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Azerbaijan Ambivalence

 Ok, so I haven't really said anything about the Eurovision. I dunno, I guess it didn't really set me off with excitement like I thought it would do. 

And I think everyone else has the same problem too, as most of the blogs have actually gone a bit quiet. There seems a lot of indifference to the prospect of Azerbaijan winning. 

Here is a map of Europe with Azerbaijan marked

It couldn't be any further across Europe. The Caucasus mountain range, which its borders straddle are, in pretty much every opinion, the end of Europe. So the Eurovision couldn't go further away. And so many people, too many people, had hopes of a French, British, Norwegian, or even Irish (yes, Jedward) win. A lot of people were disappointed. 

But, of course, Moscow and Jerusalem are hardly much nearer? Not much perhaps, but Azerbaijan is still geographically the most eastern country of the contest. Moscow and Jerusalem are also more popular and familiar with tourists than Baku, meaning there are more travel options, meaning cheaper options. Baku really isn't. Their win is anticipated to be a massive boost to tourism in the country. If people can get there. Even if you can afford the cheapest flight option of £500, you will still need to get your hands on a visa, which requires alterations to the visa restrictions in the country first. Baku will be pricey. Despite what people imagine, Eurovision's devoted audience is in Western Europe. Germany was so perfect for a lot of its fans. They had this year dreams of Paris or Dublin (it was rumoured, Cardiff!) There were a lot of disappointments when the last results came out. 

Many are already hoping that Azerbaijan won't host it in the end, and one of the Big 5 (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, UK) will take it on. Many are hoping the EBU will object to its open border with Iran and sketchy human rights issues. That seems unlikely (it's never been a problem before).

Azerbaijan is making plans to build this

to host the contest in! :O But a big fancy buildings can't attract fans. 

It may be a very quiet Eurovision next year. 

*It was also a crap song, but most of the winners usually are

** Some objections are probably also racist and anti-east, but that's a pathetic reason to dislike it. God only knows why people who hate foreigners even watch the Eurovision 

***Iceland would also be a bloody difficult country to get to, and is also the furthest country in the other direction, but Iceland is not a country making real efforts to win. I don't think they care. I don't think they'd have the money to host it either. 


Jun. 27th, 2011

 Hello flist, what remains of you. 

I know, I haven't posted here in over a month. Largely because of a low mood, essay stuff, and, well, nothing interesting happening in my life.

So I can't really decide what to do with this any more. 

I may turn this into my Eurovision blog and use facebook for all my day-to-day shit.

I missed National Iceland Day. Darn.

Oh well, a belated happy birthday to Iceland and all their crazy cool Icelandicness. 

Go Wales?

I got this graphic from work experience service Go Wales today:

34,905 people have appiled to placements since 2009, 1,413 people have taken part in a work placement. And 48% of them have secured longer term employment, meaning about 700 people? And 131 people applied to be a trainee recruitment consultant for 10 weeks?

Well, call me cynical but those don't sound like the best odds, or particularly heartwarming about youth/graduate employment prospects, or the value of the Go Wales service

Eurovision Semi Final one Tonight! wooo!

Countries I want to be in the final. My ten choices! Probably not ones that'll go through. My choices, based on... whatever the fuck I like! :D

Behind the cut, youtube overload!

dooodooododooodooodoooodooooooooooododododoododooooooooooooCollapse )


Following on from my post about the government's new holiday plan for cunts, I've just had an email from one of those many useless graduate mailing lists about it.

The email I've had says the deadline for applications to this is August 14th for expeditions to take place in October. You must have your money by September 30th.

So, that would mean you would need to get that £2000 that you need before October?

If you started a 40 hour a week job next week at minimum wage you would get £916.80 in a month. Less some rent (£250 maximum I'd think) you'd be left with £666.80. You might spend as little as £40 a month on food. so you've got £626.80.  What else do you pay? Utilities bills? OK, lets assume you live in a really economical shared property, and you don't have more than £40 for utilities. That's down to £586.80 now. Mobile phone? £15 £571.80. If you got a bus to and from work that was £1.50 each way, and you worked 5 days a week, that would be £60 a month in fares. So now, we're down to £511.80. That assumes of course, that your costs are that low. I'm not doing the maths on a car here. Presumably you aren't going to become a complete hermit during this time. You are probably going to want a drink at the weekend. So, if you were trying to save, maybe you'd only want to spend about £10 a week on alcohol, getting cheap drink from your local offy. So we're down to £501.80. Council Tax is another expense you'll have, since you aren't a student anymore. I'm not contemplating that figure. It's not nothing, though, and council hike up the costs constantly.

There are probably way more costs than this in a month. But i'm tired of working that out.

I just want to emphasise again that this ridiculous scheme provides only for pampered rich kids who are probably back home on their parents estate for the summer. This isn't an opportunity for anyone who wants to get a real opportunity. If you had to support yourself, you wouldn't be able to do this. Even if you had a minimum wage job, you wouldn't be able to apply because you wouldn't be able to save the money in time. There are only 500 awards here. 300,000 people graduated this year.

If you were to start work next week, you couldn't even realistically save £1,500 by October,.unless you lived the most frugal and predicatable life. I'm also assuming here that you don't have to work a month in hand first, which, if a job pays you monthly, as some do, you probably will. (And it's a fucking hell of a month.)

I despair, I really do. If I hear of anyone doing this, I will never speak to them again.

Eurovision Geek time.... again

So, I was just browsing through my Eurovsion collection last night when I realised that Italy's 1958 Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) is quite familiar. Of course, it has been re-recorded and covered so many times since, and won a fair few awards. But despite my geekery, I never knew until last night the song originated in the Eurovision. I will use my age as a justification for not really knowing this. After all, my grandparents probably wouldn't have even known the song from the Eurovision.

In 2003, I remember hearing the following song a lot everywhere in clubs, and thinking that it sounded familiar from somewhere

It being Denmark's win from 2000, Fly on The Wings Of Love, by The Olsen Brothers (Denmarks first win Dansevise from 1963 is one of my fave Eurovision songs ever)

so I was meant to help install the small exhibition in G39 today.

Only the artist hasn't actually finished what he was doing, and no one is sure now when he'll be in.

So i didn't do anything really except paint over a patch on the wall where the previous exhibition was painted directly onto the wall.

Bloody artists!

Looks like a rubbish piece. Some lame photos. But i was invited to come along tomorrow evening anyway. (I was stashing some alcohol out of sight so me wonders if there's free booze there?
A while back I emailed an art gallery about doing some volunteering. Apparently someone's pulled out tomorrow and they would like someone to come and invigilate. Yay, something to do. I must wash my hair tonight.

Since I have the hellcentre to deal with at 10am i could do with something less depressing after.

I also got an email from my creative writing tutor about some anthology for people who've been in Cardiff University, and I sent two poems I wrote for my Get Phil to Buy Me Stuff Prize.

righty, before i go to bed tonight i will get to 5,000 words on my dissertation.

This is the last week of the semester, but i don't actually have any lectures to go to, just a dissertation meeting and a creative writing meeting.

Today i should have had a Shakespeares Histories lecture, but it was showing the film of Henry V (the Branagh one) and I've already seen that.

On Thursday my modern drama is on a play I haven't bought, haven't read and didn't plan to write an essay on anyway.


i'm feeling very down and lonely. the only thing i can really do atm is essays.