Saturday, 21 May 2011

Am I a Rape Supporter?

So I finally decided to watch one of The Amazing Atheist's (TJ from now on) "Hate Week" videos. Mainly because the title "A Feminist" intrigued me for being so specific instead of the blanket terms like "Idealism" or "Individualists".

So I watched it. And being naturally skeptical of the source material he was referring to, since I couldn't find a link for it on the Youtube video, googled one of the phrases to find the source.

What sounded like a rather exaggerated form of "sex-negative" feminism was real. And I'm going to link to it because googling "A Man Is a Rape-Supporter If..." really should be the first Google result instead of wherever it is (I gave up after 4 pages).

So basically "Eve's Daughter" (ED for brevity) of "Eve Bit First" has decided to make a list that women, and men like myself for the purposes of discussion, can use to determine whether a man is a rape-supporter.

So according to this list I am a rape supporter, regardless of my actual beliefs because I've answered yes to a few of the statements. In reality, where the positions people take are not dependent on a list designed to support a presupposed position I don't condone any rape at all, but in this case my actual positions aren't important because that isn't the topic at hand.

Although this list is supposed to determine which men are "rape supporters" the correct answer is 100% of them. This is a view that ED has made in other posts such as this one entitled "Women's Lives Need a Trigger Warning where she wrote:
Dear men:


No, seriously. This is a rant, and it’s about you, personally. You, personally, are a shit, because statistics indicate there is an almost 100% certainty that you have either committed a rape, or wanted to commit a rape, or knowingly assisted or defended someone who committed a rape, or mocked a woman who was raped. And no, I’m not dropping links to tell you what you should damn well already know.

The comments thread of the post that I am responding to supports this claim where she wrote:

Nor did I state or imply that all men commit rape. I said in a separate post that nearly 100% of men either are rapists, would be, would assist a rapist, or are rape supporters, and most commenters who have critiqued this post have agreed that, yes, nearly all (or “all”) men support rape according to this list.

This is someone who already has a hatred of men. I don't think that anything will change her mind short of probably all men dying from some disease that's caused by a human variant of Wolbachia. But this is the internet, so I can say whatever the hell I want, just like she can say whatever the hell she wants.

With knowledge of this in mind let us move on.

So let us see these points that make a man a rape-supporter.

First we have:

He has ever sexually engaged with any woman while she was underage, drunk, high, physically restrained, unconscious, or subjected to psychological, physical, economic, or emotional coercion.

Overall it is a little broad, but many of these points are valid. Some, like being physically restrained, are dependent on other factors. Misa Akane, the author of the blog, The Last Lemurisian has mentioned that she likes restraints as a kink. I suspect that this opinion wouldn't matter to ED because restraining a woman, even if it's consensual, would still represent the oppression of women which is pretty much what she writes here on an post about BDSM where she suggests that BDSM and rape fantasies are a coping mechanism.

The next point is:

He defends the current legal definition of rape and/or opposes making consent a defense.
Which doesn't make any sense to me. The current legal definition of "rape" for my state may be found here. What part am I supposed to disagree with? It would have been nice to know what ED defines rape as. I've tried to find a definition on her blog, but I haven't come up with anything. Am I supposed to argue for a broader definition or a narrower definition or what? Is ED's definition of rape similar to that of Dworkin who said that all heterosexual sex was rape? ED has stated that she didn't define rape, which really makes this point meaningless.

And then we get the part about consent. Does she mean consent can't be used as a defence ever? Or that I shouldn't prevent people from using consent as a defence?

The next two points are:

He has accused a rape victim of having “buyer’s remorse” or wanting to get money from the man.

He has blamed a woman for “putting herself in a situation” where she “could be” attacked.

Both of these points are ones that fall under the "blame the victim" label. The first point you have to ask does ED believe that all rapes are true? That no woman lies about rape? Here is a story from India where a group of people used rape in order to blackmail a man. Here is a story from the US where the woman blackmailed a man she slept with. As to the latter Girlwriteswhat at Owning Your Shit probably explains this better then I could as does Misa Akane. Ironically I don't really want to actually discuss the second point because the point in question is like a razor-thin wire that is covered in grease. The most I will say is that I don't believe that rape victims should be blamed for what happened to them.

The next points all fall within the sex industry:

He has procured a prostitute.

He characterizes prostitution as a “legitimate” “job” “choice” or defends men who purchase prostitutes.

He has ever revealed he conceives of sex as fundamentally transactional.

He has gone to a strip club.

Of course, as ED clarifies in the comments, this means nothing about the poor exploited sex workers, it's all about the consumers. See as long as we men are evil and dirty we will exploit women regardless of whether they actually want to do that job or not. Yes there are people who are forced into sex work, and the people who do are the scum of the earth, but ED is tarring all prostitutes with the same brush.

In the comments ED also said that this list does not cover sex workers. That's probably because there are sex workers out there who do it because they like sex or they like stripping and they've found ways to get paid to do what they like to do. Ironically she would like SA laws on prostitution because they punish the consumer. You see SA law says that you are allowed to be a prostitute, but the Johns aren't legally allowed to pay you.

And conceiving of sex as fundamentally transactional? Technically that can apply even to fundamentalist Christians who consider sex only for procreation.

He is anti-abortion.

He is pro-”choice” because he believes abortion access will make women more sexually available.

Here is where I will defend ED's words here. This is not a contradictory set of statements. A man can be pro-choice but wouldn't be considered a rape supporter if it wasn't for selfish reasons. However, and this hasn't been clarified, it might also boil down to ED believes that all men believe this, as if men are say, lions, and that this is the real reason we men can be pro-choice.

He frames discussions of pornography in terms of “freedom of speech.”

He watches pornography in which women are depicted.

He watches any pornography in which sexual acts are depicted as a struggle for power or domination, regardless of whether women are present.

The last point means that even gay men can be rape-supporters. But it's not just men who discuss pornography in terms of "freedom of speech". The Australian Sex Party also discusses porn in terms of "freedom of speech".

In an interview with Beat Magazine, porn star and candidate in the 2010 Victorian elections, Angela White said regarding the censorship of one of her movies:

“It was really upsetting because it was actually with one of my best, best girlfriends and we made a video where we did candle wax play,” says White. “We’re talking about two girlfriends - two consenting adults - expressing their sexuality and wanting to play with candle wax but it was censored and not allowed.”

But in the context of this list the banning of one of her movies is probably a good thing because it breaks a few of the items on the list.

Incidentally does "watch[ing] pornography in which women are depicted" mean that I support rape if I watch porn with actual women in it, or with men who are pretending to be women? If it's the former then it's a rather misogynistic statement to make since it's dehumanising women who work in porn. I guess if you are of the opinion that they are dehumanised anyway then why bother humanising them. If it's the latter then it's just weird.

He characterizes the self-sexualizing behavior of some women, such as wearing make-up or high heels, as evidence of women’s desire to “get” a man.

Because women don't want to get a man. In fact they don't seem to have any desires at all. Women apparently don't want sex, instead, as her statements in the comments section clarify, it's that women undergo societal pressure to desire sex. It's as if women are some kind of asexual being.

He tells or laughs at jokes involving women being attacked, sexually “hoodwinked,” or sexually harassed.

Don't laugh at the wrong jokes.

He expresses enjoyment of movies/musicals/TV shows/plays in which women are sexually demeaned or presented as sexual objects

Oh Fuck. I watched Italian television when I was last in Italy and all they do is present women as sex objects. Even in their version of Wheel of Fortune.

And what about watching a movie like I Spit on Your Grave, a movie that's about a women who is gang raped and gets her revenge by killing the perpetrators?

Good thing I don't like plays like The Vagina Monologues what with all the rape in it.

He mocks women who complain about sexual attacks, sexual harassment, street cat-calls, media depictions of women, or other forms of sexual objectification.

♫ One of these things is actually relevant. Everything else is just doesn't belong. Can you tell me which thing is actually relevant by the time I finish my song? ♫

The answer is "sexual attacks". Arguing against that would make you a rape supporter. In some cases for everything else the mocking may be relevant, like a woman complaining that men only pay attention to her looks when she dresses in a way that emphasises her looks more then anything else. But of course three points earlier it was said that women don't actually do that.

He supports sexual “liberation” and claims women would have more sex with (more) men if society did not “inhibit” them.
The reason "liberation" is in commas only makes sense when you read this post. The argument of that post in a nutshell is actually that point in the list.
He states or implies that women who do not want to have sex with men are “inhibited,” “prudes,” “stuck-up,” “man-haters,” or psychologically ill.
But I don't really see how this means he supports rape. I could understand it if it was in a checklist titled say "A man is a douchebag if..."
He argues that certain male behaviors towards women are “cultural” and therefore not legitimate subjects of feminist attention.
Finally, after all the stupid something that is valid. But only when it comes to rape. But I guess when one works on a fucktarded definition of rape that only you know then this statement applies everywhere.
He ever subordinates the interests of women in a given population to the interests of the men in that population, or proceeds in discussions as if the interests of the women are the same as the interests of the men.
So in the first part it's that men should believe that women's issues are more important. So fuck men's health issues like prostate cancer because it only has about the same death rate as breast cancer (same statistical probability in Australia too, 1 in 9). Because such a discussion on its own subordinates the interests of women.

There are times when issues are important enough that discussing them over other issues is in the best interest of society. Prostate cancer is a pretty good example since men are less likely to go to the doctor then women and people know less about it considering that it affects men at the same rate as women.

The latter part is pretty judgemental by assuming that the interests of women is automatically the opposite to that of men.
He promotes religious or philosophical views in which a woman’s physical/psychological/emotional/sexual well-being is subordinated to a man’s.
And how exactly does misogynism = rape? Does it follow that misandrism = rape? What about misanthropy?
He describes female anatomy in terms of penetration, or uses terms referencing the supposed “emptiness” of female anatomy when describing women.
What the fuck is this supposed to mean?
He defends the physical abuse of women on the grounds of “consent.”
Isn't that a contradiction in terms? But then again this list means that there are no possible ways sexual practises that count as not being abusive.
He defends the sexualization or sexual abuse of minor females on the grounds of “consent” or “willingness.”
Right, a contextless statement. I'm really going to be able to discuss this. Is this about consent laws in general? Or "close-of-age" laws? What exactly does this mean?
He promotes the idea that women as a class are happier or more fulfilled if they have children, or that they “should” have children.

He argues that people (or just “men”) have sexual “needs.”
We do? I know some men who don't like children, I know women who don't want to have children. I don't understand where exactly this is coming from. Now I would have thought that such ideas exist simply because as a species we have a desire to breed, unless you are ED who says in the comments:
For your first point, is there any evidence of a “drive” to reproduce in women outside of social pressure? No, obviously not. We can’t separate people from their social conditioning. In the meantime, though, telling women (and men) that they experience innate biological pressures like a “need” to sexually engage with others or an “urge” to reproduce is used to justify (and encourage) sexual objectification and exploitation, as I previously discussed.
ED believes that women don't have any sexual desires, instead it's a product of social conditioning. Just like how people (or men) don't have any sexual needs.
He discusses the “types” of women he finds sexually appealing and/or attempts to demean women by telling them he does not find them sexually appealing.
So it's damned if you do, damned if you don't. This is another one of those statements that mean that even gay men are rape-supporters because they don't find women sexually appealing. Unless you read the comments where you find:
If you’re not “attempting to demean women” by saying you’re not sexually attracted to us, then no, obviously this does not apply.
Apparently this statement only exists because some men make stupid comments on news stories about rape.

But I'm not gay, so I support rape if I find a woman sexually appealing or unappealing for whatever reason. It doesn't matter if it's her body shape or her intellect I support rape because I dare to have preferences in my choice of women.
He sexually objectifies lesbians or lesbian sexual activity.
And your point is? How does this mean that a man supports rape? There is a pretty big disconnect here between this statement and what the premise of the topic is.

And now the last bloody point:
He defends these actions by saying that some women also engage in them.
Because women are just blameless perfect beings that should not be held to the same standards as men.

The hypocrisy is just astounding.

But what conclusions can I draw from this? On it's own this is quite possibly one of the greatest troll pages of all time, but I looked around on this blog to try and understand some of the points that she made, should I consider this to be a Poe? It would be a very elaborate one, but it might be one nonetheless. However I'm inclined to believe that this is genuine. That ED really hates men and also by extension women.

The comments on women not having sexual desires of their own makes me think that she considers women to be immature, child-like even. And that men making these women think that they want sex is akin to a child molester grooming their victim. And in that sense it makes me think that ED considers women to be mentally inferior, that they are easily controlled and conditioned, that they are puppets and that we men are puppetmasters.

But would I call ED a misandrist? No, neither would I call her a misogynist. I would say that she is a misanthrope. She hates men because they perpetuate what she considers the oppression of women, but hates women because they are oppressed, or at least because they act in ways that she does not like. Naturally she apologises for them, but her manner in doing so appears to betray an underlying hatred of her own sex.

But am I a "rape-supporter"? As I said at the start, no. I'm not. But to ED that doesn't matter because I have a penis and therefore I automatically do.

Zombie Apocalypse

I found this on Pharyngula. The CDC have released guidelines on what to do if there is a Zombie Apocalypse. It provides a good overview on things you need for basically any other disaster except a Zombie Apocalypse.

For one thing nowhere do they mention that you need some sort of weapon, whether it is a shotgun, or baseball bat, or bowling ball or banjo. Neither do they suggest some relevant songs to play on your battery powered radio (like "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen).

And lastly they've decided to ignore all scientific evidence on the matter by saying the following:
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).
See if they had read the literature they would know that trying to find a cure is pointless. As Munz, et al. showed in their paper "When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection" showed basically the only way to deal with such an event is to kill them as quickly and efficiently as possible instead of bothering to find a way to cure them. I wouldn't say that we shouldn't work on finding a cure since that would be very useful, but at some point you're going to have to accept that killing them is the best option.

So in conclusion, the CDC provides valuable advice for pretty much any disaster except for a zombie apocalypse where mathematical modelling shows that what they want to do will pretty much doom everyone.

The Rapture

Well apparently today is the Rapture. Apparently. As I write this it's 5:47 PM (UTC+9:30) and I just heard thunder. Surely this can't be a coincidence... hang on... yes. Yes it can be.

I base this on the simple fact that it's supposed to be at 6PM local time everywhere and unless God obeys the international date line we should have heard of the destruction of Kiribati (UTC+12,13,14). If God doesn't obey the date line then which time zone will he follow? Kiribati's furthest points lie within UTC+14, which is technically the same time zone as Hawaii (UTC -10). Would that mean that Kiribati will only undergo the rapture on some of the islands at 6PM UTC+12 and then undergo it again when it hits UTC -10 and -11? Or would the people of Hawaii be able to just move to the now destroyed Kiribati islands when they are destroyed 24 hours before Hawaii is?

You would have thought the people claiming this would have sorted this out by now.

Well I'll give an update after 6PM if I'm still alive or haven't somehow been raptured. Although I don't really find being forced to live in an underwater city appealing. Especially one based on Objectivist values.


UPDATE: It's 6:04 PM in Adelaide right now. The rapture appears to have been some thunder about 5:45 and then a little rain. No reports on rapture people as of yet, but considering that there hasn't been anything from the East I'm going to assume that nobody was raptured.

That either means that nothing happened (which is most likely) or that everyone in Australia is fucked.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Literally an eye for an eye

It's such a good saying, but it's also one that I get the impression that people don't understand very well. But it might also be that I've come up with my own interpretation of the adage. I always interpreted it as a form of justice with a defined start and end point. So if someone attacks you and cuts off a finger then as a form of justice you get to cut off the finger of the person who attacked you. That's it. No escalation of retribution and the attacker has no right to then cut off one of your fingers since he's already done that. Of course in this day and age we have managed to move beyond such things and have come up with a system of monetary reimbursement and imprisonment instead of actually committing the same crime in the name of justice.

The reason I bring this up is that under Sharia law in Islam such a form of justice exists under the name Qisas. Granted the actual concept is a bit more complex and the teachings of it depends on the school of jurisprudence that it followed in the respective Sharia following country but the underlying premise is the same. Punishments should be proportional to the crime in question.

Discussions on this have started appearing again after Iranian courts suspended the blinding of Majid Movahedi after he threw acid in the face of Ameneh Bahrami back in 2004. In 2008 Bahrami took advantage of this concept during the trial when she suggested that he be blinded so he may see what she is going through.

Personally I'm a little conflicted. I clearly understand the arguments made when people say that it's a cruel punishment because it is cruel, but I don't really see why that means that this punishment is necessarily wrong.

This article on suggests that Bahrami is unable to empathise with Movahedi by asking for this punishment. The fact of the matter is that I can't really empathise with him either.

This is a man who couldn't take "no" for an answer and did this simply because he was hoping that the attack would end pretty much the same way it did for Burt Pugach. Pugach hired three men to attack Linda Riss, a woman he'd had an affair with, by throwing lye in her face simply because she had gotten engaged to another man. In the end Pugach ended up marrying Riss.

Movahedi had decided that Bahrami was going to marry him no matter what. When he threw the acid on her face he didn't care about her. In the end he left a woman disfigured and in the end blind after surgery to save the sight in her one remaining eye failed due to an infection.

This man has utterly ruined her life. I'm sorry but I can't empathise with such a person. I've tried but I really can't. The only thing is that I empathise with him losing his sight and becoming unable to continue to experience the world as he knows it. I think that but then I remember that he made that decision for another person.

There are two other points that I would like to make. The first is a comment that you can find on other websites which is:
“His mother phoned my parents. She asked for mercy,” said Bahrami in an interview.

“She said that Majid would always work for me if he could keep his eyes. But now it’s too late,” she said.

The thing was that this was the plan Movahedi had. She would be defenceless and he would sweep in and take care of her for the rest of her life. In other words rewarding him for his behaviour. The mother might as well have offered some sort of "rehabilitating marriage" to make the comparison with my next paragraph more blatant.

It would be the same kind of "punishment" that Filippo Melodia was hoping for when he kidnapped and raped Franca Viola in Italy in the 60's. Melodia had tried to court Viola and had failed to.Instead of going to prison he would undergo a "rehabilitating marriage" a practise designed to protect the "honour" of the raped girl (it also automatically extinguished the rape charge for the man, so no ulterior motives there...). Viola refused and Melodia went to jail for 11 years.

Both Melodia and Movahedi committed their crimes for a reason. They wanted to get the girl no matter the cost. Melodia spent 11 years in prison for his crimes. Movahedi will lose his eyes.

The end of this Time article probably makes the most sense of this issue. By blinding Movahedi all that will happen is that he will be an additional drain on the system. But prison for any amount of time would be the same. Money that could be spent on whatever social welfare there is in Iran would either go to support a prisoner or a blind man. Odds are the blind man would get more social support.

The second point is one of forgiveness. There are people out there who think that she should forgive him and not go through with revenge. However forgiveness is a conclusion. There are many factors that lead to the resolution of an event like this. Getting justice would be something that is on the road to forgiving. Who knows, she may feel sorry that she asked for this punishment later on in the future, but at present all Bahrami has at the moment is that her attacker has not been given his punishment, and she is probably feeling that she has lost her life in the process. People are expecting much from a woman they don't know when the chances are if they were in the same position they would make the same decision that she did.

The point is that forgiveness is not something that you do willy-nilly. It has meaning and purpose and is not really something that is given lightly.

I think that it is possible in time Bahrami will come to forgive her attacker, but the important part of that statement is "in time".

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Big 5 - The Eurovision Final

Well they are the only songs that I haven't heard yet so I'm going to just post my comments on them since my opinions haven't really changed for the other songs.

France. This was a pretty good song, but I wouldn't have said that it was a winner. I just don't think that it would have reached enough people to do really well.

Italy. I was very, very wrong. This wasn't a crap song at all and I now think that it thoroughly deserved to do well. I guess they just chose the crappest section of the song to play or something the last two nights.

UK. So the boyband's song is technically a song for the World Cup, but since England didn't give the people who decided who would host knighthoods and money I guess they figured that they needed to try and recoup some of their losses with a song that I don't find interesting at all.

Germany. Lena again. This time singing a more serious song which isn't as fun as 'Satellite'. If this wasn't being sung in Eurovision people would be commenting that it represents her maturing into a more serious singer or something, at Eurovision with Germany hosting it comes off as more "we don't want to win but we don't want to make that obvious". It ended up coming 10th according to the BBC. She still does jump around the English speaking world when it comes to her singing accent though.

Spain. It's not a horrible song, but it is one that I wouldn't have said had a chance at winning even if I hadn't learned the results before watching them perform.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Eurovision Semi Final 2

And this is the one for the second semi final.

There seems to be a bit more German in this one.

Good old fake miniaturisation, it does give a strange look for Germany.

Bosnia and Herzegovina. For a guy like Dino I wasn't expecting that kind of music. Nice to see the double bass player can play two instruments. I wonder if the triangle requires as much training as the bass. On to the lyrics: 1 to 100/ times by two/ these lyrics are stupid/ but not the tune.
Wave to the audience double bass player and show us that you aren't actually playing on stage.

Austria. Will their phrase be in the Austrian dialect? And will I be able to understand it? The answers: Not that I can tell, Yes. Now we listen to their power ballad. They've gone with the whole "single pretty girl on stage" thing that Lena used very well to win. Except Lena had a fun catchy song whereas Austria see, to be taking this really seriously what with the coating the stage in dry ice thing. Stop being so serious Austria. But then they might win.

The Netherlands. It's another song that I don't care about. Well I think I'll do other things like write "Bosnia and Herzegovina” or run this post through a spell checker since Firefox 4 doesn't seem to have a UK or Australian English dictionary.

Belgium. Ooh another a Capella band. Nice to see German shown on their postcard thing considering that it is an official language of that country. I'm starting to think that Eurovision sucks the life out of songs. I normally like a Capella but I don't really like this, I mean if I had a choice between this and say, Finland's song from yesterday, then I'm going to go with this.

Slovakia. Hang on... you can go surfing in Germany? Really? Since when? Twins. A band name that was chosen because they couldn't be bothered coming up with a proper name. Then again they are good looking so I can forgive the crappy name. I haven't seen any out of place flags tonight, like the Mexican one yesterday. Quickly checking to see if they got through told me that they didn't and that their name is actually TWiiNS which I assume means that they have a sponsorship deal with Nintendo or something.

Oh God the Ukraine. They aren't surprising me with their costume though. And boo Julia, I don't care if Kseniya swam at Manly.

Ukraine. Actually I change my mind; I was expecting the weird shit from them like they had in the last couple of years. Instead it's pretty good song with some interesting sand art that makes up the background.

Moldova. Hey, they've chosen costumes in the style of their eastern neighbour. Except that they aren't weird enough. The song is ok I guess. But I can't get over those hats. Do they need planning permits for them? Or are their reads really shaped like that? And why do we need to know that the lead singer has a monocle.

Sweden. Hmm... Vikings in Köln. I really want to know what that is for. You'll be popular? I'm sure having a giant pokèball on the screen will really make you popular with the ladies. It could be worse though, I could be watching Justin Bieber. I get the feeling that Sweden don't really care this year. See they've just put their singer back in his box for easy transportation back to Sweden.

Cyprus. Another breakup song. Only with traditional instruments. They have weird dancing sperm on the screen. And a girl who is armed with a morning star that isn't spikey. Is she now covered in snakes? Does that count as a costume change?

Bulgaria. Another non-English song. There aren't enough of them in Eurovision. It's also like listening to Pink or P!nk or however it is she spells her name only in Bulgarian.

Macedonia or as Eurovision puts it FYR Macedonia. I think that is what they call interpretive dance. I think. I find this song to be tolerable. Hey an accordion. And then the song turns into some kind of fusion of traditional Slavic music with modern music.

Israel. Will they get through and be guaranteed points from Germany? I don't know considering that their song is called 'Ding Dong'. And now I hear her sing and I say, no. She isn't going to get through. This is a terrible song. Since I can't be bothered with this song I'm going to give a little fun fact. Did you know that the reason the Republic of Macedonia was known as FYROM was because of an issue with the Greeks over the name.

Slovenia. Ooh. Piano-y. The lyrics are quite mainstream. This song will get through. And I think it might do quite well.

Romania. Julia says the song is catchy. is she right? The answer at the end of this section. The music is definitely catchy. The lyrics are very Eurovision.

More commercials, more Schwarzkopf. Probably that Virgin commercial that I didn't get last night even though I should have based on the male to female ratio of the ad.

Oh fuck. Jedward. They deserve to be machine-gunned. Why couldn't they have just shown then Slovak twins.

Estonia. It's like the Estonian version of Glee is filming a Eurovision themed episode. Hey they just changed style. Now I see why Julia said it was like a Rock Eisteddfod act.

Belarus. Jets of fire, it's not like someone hasn't done that before *rolls eyes*. If she loves Belarus so much why isn't she singing this in Belarussian? It's one of those pop/traditional music fusions. I know fire usually makes things better, but I've just found an exception to that rule. It does not make this song any better whatsoever. Well we've learned that Anastasia Vinnikova loves Belarus.

Latvia. It's Latvian Justin Bieber, only more tattooed. Now is he saying "Angels in disguise" or "Angels in the skies", or both? I wonder why they're wearing bowties? Did they lose a bet or something?

Denmark. This is some kind of ballad. It's not horrible; the lead singer has silly hair though. Maybe Jedward styled it for him before he went on stage. He's running away, maybe he doesn't want to be there... nope he's change his mind.

Last song is Ireland. Jedward. Go away. I hope this isn't Ireland actually trying to actually copy that episode of Father Ted. Apparently these people are popular in England so I won't be surprised if they get 12 points from the UK.

19 countries many languages. Too bad nearly every song is in English.

Will Stefan Raab redefine the second again tonight? Find out after we see snippets of all the songs again.

Things that don't go together. Or Stefan Raab puts his foot in his mouth.

And now we get to see classical break dancing. Watching this makes me wonder if ballet was originally break dancing for that generation that became gentrified. The techno sound does make it better. Just the piano gives the impression that these guys are trying to do ballet and failing at it. Now they really are just showing us ballet. Got to admit they are talented though. The famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor, too bad they added a bunch of rubbish when there are plenty of good versions of it around. And now they're done.

More Big 5 stuff. Did I just see Johnny Depp in the Spanish clip? Italy is crap, which is sad considering the type of music, and Lena is singing a song that I'm sure she knows she isn't going to win.

Estonian glee is through. Romania. Well it was catchy. Moldova? Really? But their hats are so pointy. Ireland. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKK!!!!! Bosnia and Herzegovina. Good on them. Denmark. Not really surprising. Austria. God. Ukraine. More sand tomorrow. And now for the second runner up Slovenia. Which I could see would get through. And that means our Miss Eurovision Semi Final 2 winner is Sweden. Which is expected since that's what they do.

So it look like Israel won't be getting easy points from Germany and although Anastasia Vinnikova loves Belarus it turns out Europe doesn't.

Eurovision Semi Final 1

This is a post I wrote when Blogger wasn't working. So I'm posting it now, after copying it from Word. Europeans would have seen this on Wednesday but Australia shows them a day later, so I'll know the final result before actually seeing the final, which I probably only will when I get my hands on the UK version because I prefer Graham Norton's commentary.

So without further ado I present to you my thoughts of the first semi final taken as I thought them up on the spot:

Poland are somewhat ok. It does make me regret not having any alcohol but I don’t really have the time this weekend to have a hangover.

Norway song sounded like a crappy version of that Lady Gaga song that rips off that Madonna song. Only with more Swahili.

I seem to have missed Albania. It says a lot about how good the song was.

Armenia’s song is ok. Very mainstream pop. I see that the singer happens to have dressed to emphasise certain err... traits that

Turkey. My back is to the TV and still it sounds like Green Day on anti-depressants. Now I turn around and I see a contortionist in a cage. That’s something that I expect the Ukraine to do. I already knew that they wouldn’t make it into the next round and I see why. I started ignoring them so I’ve missed the big bird that Sam and Julia were talking about afterwards.

On to the commercials. So this is the first break. I’m going to get sick of seeing the same commercials over and over again. I will see the Schwartzkopf ad over and over again. I probably will watch the show where they send Australians to countries like Iraq so they can see what the asylum seekers are leaving.

Serbia have managed to create the ultimate snark-proof song. There is pretty much nothing that you can say that demeans this song. It’s quite good for Eurovision but most of the last 5 songs are crap. The colours probably aren’t good if you’re epileptic.

Russia. I hate this song already. I don’t know how it managed to get through.

Switzerland. Nice way for the Germans to show that their neighbour has 4 official languages. I have no idea what this song is about. I heard the start of a better, more popular song, and then I just started listening to the tune. The background was brought to you by Paper Mario.

Georgia. One more day? For what? Making a good song? Not a horrid song, but here comes the rapping guy. Like that’s going to win.

Finland. Our Aussie commentators are referring to Lordi. How Lordi will this be? Not very so far. I think this guy was supposed to be entered last year, when everyone else was doing songs like this.

Malta. I think they managed to pick up Greece’s song for this year on the cheap.

San Marino. Another ballad that I already know doesn’t get through. I don’t care so I’ve stopped listening. That’s probably why it didn’t get through.

Croatia. The guy has a stupid hat. Sam Pang said that it would get people playing drinking games really drunk. So let’s see. Costume change, I think that was a wave to a camera, costume change, I think I’ve missed the half-octave key change too.

Iceland. It’s an entry for a country that has no money. It might work in a song contest that isn’t Eurovision, or a bluegrass competition, or a jazz competition, or a country competition or probably any music competition at all.

More commercials. Did they just dub over the sexy girl in the Schwartzkopf ad? Oh well they’ve got a few different ads so I’m not going to go crazy like I did during the World Cup with that QANTAS ad with the Enya song.

They’re interviewing people. What is the Russian guy bad at? Singing? It’s singing right? Right?

Hungary. She’s like a bad transvestite. Now if this was the Romanian entry I could probably have made some Rocky Horror references. I have no idea what the song was though.

Portugal. It’s last year’s song because it’s very colourful except that it’s crappy even by Eurovision standards. It probably belongs in a children’s show, but would you let your kids watch a show with a guy who looks like a 70’s porn star? I think that this group was probably the only band that Portugal could afford.

Lithuania. I don’t mind this song. It’s something that you’d hear in a musical. However I don’t think the song alone will be the reason that she gets through.

Azerbaijan. They tried very hard last year. This year I don’t think they did.

Greece. I went into this song expecting crap and got something that wasn’t as crap as I expected. It doesn’t mean that it’s a good song though.

Oh, they’re playing the big 5. Spain are ok it seems. France is very operatic. Italy have some kind of Michael Buble guy who can’t sing in English. UK = boyband. Germany has Lena again, only not as fun and quirky.

Ooh, Jan Ola Sand I don’t really care, especially I’m going to see him tomorrow and on Sunday when they finally play the final over here.

Serbia. Not surprised. Lithuania. Not surprised. Greece. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Azerbaijan. Not surprised. Georgia. Not surprised. Switzerland? Really? But I’m sure that they just nicked some other song. Hungary. Eh, I think this is the start of the “not quite as crap as the other crap songs. Finland. Bugger. Russia. I’m sure there were less crap songs then this one. Padding for 10. And it’s... Iceland. But they’re pretty bad, but then again if Russia could get in then I guess there is nothing stopping Iceland.

I must say that Julia and Sam are getting better at this. I must find somewhere where I can watch their finals performance in it's entirety.