Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lena Meyer-Landrut: Testament To American Cultural Imperialism


Is Lena Meyer-Landrut a pouty American teenage girl from Glencoe, Illinois?

No. She is the grandaughter of an aristocratic West German Ambassador and a Hungarian duchess. And she just won the Eurovision song competition representing Germany.

The annual Eurovision contest is a really big deal throughout Europe. It is their version of American Idol, except on a far larger scale. Each country has its own competition to choose its most talented singing act and the Eurovision contest supposedly selects the best Europe has to offer.

People cheer on their own nation's entrant as they do their soccer team in the World Cup.

In the past, the winners would generally represent something unique to their own national culture and traditions. When ABBA won the Eurovision award in 1974, while it was a rock group with general appeal, Benny Andersson's keyboard work had a distinctly Swedish sound and Agnetha and Frida sang with a charming Swedish lilt.

But the cute, pouty, Anglophonic German ingenue mimicked American black ghetto gestures and bounced around like any spoiled suburban brat on a night out club-hopping in the River North district of Chicago.

With this she won Europe's culturally iconic competition last year in Oslo, Norway.

Her winning song "Satellite" was co-written by an American, her gestures are black ghetto American, she chants (hip-hop isn't really sung)in a combo of American English with a slight cockneyfied British edge.

The socialists abroad always decried American "cultural imperialism."

Now I join them.