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I Know We're All Just People, But You Europeans Are Just Plain Weird: The Daily Nooner (EST)!

Dustin the Turkey - "Irlande Douze Pointe"

I can't think of many things that draw a clearer line in the cultural sand between Europe and America than the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It's one of the longest-running TV shows in history, it's watched by 600 million people worldwide, and nobody in America has any fucking clue that it even exists.

The details are a little fuzzy to a cheeseburger chewin', Budweiser swillin' cowboy Yank like myself, but from what I can tell, each country picks a song to represent them in the contest, and then the viewers vote to determine the most popular song. That sounds like it should be pretty straightforward, but here's the problem: This year, Ireland has chosen to be represented by a puppet named Dustin the Turkey. And that, unfortunately, is where I cease to understand what the hell this competition is all about.

Why would you want to send an obnoxious turkey puppet to represent your country in an international competition? Does this enter some sort of bizarre grand tradition that we here in the States aren't aware of? Is it customary for countries to be represented by bizarre animal puppets? Is France sending a water vole with a mustache? Does Germany send a highly fashionable goose with a strong work ethic? Your European customs are strange and frightening to my American eyes. I'm not making fun of you, Europe; I'm just trying to understand you. Please explain yourself in simple terms I can understand. You know - by using the words "freedom," "terror" and "McDonalds."

Do it fast, though - American Idol's on soon.

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Ross Wolinsky

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