Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Europe As Seen Through Eurovision

Every year, dozens of European nations compete to see who can create the "best" song in Europe—and who can present their song in a way that most resembles the shiny, spinning discotheque that is the center of RuPaul's id. This 54-year-strong competition is called Eurovision, and it is both painful and hilarious in equal measure.

Still, despite appearances, Eurovision is not just a race to the campiest. It's also educational. The songs and performances can teach you a lot about the individual countries that created them. For example:

Did you know that in Albania, Gumby is represented as half green-man, half-discoball?


He's also a symbol for male virility there. Thanks to Eurovision, now you know. 

The people of Greece believe that heaven is a place filled with beautiful, luminous conveyor belts.


And many, many waxed chests.

For centuries, Russians have spoken of a rapidly aging giantess who roams various amphitheaters, looking to upstage the performers.


Obviously, she made an appearance at Eurovision.

In Iceland, the night sky looks like a the cover of a Lisa Frank notebook.


Complete with bright moon, flying dolphins, snowflakes, and moody clouds of adolescent angst.

Meanwhile, Portugal has for centuries been covering up the fact that its countryside is actually an early Nintendo videogame.


The secrets these nations keep…all exposed by Eurovision.

Without Eurovision, you might never have known that the look in Bosnia right now is very touring-production-of-Les-Miz.


Imagine not knowing that. Your life would be just an echoing cavern of ignorance.


Oh, and Finland's #1 and #2 exports are Eurotrash and fire, respectively.

Who knew? It's equal parts Burning Man and Alcazar there at all times.


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