Bad music

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the Eurovision Song Contest, and frankly, I don’t feel qualified to comment on the actual contest or the actual music. I don’t watch and I don’t really care which song wins. However, there are a few related issues that bother me.

Here in Sweden there’s been a fierce debate about the song we sent to Belgrade. Was it good? Did it suck? Etc. Early on, some heavy names in the music industry here claimed that it’s the latter. Our song sucked. Ok. Maybe you’re right. What did strike me as wrong, was the solution these people suggested. Send a song people will like better in Europe, or more adequately, in Eastern Europe.

If all you care about is winning and making money, that might be a good idea. But personally, I can’t help thinking that we Swedish people are entitled to liking any kind of music we care to. If the point is merely to win and make money, (see above,) then I guess they can do so. But if you want us, the Swedish people to enjoy the music you’ve created, then maybe it’s time to stop participating in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Like I mentioned above, I don’t care either way, about the type of music here, or the contest itself, but again, in my opinion if it’s for us, then we should like it. If we can do both, then fine. If not, then forget about the contest.

Kisses and Music

Most people in Sweden probably saw the finals in the Swedish qualifying contests before the big Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Kiev, in May 2005. Even I, who don’t really like schlager music, watched. And like many others, I’m crazy about Martin Stenmarck, the guy who won. Everyone who watched, also saw straight Martin kiss gay celebrity Mark Levengood on the mouth. Ok, it didn’t look particularly sexy, and if Martin had such a bad cold, as the evening papers have implied, it might not have been particularly nice, but still. Later on, apparently, Martin also kissed music producer Bert Karlsson, and surprise, surprise, Bert Karlsson, who doesn’t normally like Martin a whole lot, actually looked quite happy about it. Everyone seems to love Martin.

But all this made me think of something. In music videos or on opening nights, you often see straight female celebrities kiss each other, on the mouth. Why? Because it sells papers, that’s why. Men enjoy watching women kiss each other, especially straight women. There’s cause for speculation over why that is, but I’m no psychologist, so I’m not going to try to explain this phenomenon.

Instead, I’d like to ask why it’s so rare that guys do the same thing. Martin was so happy about winning that he probably didn’t have time to consider the fact that the kiss pictures will get him and the song writers attention and attention usually means money. Otherwise, you might speculate over why it’s considered positive media exposure when a female singer or actor “turns gay” for a while, but it’s the other way around with guys.

Is it because the executives of media companies everywhere are predominantly men? I think so. Just look at what happens when gay celebrities like the guys in Alcazar and the singer Mathias Holmgren, formerly of the band Barbados, appear on tv. Everyone, including the guys themselves, are extremely wary of them acting in any way – gay – or maybe feminine. Why? It can’t come as any surprise to the viewers that these guys are homosexuals. If they’ve read the evening papers or the gossip magazines, they know already. Does seeing two guys sing a love song together make people feel sick? Today? In the 21 century? Come on.

Where am I going with this? Simply this: if girls are going to kiss each other, why can’t guys? Quite a few women actually like seeing two hot guys kiss each other, for instance in a music video. In any case, why does there have to be such a big difference?

So, Martin, and all you guys out there, keep on kissing each other. And while you’re at it, try hugging each other too. Then maybe we’ll get a more loving and open society, and if not, then at least we girls out here will get something pretty to look at.