May 04, 2004

People Who Take Karaoke Seriously

People Who Take Karaoke Seriously

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not particularly big fans of karaoke. In fact, much like philosopher Roger Scruton, we think it’s a pathetic way of enacting a schoolboy fantasy: The desire to be a rock star. As a result, there’s something faintly ridiculous about karaoke: Watching a blitzkrieged forklift driver wretchedly croon “Born to Run” while shaking his distended hips isn’t exactly our idea of a great Friday night. Sure, karaoke may be as American as apple pie, but so is David Hasselhoff.

Yet surely, dear reader, there is a far more pernicious element of the karaoke crowd than those who at least have the good sense to realize that their version of “I Did It My Way” is atrocious. These individuals, in fact, are the target of today’s edition of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”: The people who take karaoke seriously.

You know the type, dear reader: Thirtysomething women with deep-fried blonde hair, acid-wash jeans, and jackets replete with fringes. The kinds of gals for whom “Oprah” is a little too bookish. Interminably stuck in dead-end jobs as secretaries thanks to the divorce of their philandering first husbands, these Mary Kay townies get all of their joys out of Karaoke Wednesdays at the local watering hole.

As a result, while regular shlubs are lining up to belt out hideous versions of the inimitable Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters,” these noxious proles are in the midst of their half-hour vocal warm-ups. For, naturally, it takes great concentration and vocal dexterity to chirp a miserable version of “Love is a Battlefield.”

To make matters worse, these Karaoke Queens scoff at the regular Joes and Josephines who refuse to take their three minutes at the microphone with condign solemnity. Come on, they say to themselves: This is Huey Lewis and the News—it’s not the subject of mirth!

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Au contraire, ladies; pop music is so ridiculous that it’s impossible for anyone with half a brain to take it seriously. Sure, one can tunelessly warble through a rock song, but that isn’t tantamount to a cultural catastrophe. In short, a mauling a Mahler is merely a malling of Tiffany.

So we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a collective tip for our blue-collar Dolly-Partons-in-training: Take it down a notch. After all, no one cares if you can sing a passable version of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” Frankly, we want to hurt you a great deal.

Posted at May 4, 2004 12:17 AM | TrackBack