Goodman, Steve. Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010. Read Introduction through Chapter 2, as well as any other chapters that you find interesting.
I hope you haven’t forgotten to root for your favorite country in this week’s Eurovision competition. To keep your attention rapt, here is a fascinating visual study of voting trends over the past ten years. Click for more info and a better view.
Here’s a great article on Eurovision from the New Yorker in 2010.
The Eurovision Song Contest is pretty much what it says on the label. It is a singing competition, in Europe, on television. In fact, it is an intra-European affair, held annually among a jostling mass of rival nations. This year, there were thirty-nine countries taking part, including some, such as Turkey or Azerbaijan, that you would not, with atlas in hand, immediately define as European; admission is granted to any willing member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). There were seventeen countries in each semifinal, plus five that swept straight through to the final, bypassing the quicksand of the semis. One of these is always the host country, in this case Norway; the four others—France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom—go through unchallenged, on the highly artistic ground that their respective broadcasters pour the largest contributions into the coffers of the EBU. Think of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, add a blast of dry ice, and you get the idea.