Hate is a very strong word, and should be used only in the most specific of instances. I hate communism, I hate Nicholas Cage, and I sure as shit hate people who wear those pants that zip into shorts. If those zip-ups happen to have cargo pockets, that Razor scooter of yours better be fast enough to evade my wrath. Detachable pants aside, what I really, really hate, are people who (singing skills aside) suck at picking karaoke songs at the bar. These people come in different ways, shapes (apparently overweight girls are allowed to sing in public now), and forms. But we don’t have all day, so I’m going to highlight three types of Karaoke song selectors that truly make me wonder if famine is the worst thing in our world today.
1. The Sad Person
I am going to make a confession: although few and far between, there are brief, almost negligible, instances in which I feel like I don’t urinate gold or that meaningless hook-ups don’t leave me fulfilled and legitimately happy. The brevity of these crazy thoughts is contingent upon how close I am to the refrigerator, or my handle of Maker’s Mark. Within mere moments I return to mental equilibrium, and realize that silly me forgot that love is, in fact, not real. That’s how normal, rational people solve their problems. That’s why normal people go to the bar: to drown their sorrows away in a private manner. Normal people don’t use social media as their personal therapist, they don’t sit at home and watch Bridget Jones’ Diary and eat a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s, they go to the bar. They sit there silently and they drink. Real Americans have been doing it for generations. Now, a couple drinks may lead one to unintended socializing, but what it shouldn’t lead to is a walk to the karaoke stand to page through the assortment of songs about dying alone or domestic abuse. I, along with every other patron except the bartender with three kids and no husbands, don’t take delight in your incredibly depressing tribulations. Another problem is that these songs almost always never get finished. If you’re going to sing about getting touched by your little league coach you better finish the story so we, the audience, aren’t left mid-dugout. We’re owed at least that much. You can’t just start crying, drop the mic, and walk away.
“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman is clearly an exception to the rule against sad songs, cause let’s face it, it’s a classic.
2. The Obscure Person
If you think karaoke is about you being on stage, and being in the limelight, and being one song away from making it big, I think you have a little bit of Dee Reynolds Syndrome. Karaoke is a group effort. Nobody cares about the guy on stage unless he is making pelvic thrusts and sexually provocative faces while singing “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” That guy is cool…mainly because I’ve been that guy, but there has to be something redeeming about the public flaunting of genitalia. There definitely is. The obscure person seems to forget that people want to hear certain songs, not certain people. People don’t want to hear a song by the Adjective-Noun-Article-Adverb-Noun’s that they have never heard. How the fuck do you sing along to a song that nobody even knows the chorus to? No one wants to come down from the high of Twist & Shout to a song from a band whose genre “can’t be defined.” I don’t care if I label “The Whisper Song” as hip-hop or as a children’s nursery rhyme, all I know is that I am sure as hell going to give it a label. This rule also applies to the “Oh you think Closing Time is Semisonic’s best song, you have to hear this one” guy. This obviously doesn’t apply to country songs about drinking, because they’ve yet to disappoint me.
3. The Person Singing Pitbull, Or LMFAO
I don’t usually force sharp dental tools or flesh eating parasites into my ear. That one time in Tijuana was the exception, but I knew when I tossed Maria 50 pesos that she was going to be giving me something special and unprecedented. Oh, and the first time I heard Rachel Maddow’s voice. When I look towards the television screen and see that the next song is “Party Rock Anthem” or any “music” by Pitbull, I think about re-living the night with Maria, including the next morning when I woke up from our tangled embrace, desperately trying to find my way to the hospital because I was missing a kidney. Pitbull is a no-talent ass clown, and if you want to replicate a talentless famous person you might as well make a Madea spin-off. Final note about these awful songs that people think are fun to sing to a group: if you sing “I’m Sexy and I Know it” and are less than an 8, I will ridicule your inadequacies in front of the masses.
The point to take away from all this is that there are too many good songs out there, and so many good blackout times you can have with karaoke, to ruin it by being a fucking loser. So don’t ruin it by being a fucking loser.