The identity politics of satananic zombie alien man-beasts
I thought Eurovision was weird enough already. But in addition to the usual fun mix of kitschy pop and Cold War legacy nationalism in its telephone voting politics, this year will see Finland's satanic band Lordi:
HELSINKI, Finland — They have eight-foot retractable latex Satan wings, sing hits like "Chainsaw Buffet" and blow up slabs of smoking meat on stage. So members of the band Lordi expected a reaction when they beat a crooner of love ballads to represent Finland at the Eurovision song contest in Athens, the competition that was the springboard for Abba and Celine Dion.
"In Finland, we have no Eiffel Tower, few real famous artists, it is freezing cold and we suffer from low self-esteem," said Mr. Putaansuu, who, as Lordi, has horns protruding from his forehead and sports long black fingernails.
As he stuck out his tongue menacingly, his red demon eyes glaring, Lordi was surrounded by Kita, an alien-man-beast predator who plays flame-spitting drums inside a cage; Awa, a blood-splattered ghost who howls backup vocals; Ox, a zombie bull who plays bass; and Amen, a mummy in a rubber loincloth who plays guitar.
Dragging on a cigarette, Mr. Putaansuu added, "Finns nearly choked on their cereal when they realized we were the face Finland would be showing to the world."
But not everyone in this Nordic country of five million views the monster squad as un-Finnish. Some Finns say that Lordi is right at home and that the band's use of flaming dragon-encrusted swords and exploding baby dolls expresses the warrior spirit of the Vikings.
Link: NYTimes: Finland Squirms as Its Latest Export Steps Into Spotlight