Eurovision and Crimea, as covered by John Oliver’s new show

On John Oliver’s new show on HBO, “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver covers the Eurovision Song Contest and the latest from Crimea.

john-oliver-eurovision-conchitax

On the Eurovision front, gay drag queen Conchita Wurst won the international competition, much to the consternation of the Russians and their former satellites.

On the Crimean front, Russian President Putin staged a photo opp in the occupied and annexed territory yesterday, while announcing the creation of a two-pound commemorative coin with Putin’s own face on it.


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  • goulo

    That seems sad to me to feel conflicted about it just because the winner conforms to a stereotype which is negative in the general public’s mind.

    I wonder if members of other groups who struggled/struggle for equal rights and tolerance have similar second thoughts.

    E.g. black people feeling conflicted about a black person winning an award:
    “Oh man, of all the black people in the world, why did they have to pick one who openly enjoys eating watermelon?”

    Or Jewish people:
    “Damn, on the one hand, he deserved the prize, but why did he have to be so filthy rich?”

    Etc.

    To me, the more often gay people of ALL types get recognition, the better for bringing about understanding, acceptance, tolerance, etc.

  • therling

    Those two stole the hair idea from “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.”

  • Indigo

    Once upon a time, long, long ago, 40 years back when liberal thought was conventional wisdom, the gay community would have recognized Conchita as a “gender fuck” statement and moved on. Speaking of moving on . . . the reintegration of the gay community proceeds calmly enough, maybe the watershed moment happened a week or so ago and now we’re just another part of the social fabric, our horizon pre-defined by football players and drag queens. That’s not a bad thing, Stonewall was fought and defined by drag queens. The real question is about the rest of us . . . when will we stop apologizing, redefining, quibbling and theorizing and just get on with it? We’re already at the table!

  • Max_1

    No doubt. I think I’ll have to have an “educational moment” with some members of my family as to the differences between trans and drag…

  • Max_1

    Michael Sam doesn’t define the gay community as a whole, either. However, just like Sam, Wurst just won and they both are helping by becoming positive examples (aka role models) of what it means to be yourself and be good at it! Gay or straight. Celebrate their success and their breakthrough as itself is an inspirational breakthrough for others to seeking to come next. Gay or straight! It’s a Martina Navratilova or Ellen type moment, where success and life merge in positive ways that make breakthroughs possible for other’s potentially succeeding.

  • Drew2u

    It could be a European thing, maybe?
    I remember two distinct cartoon panels; one of them maybe from a Playboy, I don’t remember. One has a groom being fitted for a tux and the tailor asking, “…and who is the bride?” A guy standing next to him says, “I am!”
    The other comic was, as far as I can remember, was the typical two men standing in front of a priest, both wearing wedding dresses and holding hands.

    The idea that gender-nonconformity is coming from an old stereotype – gay men are effete or ‘are really women’ and secretly want to wear women’s clothing – seems to be a message with (as I see it) the wrong messenger.

  • deniz

    “Rare exception?” The media has been full of stories featuring all kinds of gays… soccer, football, baseball, and basketball players. Actors. Bears getting married. Politicians. No need to be “sick” of it when the last year has seen a wider spectrum than ever. This is just a part of it and it is what it is!

  • Sean

    I understand the conflict, I too get tired of only seeing effeminate gay men in movies, etc. But if we come out against drag queens we end up buying into macho BS about what it means to be a “man.” emjayjay is right about it being theater. Speaking of which, I understand there are a lot of flaming Liberace-style costumes in Russian entertainment….And they are now outraged that a Drag Queen won Eurovision!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That is Conchita’s message. And many people who are undecided on gay rights will have their suspicions concerned that being gay is really about effeminate men who want to be women. That doesn’t mean Conchita shouldn’t keep doing what she’s doing, and it doesn’t mean that she won’t have a real and positive impact on things. But, Elijah has a point too – folks in the middle, and worse, just had an incorrect negative stereotype about gay men confirmed for them.

  • cole3244

    depicting gay men as effeminate makes insecure straight men feel the superiority they really don’t have.

  • emjayay

    Conchita is about theater and art and calling traditional gender roles into question. Just ask a Cockette.

  • Elijah Shalis

    I am conflicted on this. Gays are not defined by drag queens. Being a drag queen used to be one of the only acceptable ways a gay man could express himself with other gay/bi men because they looked like women. That is no longer the case. I am kind of sick at how the media always portrays gays as effeminate except fore the rare exception such as Michael Sam. Most gay guys are not effeminate but you would not know what if all you watched was movies or tv.

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