Culture Shock or Science Fiction?

Hi you all!

Europe had decided for the future! Watching the European Song Contest I was really pretty nice surprised. The winner of the contest looked like martians from the Dominion performing a Hard Rock song which sounded like their battle song while offending the Deep Space 9. Now I?m not longer anxious about the future. If the Dominion will come we European only have to refer to The European Song Contest Winner of the year 2006 and they will adopt us as their relatives. :lol:
Did anybody else see this event? What was your impression?

Europe for Dominion!


I don’t know whether a song contest is going to bring about some outer space dominion, but the European Union in Brussels has been acting pretty strange over the past couple of years. They seem to be from another planet.

First they thought that the size of tomatoes was fundamentally important enough to put in a constitution.

Next they started to demand that member countries force doctors to perform abortions even if their religious conscience won’t allow it. (Why not get some other doctor to do it, instead of forcing someone who is against it?) This rule brought down the Slovak government recently. The funniest thing is that who is to blame depends on which newspaper you read. The leftist papers say the Vatican caused it, and the other ones say the EU caused it.

Most recently, some lady named Baroness Emma Nicholson has advised the Romanian government to ban all adoption of Romanian children by foreigners. Many foreigners had been adopting children from Romania – including physically and mentally disabled children, who needed more care than they were getting – but now these children have to stay in Romanian orphanages, which by all accounts can still be pretty hellish. This lady is Romania’s EU “coach”, and if they don’t follow her direction, they may not get full membership.

I think if there’s another war or severe outbreak of hostilities in Europe, it will probably be caused by totalitarian bureaucrats in Brussels.

I really used to enjoy this contest, but it has often more to do with politics than with music (by the way, I wonder why Israel takes part in it – or, in other words, why is no other non-European country participating then).

I was also surprised by the Finnish song winning the contest (I like your description of the group :lol:), although they deserved a good ranking if only for the masterful make up!!

The Irish ballad was good (their songs almost always are, I find) and the German country song, too, but the Spanish were awful this year!

Does anyone know how many European governments now finance the development and promotion of pop music groups?

I think France started doing that in the 1970s or 1980s. Then Sweden started to, and somewhere along the line the Irish began doing it too. Are there any others?

I don’t know if these efforts have any success, but we don’t see the effects in the US. We probably hear more music from Mexico, Colombia and Cuba – free of government subsidy – than we get from any of those countries that have tax-funded commissariats of pop music.

Conchita, think about it: Most Israelis are of European origin. They’re over there all alone, and they can’t exactly enter Middle Eastern music competitions.

You’re quite right, of course. Very good point, Jamie!

Fortunately, though, not a few people (but detractors are always more numerous :frowning: ) try – and occasionally get – to organise musical events involving both Israel and Palestine. If only peace actions were supported half as much as pro-war movements :x !


First of all I wanted to say, for me it is absolutely correct that Isreal shares to the Song Contest. By two reasons:

  • the first is Jamie?s argument
  • the second is that Isreal has a seperated position at their continent

About financing the Song Contest I would say that commercial companies will do that while expecting good profits. For instance the telephone providers. Because to vote for their favourites people must make a phone call. As it isn?t for free -I don?t know how much it is- I can imagine that they will make a good profit from millions of calls.

At last I liked to say about the EU: Jamie, although the EU politicians seem to come from the far outer space I dread they are all European habitants. In the 1980?s there was a practice to handle with politicians who could not be used in national politics. They were voted for the Europian government! I think this practice didn?t change until now. And here is my suggestion for a new member of the EU government:
Phillip Missfelder! Having the egg shells behind his ears still he was a header in the JU (Organisation of young CDU members). Feeling important a few years ago he complained that people in the age of 70 and higher would get new hip joints paid by common health funds. Of course he was been scolded for that and he disappeared for a short time from the political scene but nowadays he is best connected to the NRW government… My order to him were to find rules concerning the colour of caps of the garden dwarfs in European front gardens.


I’ve read that last week the head of the Hamas-led government threatened a terrorist war on Europe if they stopped funding the Palestinian government. What a way to make friends! No matter how much money the US and Europe put into that tiny country, it is always on the verge of a humanitarian crisis, yet Yasser Arafat had more than $3 billion when he died, and his assistant has more than $1 billion. They’re not the only country of shakedown artists, unfortunately. :frowning:

I wasn’t talking about the song contest specifically, Michael, but about governments developing and promoting pop groups in general.

A few years ago, the prime minister of the Czech Republic said he was of two minds about joining the EU. On the one hand, they must join if they want to prosper economically. On the other hand, he didn’t want his country ruled by what he called “an unelected supra-national government”, because they’d just gotten out of that situation with the Soviets.

Okay, you’re going to have to explain that expression “having the egg shells behind his ears”. It’s got to be a German idiom, and I don’t understand it.

What’s wrong with that? If someone needs hip replacement, and you have a national health system, why shouldn’t the system pay for it?

Yes! I think that definitely needs to be regulated!

Hi Jamie
I think Michael wants to express the idea of “wet behind the ears” or “greenhorn”. :wink:

Hi Michael
Direct translations are often meaningless in another language — especially idioms.


Don’t you think that the end of Israeli occupation is more important than any amount of money – in other words that freedom comes before bread – or does it depend on the country? I know it’s the silliest question to ask an American, of all people, but still, I’m curious (and I ingenuously keep on hoping you aren’t the average American)!!

Hi Jamie!

Sorry that I don?t quote back but I dread it needed to much place.
Please let me start with “having the egg shells behind his ears”. It is a German idiom as you mentioned and refers to just now sliped out birds,crocodils or snakes. Amy gave the correct meaning of that “wet behind his ears” or “Greenhorn”. It?s only a bit more drastic I think. If you want you can use it for my English skills.

But back to Mr. Missfelder and his ridiculous saying. That time when this young man -not just finished his studies- made this mad expression the national health funds had been rather empty, so that the rate of pay for it for employers and employees were -and actually are- rather high. The employers complained that the costs of production could be in a world comparision much too high if especially their costs would not get lower. So Mr. Missfelder -whatever his intrinsic intention had been- tried to suggest that the elder people not neccesarily must get the full health support as they will be not productive any longer. What he forgot, I think, is that exactly this people worked hard after the world war II to enable him to make sayings like he had made.

Like you mentioned the EU is good for silly rules sometimes. So my intention was to give Mr.Missfelder the possibility to work in the big politic without being able to prepare bigger damage.


The end of Israeli occupation won’t end the war, because the goal of Hamas and the other Palestinian leaders is not territorial independence and the end of Israeli occupation, but the destruction of Israel and all Jews (at least all that they can reach). They have stated this frequently enough that I can’t believe some intelligent people don’t believe them.

There are other strange paradoxes: One is that Arab governments have slaughtered more Palestinians than Israel has, but the Palestinians are not at war with them. Another is that Arabic citizens of Israel have approximately the same human rights that people have in Western democracies, but they do not have those rights in the Palestinian Territory.

It appears that the intention of the Palestinian Authority and their allies is to receive foreign aid money, arm their soldiers with it, keep millions (and apparently billions) of it for themselves, and keep their ordinary countrymen poor and angry.

I don’t know, Conchita. Do you really think that a guy who threatens the Western democracies with a blood bath if they don’t hand over money is really about peace and an end to occupation? The Palestinian Territory is a dictatorship, not a free country, and it still won’t be free if Israel leaves.

Perhaps I shouldn’t make statements like that without knowing more about history and politics, of which I admit to being quite ignorant, but your last post tells me that you do think like the average American. Not only don’t you reject the Israeli occupation (a glaring euphemism if there ever was one), but you also seem to justify, even defend it. Are you really saying that a whole nation has to suffer or be doubly punished, because of one man or of one wrong government? And that, since they are going to suffer anyway, the world might just as well leave them to their own devices?

We have kept silent for several decades already, so why don’t we continue to turn a blind eye for a few more? All I can add is shame on the world it we are not able – or, at least, don’t seriously try – to stop the carnage :cry: .

I can’t believe you honestly believe that crap – OK, that load of rubbish, then! Oh, wait, unless the word ‘approximately’ covers for all the hate between Jews and Arabs?

Conchita, you tell me I “think like a typical American”, but you think like a typical apologist for the radical Muslim cause who gets her news primarily from CNN or from European media with a similar slant. I get my information not only from mainstream sources, but I specifically look for press reports form Arabic countries (although I can only read the ones in English or French). Even according to Palestinians quoted in the Arab media, a lot of the “atrocities” are not what they look like on TV. I think particularly of one Arab report that said that most of the destruction the media showed in a refugee camp was actually caused by Palestinians booby trapping buildings and corpses in order to kill Israelis. Then CNN goes in and just tells you, Israel was here, look at the destruction. This is a common technique (as my students from Israel, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and other places tell me), but the media act like they don’t even know about it.

I am not talking about “one man or one wrong government”. There is an entire ideology of death in that place that’s focused on the destruction of all Jews. They SAY it! Am I supposed to ignore what they really say?

Have you ever talked to Israeli soldiers or non-Jewish visitors to Israel about how Palestinians are trained to perform for the media?

Yes, Arabs do have democratic rights in Israel, and many Arabs serve in the Israeli military. (One Israeli army veteran even claimed to me that the Israeli army would be “nothing” without its Druze Arabs, many of whom serve as officers.) If you don’t believe me, it’s easy to find the information on the web. However, you don’t get much in the way of democratic rights in any country if you send 11-year-old girls into pizzerias to blow everybody up.

By the way, look at the statistics on who blows himself up. Did you know that most of them are from prosperous families? This is not caused by poverty or oppression.

Anyway, if you want to have some fun, watch these videos from the Arabic media: They have English subtitles. I especially like the one called “The Muslim Woman Magazine”. That lady is very cheerful. There’s another interesting soap opera featuring a Jewish man who murders a Christian boy in order to use his blood to bake mazzo. With this kind of Nazi-like stuff filling people’s heads, no wonder their thinking is distorted.

Your comments ‘you think like a typical apologist for the radical Muslim cause’ and ‘Anyway, if you want to have some fun’ are immoral and hurtful, as are several others. You keep on talking about ideologies and seem to be blinded and biased by your one-sided political view, whereas the issue here is ‘human beings’. Palestinians, Arabs, Israelis… they all mean as much to me as you (believe it or not) or my family.

I do not intend to watch your videos: Palestinians and Jews themselves are my ‘media’.

How can you be so sure that your thinking is not distorted, Jamie? You should know by now that the way we think is always influenced, from the moment we are conceived, and hence easily biased and distorted, too.

We should drop the discussion now. I tactlessly started it and would like to have the privilege to end it, too, if you don’t mind.