Far from being a reference to Portugal (whose song I thought was lovely by the way), the moment of reflection is now descending on Belgrade. Eurovision has come, exploded, and drifted off in the direction of Moscow. And the question which I am left with is what does it all mean?
The hype of this watershed event for Serbia and Belgrade has already been subsumed in the day-to-day guesswork about the next government. The organization of Eurovision in Belgrade seems to have been superb. The flooding of the White City streets with thousands of visitors caused no problems around town, the atmosphere was lively, and no ugly incidents (usually to be expected with so many bodies in one space) were splashed across the headlines.
And I am also amazed that no grandstanding has taken place. No coy Jack Horner-ić has stood up and jerked his thumb chestward to say, "My what a good boy am I!" A mark, surely, of a certain maturity is this.
Eurovision as a word, as a concept, as a neologism, and as a prognostication.
In essence, this country is suffering from a superabundance of Eurovision. Not the song contest anymore, but the visions of the future which both include and exclude Europe. Our Eurovision has defined the last parliamentary elections. Our Eurovision will define the next government. Having the annual Singing Kitch-Fest in the Serbian capital was just another symbolic nod to this all-important question.
I note, in passing, the uncomfortably symbolic triple-whammy of the Eurovision winning song: "Dreaming." In Serbia. By a Russian. Paid for by an American. All paths converge?
As a concept, I get the feeling that the preoccupation with Europe is somewhat overplayed here. The facts of the case are as follows: we have been offered to join the Euroclub of Eurovisionists. The population appears to be in a quandary about it - not about whether we want to join, but rather how, and under what conditions. Joining Europe, it must also be said, is not inevitable. It will be a conscious choice made either by the government or directly by the people in a referendum. How we decide and who decides is a subject of great indecision and will also be decisive in the decision on the new government. Confusing enough?
A further Euro-wrinkle to be ironed is the EURO part of Eurovision in Serbia. Many millions of euros are staked all around the table on this issue, with many standing to gain and lose depending on the direction of the drift. While gloomy predictions of isolation and many levels of poverty (economic, diplomatic, and the like) are being cast upon the waters, problematically, it has yet to be clearly explained to the populus how a pro-Eurovision will translate into better times and fatter wallets for the people.
Therefore, I retract my opening statement. The fat lady is only warming up her voice here in Serbia. And her warbling may keep us entertained for quite some time to come.