Friday, May 23, 2008

Looking for a better day

The other day I really hurt somebody. And what is worse, it was a total stranger: the Deutsche Telekom saleswoman who phoned to flog their "Entertainment Package" for watching TV via broadband.

Upon her question: "So, do you have terrestrial or cable", I answered in all serious serenity: "Neither. We don't have any reception here. Last year, the local broadcasters went digital and we haven't bothered to get the 'set-top box' that you need to receive TV."

This is literally true -- all we've been receiving since 4 December 2007 is static. It's been absolute heaven!

Not to Miss Telekom.

Her stunned silence -- which almost made me ask: "Are you still there?" (I thought she'd died or something) -- spoke volumes ("weirdo", "nutcase", "whatever do you do in the evenings, you boring old cow?") and made me feel right crappy. I apologised profusely for failing in my duties as a hooked-up 21st-century citizen (and a malleable Telekom customer) and put down the receiver to be depressed for half a day.

Having said that, the Internet does us fine to keep abreast of the latest cultural developments. In fact, in some regards we are far better informed than ever before, thanks to people posting really funny, yet painfully true short films, disturbing documentaries or humorous, existential TV commercials on their blogs which would otherwise have escaped our notice (even with a TV).

Even such a fundamentally televisual phenomenon of the Eurovision Song Contest, which returns to haunt us all tomorrow, does not pass beneath our radar -- in fact, our experience of it is even better than before. No need to waste four hours in front of the tube waiting for the boring dance and video interludes or the typically gobbledygooked announcements of the results to be over (let alone having to endure the mostly terrible songs) -- fifteen minutes on YouTube will give you all you need to know. And that is before the event.

In fact, as regular readers of this blog will remember, I already posted a Eurovision note weeks ago, after reading about the political uproar in France over the fact that their contestant's contribution is sung in English.

What a waste of precious political debating time! Compared to this year's Eastern European razzmatazz, Portuguese pathos and English bin men plagiarising Hot Chocolate, this is a seriously charming ditty which does the hexagon more than proud. Sebastien Tellier looks like a cross between John Lennon "talking in a bed for a week" and Luke Wilson in The Royal Tennenbaums.

And he sings a groovy and self-deprecating tune (which of course doesn't stand an earthly in tonight's competition. Tant pis!). Check it out yourselves:

La France -- douze points!

(UPDATE: France came 19th -- behind the Swedish Roswell clone!)

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