Saturday, 4 May 2019

And now I'm done, I'm coming home

Israel
Kobi Marimi
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All of these cool commentators banging on about Russian troll farms and Trump and Skwakbox with all the coherence of a 1200 word media studies essay in the first year of an undergraduate degree think that propaganda, fake news and information wars are new. Pah! 

Back in 1978, for example, Jordanian broadcaster JRTV resolved to replace the performance of the Israeli entry with pictures of daffodills. Then, three quarters of the way through the voting when it was clear that they were cruising towards a win with their classic "Ah! Barnaby!", JRTV yanked the broadcast, cut to the news, and falsely announced that the winner was... Belgium!

Kobi Marimi
Now for years Israel's entry was a downbeat ballad in Hebrew (sometimes lifted by Judy Finnegan's National Television Awards dress, sometimes not) but I think we all remember that moment in 2015 when the Israeli lad appeared with big golden boots and delivered a massive party banger. It was a massive Justin Timberwank Tel Avivian party bangalangathon with ethic beats and daft lyrics about Nadav being the "King of Fun". "Before you leave let me show you Tel Aviv" he said in a pair of extraordinary winged shoes, and so it's quite the turn up for the boots that we are this year indeed off to Tel Aviv on that new Easyjet route from Luton for £29 (one way).

We're there because of that Chicken Song. Not the 1986 rubber puppets summer holiday parody of disco songs literally called The Chicken Song, (to which I sold photocopied lyrics for 10p a go in the playground, including the lyrics to the B-Side as a bonus, which didn't half baffle Mrs Garbutt at break) but Netta Barzilai's funny chicken noises "Toy", a #MeToo movement anthem that was gloriously uncompromising about its messaging, mainlining on putting misogynists in their place and building women's confidence. The chorus went "I’m not your toy, you stupid boy", and according to Netta the chicken noises were supposed to imitate the voices of a coward ("someone who doesn’t act the way he/she feels and treats you like a toy”) and even the bits in Hebrew were purposeful- "Ani Lo Buba” translated as "I’m not a puppet".

Of course when you win with a Eurovision ethno-pop banger and realise how much it costs to stage the contest, that means you definitely don't want to host again - and so this year we're back to a perfectly respectable, monumentally dull, home-crowd pleasing downbeat ballad. Fair enough.