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Let’s skip over the fact that it sounds auto-tuned from the very first lyric and I’m not going to mention THAT haircut. I’ll overlook the vapid lyrics which twist every drop of aquatic metaphorical slop out of the songwriter’s cliche bible (foreword by Ed Sheeran.) I’ll even forego criticism of the repetitive, flaccid delivery and the…I’m heaving like the Grand High Witch sniffing a child here…interpretive dance.

What irritates me most about Ireland’s Eurovision track “Together” is the nature of the video, which reminds me how far we’ve drifted down the social media rapids to the waterfall of narcissistic self-destruction. We are drowning like two icebergs on a boat or whatever nonsense Ryan and co-writers ‘The Nucleus’ waffled onto a post-it note. You said that we would always stay afloat.

The name of the game these days is to be as transparent as possible in your virtue-signalling and this video is gut-twistingly naive. The whole thing screams: “Like this video and share it because we’re Ireland and we voted for marriage equality and look it’s a pair of lads holding hands in Dublin! Now we’re really pro-LGBT+ (sort of) and that’s part of our brand, like those other things that actually have very little to do with the reality of living in Ireland like shamrocks, enjoying life and the colour green.”

The aim is to mobilise people on social media who’re desperate for likes and shares. Go on team Ireland, deny it, I dare you. The marketing technique is so obvious and basic, it makes Adam Rippon’s self-serving equality-warrior act look as polished as his forehead.

It’s starting to feel like the more vacuous and simplistic you are when showboating your carefully-selected principles, the more your attention-seeking will be applauded by people on social media.

The truth is that two gay lads dancing and holding hands in the ‘Temple Bar’ war zone on a Saturday night would still face potential abuse from the swaying, swilling luggs and luggettes who spill themselves over the cobbles on a weekly basis. You might argue that’s good reason for greater representation of queer relationships in popular culture. If so, then have two blokes kissing and enjoying a pint of Carling during the rugby, not doing a knuckle-smashingly smug interpretive dance on a picnic table. This kind of clumsy equality-posturing does nothing but irk and entrench ignorant people who already see the LGBT+ community as hopelessly self-indulgent and encourage the less brain-endowed in our ‘community’ to become even more naval-gazing.

How long do we give it before a pair of naive stage-deprived drama student lads decide to recreate the prancing for their own attention-hit, applauded and filmed by their coterie of adoring fangirls? They’d be liable to face aggression, not so much for being gay and holding hands, but for being wildly irritating.

I hope the song does badly as punishment for its cloying clumsiness and I’m pleased to say the stunt is stunted and has (to please the songwriters with more oceanic metaphors) sunk. It’s approaching 400k views on the official Eurovision channel, compared to Israel’s effort gaining over 6 million. Its success must surely be down to the chicken impression and the gloriously hubristic opening line “Look at me I’m a beautiful creature…”

This is the kind of madness we want, not transparent virtue-signalling self-indulgent cretin-mobilisation. Adnee-bo-boo-ba-thrumpumpa-hoo.

(I’m not mentioning the UK entry it’s too painful.)

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Andy West

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