As a die hard follower of the Totallympics International Song Contests I can say I was deeply saddened upon hearing the decision to remove Turkey from the upcoming 10th edition Jubilee. For me TISC has always been mainly about fun, about bringing users together like only Olympics could do. Decision to remove Turkey, based on seemingly plain technicalities and loopholes, is not what makes these contests great. It’s what kills them in fact.
One could argue that Turkey’s slightly belated votes caused major problems with organizational duties, such as voting order draw and templates, but I’ll ask you to look at the bigger picture of this decision. Instead of bringing all interested parties together, one of them was removed for the sake of templates and voting draw. I’ll be the first to say that I’m interested in templates and I always enjoy to see the new designs that the organizers have carefully crafted. However that should not be the point of these events. I’ll rather have the votes delivered in a single line, using the default Arial font with 14pt height, than having one of the users removed, no matter how fancy and eye catching the templates may turn out to be. The path where templates become more important than the actual users is highly worrying, but also not that surprising for this sometimes unusually autocratic forum. Templates, draws, schedules, deadlines, ceremonies, scoreboards, stats, podiums, and even songs… That all counts for absolutely nothing without users. It’s rather simple, no users = no contest, and not the other way around.
Speaking of TISC rules. They are there for a reason, of course, but also there is no reason to have them strictly implemented. TISC is there for fun, and fun doesn’t need rules that come in the way more often than not. Let me remind you that a new, highly influential rule has been introduced for this edition. A rule that excludes certain users from contests based on their forum activity. Whether one agrees with it or not, it has to be acknowledged that there was no public discussion among interested parties whatsoever before introduction of this rule, or even a public announcement about its introduction for that matter. Such introduction of new rules is actually fine, as long as the rules are not there to be strictly implemented, but rather to serve interests of each and every user (with participation of every interested party being of the paramount importance) and preserve basic integrity of the contest.
Back to Memo, who received plenty of critics, some of them justified, some of them most definitely not. One of the users in fact suggested that Memo is not even one of the “people who care just a little little little little bit” about TISC. So, to elaborate, a user who entered a song for two consecutive TISC editions and has invested hours to listen and rank a total of 75 other songs is not even “little little little little bit” interested?
I can only hope to see Memo coming back at some of the future editions, although with this outcome I’ll also find it quite understandable if he doesn’t register again.
With all this in mind, I’m afraid this Jubilee may not be as special as I thought it would be. But hey, life too is one long Jubilee, right?