade.


And Israel? Yeah, I'm pretty sure he's on his way to a Fall Out Boy concert.

BEST SONG THAT BELONGS IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT COMPETITION: The Netherlands

I actually really liked this one. But it's definitely not Eurovision-y. It's Nashville-y.

BEST MOMENT OF THE COMPETITION: Mans taking the piss out of Belarus and his singing-naked-with-wolves routine by appearing on stage like this:

BEST SONG: Love Love, Peace Peace.

Look, I know it was the taking-the-piss song that they did at interval as a joke. But this was definitely the catchiest song of the entire event, and I liked it a hell of a lot better than anything that was competing this year.

So. There you have it. On the whole, I thought this year was pretty disappointing, and I'm glad I didn't bother getting up at 5am to watch it live.

Did you watch Eurovision this year? What did you think??

K xx

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury


Fahrenheit 451 is part of the classic dystopian triangle, along with Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. It was the last of the three to be published, and the last of the three that I read. And I don't QUITE know how to feel about it.

It's the story of Guy Montag, who's a fireman. Except that in this weird, dystopian world, firemen don't come to save you from a fire. No, they come to burn down your house with you inside it. Why? Because you happen to own books. Why burn people who own books? Because books cause unhappiness and conflict in society, and they encourage people to think for themselves.

Except then Guy gets his hands on a book for the first time, and it changes his entire life.

I think my problems with this book was twofold:

1. I reads its 200-odd pages over the course of nine days, rather than reading it in one solid sitting. So from one day to the next, I'd forget a lot of the details of what I'd read and have to decide between backtracking to find out the details or press on regardless and have a few moments of confusion; and

2. It's the kind of book that's great to study in high school, where you have an English teacher pointing out all the symbolism and meaning and major turning points. And because I didn't have that, I finished the book feeling like I was missing something, missing what it is about this book that makes people love it so much.

The ending was pretty action-packed, but the middle was a little...draggy for me. So while I liked it, I'm not entirely sure I understood it. Because sometimes my brain doesn't deal so well with stories that have a lot of layers to them. And this was a prime example of that - the problem here was definitely me and not the book.

Have you read it? What did you think??

K xx
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