I watched the special edition of Eurotrash this weekend and I could not stop grinning. Until, of course, someone tried to engage me in a debate about the EU referendum, causing my smile to shatter into a thousand pieces. So. Two things this week: Europe edition.
The good: Eurotrash
I loved Eurotrash when I was a youngster, and yet I don’t think I ever properly understood it. Like most late-90s kids, it was the dirty secret of my favourite Friday nights. If I struck it lucky my parents would be safely ensconced in a pub, my siblings either in bed or at a sleepover, and I could settle down with one hand down my pants and the TV switched to Channel 4.
If you’ve never experienced Eurotrash, now’s the time: a special edition of Eurotrash, created just for the EU Referendum debate, aired this weekend. It features Italian porn stars, a man dressed as a remarkably realistic deer, an opening can-can number and – of course – some people making bras out of pizza dough.
(Although it’s on the All4 app, I can assure you that All4 is much better than 4OD used to be, so if that’s what’s putting you off then go check it out anyway)
When I was a teenager, I’d watch Eurotrash with a kind of eager semi-arousal. Laughing at jokes I didn’t understand, making bemused faces at the pop videos, and never really taking in exactly what it was, because I was too busy waiting for the next raunchy bit to start. As an adult, watching Eurotrash wasn’t just a flashback to my desperate, wanking past – it was a reminder of some of the things I love most about sex. The playfulness, the bizarre fetishes, the ability to laugh at yourself even when you’re halfway through an orgy.
Above all, what I never fully comprehended about Eurotrash when I was younger was the sheer evangelism of it. That intense and eager desire to show other people your kinks and quirks. Not out of a need for everyone to conform, or even a desire to strong-arm them into trying it: just to show them exactly what you love.
To say ‘I’m fucking weird and I like weird fucking.’ And then have a massive party.
The bad: EU referendum
I would love to say I don’t care which way you vote in the EU referendum, but I do. I care a whole lot. I’m not going to try and persuade you here, though: I suspect that most people who read this blog will be in favour of staying in, and those who are voting out aren’t going to be persuaded by me.
Almost every ‘pro-Brexit’ image or article or tweet I’ve seen in the last week has made me miserable. And while I’m sure it’s partly due to my own bias, I think it’s also partly because so many of them have more than a hint of racism bubbling beneath the surface. There’s a fantastic article by Chimene Suleyman on the impact of campaigning and discourse in the UK.
So what can we do? Well, we can get out and vote ‘In’ on Thursday, and we can continue having depressing conversations with right-wing friends and relatives. Either to persuade them to change their minds or just to keep them so busy on Thursday they don’t get a chance to vote.
And in the meantime, to cheer ourselves up, here are two genuinely great things to come out of the EU Referendum.
- John Oliver inventing the phrase ‘I don’t give a tally-ho fuck’
- Operation Croissant. An initiative run by Parisians who are planning to visit London on Wednesday, to hand out croissants and persuade us to stay.
Comedy, free croissants, and friendliness: I can’t think of a more Eurotrash-y way to fight the hateful ‘Out’ campaign. Unless the ‘Remain’ camp change their minds and decide to make their porn parody after all.