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Protest Song: Armenia’s boycott of Eurovision an unfortunate reflection of regional reality

Un-presidential comments from Azerbaijan’s president and regrettable but predictable behavior by his countrymen have led officials in Yerevan to a decision that places Armenia under a spotlight that has turned its glare from the frivolity of Euro-“culture” and has made politics out of pop.

Armenia’s decision to boycott Eurovision 2012 because the international song competition is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan – while exercising reasonable cautions for security reasons -- appears to be shortsighted, and driven by epidermal emotion rather than careful consideration.

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13
01.04.2012 22:51
to George Vaughan "Azerbaijan has already fallen foul of the EBU by its treatment of its citizens who voted for Armenia in the past. It is now effectively on probation and would have had to bend over backwards to ensure that the Armenians present in Baku were treated absolutely correctly by everyone." Unfortunately, you are wrong, as you think from your, civilized point of view. Azerbaidjani nations, as well as their brother, Turks, are far away from civilized world and civilized notion as it is, and Armenians in Baku would have received quite an opposite attitude. And yes, Yerevan made a very correct deciison! Nobody would have be an "experimental monkey" in Baku "cage" to see how "well" or 'bad" he/she would have been treated.
12
13.03.2012 07:06
John Hughes, as we say in Armenian "achqics @nkar" after this article. Lack of professionalism with this biased article.
11
13.03.2012 06:34
While I can understand the Armenian boycott of Eurovision, I agree with John Hughes - not least because what he says has a cogent argument behind it. National pride can be viewed in two ways and a boycott involves just one of them. (One of the stated reasons, that the Azeri president regards Armenians as the main enemy, is so predictable that it is almost self-defeating.) The song contest is indeed inexplicably popular although most of the audience will not care where the participants come from. Armenia's absence will not be noticed, but the other side of the coin is that any interest in "Where is Baku?" will be gone by the next day. To put the musical quality in perspective, a top Moldovan group's performance last year included a fairy on a unicycle. Why that was necessary tells you everything. Participation is automatically open to members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - one of which is Israel, for less than obvious reasons - and, as might be expected, there will always be regimes which other members find odious, (obviously more problematic if one of these is hosting the contest). Azerbaijan has already fallen foul of the EBU by its treatment of its citizens who voted for Armenia in the past. It is now effectively on probation and would have had to bend over backwards to ensure that the Armenians present in Baku were treated absolutely correctly by everyone. The glare of publicity seldom falls on Baku but in these circumstances it does. Limited interest among the audience does not mean the same in the news media - and this has repercussions. It would not have been Armenia which was under pressure here, it would have been Azerbaijan. One strange fact: a few years ago, Azerbaijan came remarkably close to winning the contest. Shortly afterwards, I was walking down Abovyan in Yerevan half asleep after an overnight flight. I woke up rather suddenly when I heard the Azeri entry being played. I can only assume someone thought it was a good song.
10
13.03.2012 03:24
Armenia's decision is the right decision. Last year "Boom Boom" knocked Armenia out of competition, and this year possibly "Bang Bang" will sent Armenian participants back to Armenia, in body bags. Why take a chance? better safe than sorry. And I don't give a rats ass about John's opinion on civility. Day before yesterday a lunatic, phsycopath U.S. soldier shot and killed 13 Afghani civilians while they were asleep, nine of them were children. As a result of this heinous act,John and most Americans should be concerned about their image of civility, rather than rambling about some insignificant contest that has been watched by 100 million braindead teens.
9
12.03.2012 21:27
This article is wrong on all levels.
8
12.03.2012 20:57
Eurovision is blind as a bat. So is John Hughes. Such contests - silly spectacles anyway - should be held only in countries that respect others' cultures (such as ancient Armenian cemeteries) and human and civil rights. Azerbaijan has no respect for any of those. Does Hughes disagree? Indeed, it is downright sick for Eurovision to even allow Azerbaijan to compete, given that the Azeri government arrested Azeris last year who had voted for an Armenian Eurovision contestant. You know, how sick is a government that does that sort of thing? Apparently, John Hughes thinks that breaking rules such as this should not disqualify Azerbaijan. I wonder what John Hughes would think of Eurovision's being held in Baku if Azerbaijan were, let us say, gassing Jews with Zyklon-B and tossing their bodies into crematoria. Would John Hughes want to see Israel send contestants to Eurovision in such an event (I doubt Israel is a Eurovision member, but that's another story)? Suppose Azerbaijan destroyed an ancient Jewish cemetery (as Azerbaijan destroyed an Armenian one). I bet Hughes would be singing the praises of Israel for boycotting Azerbaijan. Really. This is how people like Hughes think. In other words, if Israel and the West approve of a boycott, it's OK. If Armenia does it, it must be an uncivilized move.
7
12.03.2012 16:59
‎ I Disagree with you!.. John, nobody is preventing you to travel to Baku and to take an ‎Armenian flag with!‎ I apply the courage of Armenian signers how did announce that the wont go to Baku! European countries and US are ignoring the action of fascist regime in Baku but it doesn’t ‎mean Armenia and Armenians should do the same! There are no differences between Hitler’s ‎anti Semitic propaganda and anti Armenian propaganda of Azerbaijan’s president and his regime ‎ ‎ ‎ in this case self respect and security is much impotent. The racial motivated anti Armenian ‎comments made by Azerbaijani president shouldn’t be accepted as comments made ya a racist ‎Turk-Azerbaijani in the streets of Baku or Ankara!‎
6
12.03.2012 12:00
Disagree. An Armenian was axed to death in Hungary by an Azeri. Armenian boxers in Baku were harassed and had bottles thrown at them during international competitions. In Russia, Azeris are continuously harassing Armenian businesses. Nations like Iceland, the Netherlands, and France are also considered boycotting Azerbaijan for its violations of human rights. I don't think that the spotlight is on Armenia for not attending, but moreso on Azerbaijan for having a nation boycott is; first time since Austria refused to compete in Franco led Spain.
5
12.03.2012 11:12
Personally I'm extremely happy that we pulled out. No Armenian's life should be put at risk in an environment filled with barbaric maniacs.
4
12.03.2012 11:12
Personally I'm extremely happy that we pulled out. No Armenian's life should be put at risk in an environment filled with barbaric maniacs.
3
12.03.2012 08:39
I do agree Armenia boycotting the Eurovision song contest. The author of this article is dreaming in "colors" when mentions "Armenia will be loosing it's chance to shine, if the Armenian contestor" would of won. Article continues, "over 100 million viewers"... Armenia by boycotting the event has the attention of over 100 million viewers who are aware of Azerbaijans aggressive and prejudice behavior.
2
12.03.2012 07:28
Interesting to read.However Eurovision is such a terrible show that no country whatsoever should participate let alone the Armenophobia of Aliyev & his clan...
1
12.03.2012 06:29
i believe there is no right or wrong in this debate, both sides can put a convincing argument in favor of their view point. If you consider Armenia is insignifiant world-wide and that no one cares about this spit of land, then why would showing up make any difference? Even if Azeris dared to do the unthinkable to their Armenian guests, no one would haved cared to listen to what happened...this contest is about culture, love, brotherhood, the organizers and audience would turn their deaf ear to any animalistic behavior by the host country and ignore it to avoid bad propaganda to the event... A country that filters out people with 'Yan' or 'Ian' at the airport, why is it hosting a European event? it hardly reflects any of the European humanitarian and cultural values but they were still aloud to host this event because it is all about singing and dancing and nothing more... so from that perspective, why put the safety of the Armenian participants in danger, if you hear your president declare that an ethnic group is your number one enemy, you might get stupid and try to be the hero of the day...
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