Any questions?

Maybe I need a testosterone patch. I’ve heard that falling hormone levels make middle-aged men cranky. But 43 isn’t middle-aged, is it? I’m still so young! Maybe I just need a vacation. We’ll be in the Seattle and Portland area for a couple weeks starting next week, visiting the relatives. Maybe that will do the trick.

Until then, do any of you have any questions? I’ll answer anything, but reserve the right to be facetious. This occurred to me a couple days ago during an IM conversation with someone in France, that there’s a lot I never talk about, about daily life here. Like, Austrian drivers’ licenses are printed on pink card paper, folded several times, and never expire. So you get old people with pictures of themselves at 18 on their licenses. 18 used to be the minimum age for driving here; it’s since been lowered to 16 or 17, but you only get a restricted license until you’re 18, whatever a restricted license is. Also you are required to attend an expensive driving school in most cases; and cannot simply transfer your American license (at least not from most states; a few individual states have agreements with Austria, most don’t).

Today, though, I wanted to mention a reason for Americans to be glad they don’t live in Europe: Euro-shite. Euro-shite is the bad European pop music played on the radio here. Every country in Europe produces it, but a few small countries such as Holland, Sweden, France, and to an extent Italy seem to be the main offenders.

Euro-shite is distinct from that found in the British Islands, usually known as Brit-shite, and your regular shite heard in the United States, as well as other varieties such as Latino-shite and Global-shite aka Ethno-shite, not to mention Celtic-shite, etc etc.

It’s a pervasive and horrible music and I used to think the international success of Abba was to blame but the music is far older. It all started in the late 50’s or early 60’s when Europeans first adopted American pop music, or maybe earlier when they started playing jazz, who knows.

I will not link any of these guys ‘n gals or give a list of names, I refuse to concentrate on them for as long as that would require. Also I’m supposed to be working. It just really sucks, believe me. And if you don’t believe me – and of course you have no reason to – you’ll just have to come over here and listen for yourself.

Falco. Falco is maybe an example of a European pop singer who rose above Euro-shite. Just imagine really bad Falco. Or have someone send you a tape of the Euro-Vision Song Contest participants.

Anyway: send me questions.

12 responses to “Any questions?

  1. D

    I used ti believe that Eurovision was about who had the best shite. Now its more and more apparent that it is all about who has the most popular shite, good or bad.

    And of course European politics has a lot to do with deciding the winner.

  2. miguel

    it sounds like a joke, but nothing displays the current matrix of alliances and national cross-pollination in Europe better than the results of the Eurovision song contest.

  3. It’s called schlager music here in Sweden.

    (I really don’t like any music but classical music, but even I can tell that Swedes have simply awful taste in popular music.

    They’re great at social singing, however.)

  4. As I was just explaining to hubby, 45 is the offical middle age, so you got some time *grins*
    enjoy your visit to the states.

  5. Do you want to meet seattle webloggers? there are some getting together on blog meetup day, apparently:

    more discussion here:

    If that day’s not good, I’m willing to meet you at another time.

  6. I only have two words: David Hasselhoff.

  7. My first question is not Austria related: If you had had a son, would he have been named Omega?

    My second question is Austria-based: How would you describe the Austrian character? And what most surprised you about life there?

  8. pat

    i can vouch for the shiteyness of braziloshite.

    it’s painful.

    and the fact that it’s in portuguese only partially makes up for it.

  9. aalpha

    I know somebody who is a secret ABBA fan. I am not telling names….

  10. mig

    If i had a son i’d name him Jill so he grew up tough.
    How would I describe the Austrian character, and what has surprised me most…

    I need to think about that one and give a serious answer. Look for a post after i get back.

  11. Hey, you totally ignored the post right after Pat’s post, Mig.