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Eurovision

23/05/2013 - par Mark Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

My father is 70 years old and life is catching up with him. A serious illness is attacking his bones. He aches all over. His back has basically retired. But when I arrived in England for the weekend, he smiled as though he was in the best of health. On the car ride home, we talked about the things we've always talked about: books, movies, pop music and TV shows.
That evening, we ate fish and chips and watched the Eurovision Song Contest. As we did so, I read out funny tweets from my wife - who had stayed at home in Paris to look after our little boy. The song contest was of course dreadful. Horrible lyrics, bad outfits, kitsch staging. We laughed our heads off. During the boring bits we talked about parenthood. It was a wonderful evening. A wonderful evening made by media. TV and pop music and Twitter: compared to life and death, these are trivial things. But my father has been thinking about life and death a bit too much recently. Media gave him a night off. A glitzy, risible event beamed live from Malmö (Sweden) performed a kind of magic: it enabled him to forget about his rebellious body and focus on being the witty, enthusiastic, charming father I've known forever.
At the station on Sunday, he hugged me briefly and said: "Thanks for coming. I feel a lot better." Fresh air, laughter - and media. These are the things that keep us engaged with the world.

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