Peace and Freedom


We have quite a few TV channels here in our Yerevan apartment but most of the time we watch BBC World. The downside is that, in addition to paid advertisements, we get endless repetitive station promos and fillers.  All last week we were getting news highlights of the same week in past years… the same highlights over and over again, every time the BBC had a 30-second gap to fill.

The most annoying highlight has been a clip from Conchita Wurst’s 2014 Eurovision Song Contest acceptance speech, in which he/she dedicates the award to “all those who believe in a future of peace and freedom.”


I’m not against peace and I’m not against freedom, but anyone who believes that there will ever, ever be a time when the whole world will be at peace and in a state of freedom, however defined, should be certified. It is not in our nature as humans – or indeed in the nature of any living thing – to live in peace.  And it is inevitable that when any creature, be it animal or vegetable, occupies a position of power over another it will use that power to constrain the freedom of the weaker party.  That is, as the French say, life!

But maybe that’s not what Conchita meant. Maybe when he/she used the word ‘believe’ its intended meaning was no more than aspirational.  Or perhaps it was meant to be woolly and meaningless, as in “I believe in you.”

Whatever the case, Conchita causes me to have a stroppy fit every time I see the clip.  He/she is guilty either of talking nonsense or of sloppy use of the English language.  Am I being harsh?

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