This book is an interesting and quick read, I first discovered Alan Cumming through his work as Eli Gold in the ‘Good Wife’.
There were a couple of quotes that I wanted to note down:
On the Eurovision Song Contest
“And tonight, as though the showbiz gods could tell that I needed levity and sparkle and wacky Euro froth, was the night of the Eurovision Song Contest!!
Most Americans of course have never heard of this great institution and I can only feel sorry for them. I know this because I sen almost all my down time between takes in the movie Sky Kids playing Eurovision trivia with Antonio Banderas, much to the bemusement of the crew in Austin, Texas. They looked at us as though we were members of a cult, and in a way, we are. IT is part of my pop DNA, it is a rite of passage, a touchstone, and eventually it transcends its awful shallow shininess to become a communal nostalgic shrine to which we make our annual drunken pilgrimages. It’s like Christmas or Thanksgiving but without the family feuds and with a pretty racy bpm. I grew up with it, and I will almost certainly die with it, or perhaps from it. IT fave us ABBA, people!!! Celine Dion won in 1988, representing Switzerland!!
I have often thought that if Americans were more exposed to this wonder there would not only be a huge surge in the understanding of British wit and irony, but they would perhaps be able to appreciate without shame the value of a good old-fashioned tacky pop song. I feel my American friends are so very worried about seeming gauche or vulgar when it comes to pop music. It’s only when certain styles of music are placed within the ironic context of retro that Americans can fully enjoy them. We Europeans have never had that problem. Sometimes the lowest common denominator is a positive thing, and people can bond over their love of pop trash.”
On Long Haul Flights
“I love long flights. The feeling of being completely unreachable is something I savour, and the limbolike state of being, having departed but not arrived, somehow allows me to catch up with myself, to regroup and check in. It’s a little contrary to think that I look forward to careering through the skies in a metal-fatigued box in order to gain some feeling of inner calm, but that’s the way I roll”