"OPA": the battle to lose Eurovision 2010
Each year the Eurovision song contest reaches new levels. New levels of tackiness, embarrassment and complete lack of talent.
Whether it be the music, the costumes, or the pathetic lip-synching, this laugh-a-minute extravaganza never disappoints in the "oh my God I can't believe they really did that" stakes.
And as is customary the act deemed least bad by European viewers - a notoriously discerning bunch when it comes to pop music - earns for their country the right to host the competition the next year.
This year the performer promoted to demigod status by her triumph was Lena, from Germany.
As far as Eurovision entries go, hers actually wasn't too bad. (It wasn't that efen great either, Ed.)
At least her quirky pronunciation of the English language and cutesy pigeon-toedness gave her a point of difference.
But this year, with Europe in such dire economic straights, countries appeared to be locked in an even more epic battle: the battle to lose.
By ensuring a loss, you also ensure you're not obliged to foot the bill of hosting the event in 2011.
The three starkest examples, strangely enough, were the three biggest strugglers in the eurozone: Portugal, Spain and of course, Greece.
Portugal's offering was a decidedly boring Disneyesque pop ballad. Spain presented a pantomime polka.
And true to form, Greece presented a poorly-choreographed aging pop-star, dressed all in white (of course), singing a song containing no more than four unique lyrics, two of which were "ooh" and "opa".
If that's not enough to concede defeat before you've even begun, all three broke the golden rule of Eurovision by singing in their native tongue, thereby ensuring their own defeat.
Where are you Julia?
Maybe, we should have taken more with us this time.
It is great to see lobbying efforts by various Greek business and community groups aiming to get Modern Greek recognised as part of the National Curriculum.
Last year, around the end of one of the Greek 'lobby' groups fronted up in Canberra to discuss many Greek issues. There was a mess of them, over 50 lobbyists of varying degrees of influence and affluence. Finally they cornered the Speaker of the House!
Their efforts were a little more circumspect this year, more targeted, they had one issue, get Modern Greek recognised.
They even organised a meeting with the Minister of Education Julia Gillard.
This was a positive move, the Minister of Education is an appropriate person to lobby about Modern Greek.
Alas, Julia was not there though, she stood them up.
She was busy, maybe Cabinet, maybe...never the less, these keen lobbyists spoke to relevant advisors. Maybe next time a letter may suffice.
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