I've kept a polite silence on this for a long time, but just last week I went out for some Karaoke with friends from work and now I think I've had enough.
There was a moment, in childhood, when I was at a wedding and made a startling realization. The wedding isn't about the couple. It's not about their love, or their future. Weddings are about the bride. And I was always kind of disgusted at that. The wedding is ostensibly about two people and the connection they're forging, but the facade is thin. It's really just the bride and how beautiful she looks and how this is her big day, and well, the groom is her cute little accessory.
Karaoke is the junior varsity version of this. It's supposedly about getting drunk and having a great time and letting loose, etc. etc. But no. That's not really what it's about, is it. It's about these women (and we know who they are) fulfilling some kind of deep-seated, quasi-sexual fantasy where they're the big pop star.
Now let me be clear on one point. I'm not saying these women suck at singing. That's not it at all. I would describe them as good. Competent. Satisfactory. Perfectly adequate. A solid B+. You gotta figure all that hairdryer-as-microphone practice paid off. So no, they don't suck. But are they wildly talented, diamond-in-the-rough gifted singers? Hellllllllll no.
And that's exactly what they think they are. Every single one of these women is under the full impression that they're unparalleled and peerless. They truly believe it. There's no pretense there. They think they're God's gift.
You can see this narcissism on display all night at the karaoke bar. Women sit at tables together. They gossip together - they go to the bathroom together. But as soon as that karaoke songbook gets passed around, there's no more camaraderie. Notice how they don't share the book. They study it carefully, alone... strategizing. Planning out about 4 songs. The first one will be a tour de force ballad, stunning everyone with their full vocal range. The second one will be lighter and more fun - cause she's versatile after all. The third one will be a duet or trio so she can pull some friends onstage. After all, she's not vain - she's willing to sing with others.
This all gets planned out like Rommel moving his tanks around in Morocco. Then after she hands the list to the DJ it's back to the socializing until yes! It's showtime! Notice how the eyes glaze over and the smile plays across the face. Is it my turn? Right now? Already! Well shucks!
It's my guess - and this is just conjecture - it's my guess that the basis of their confidence in their singing talent is their ability to hit the high note. Cause all these songs they choose have the one high note toward the end. And believe me, they can hit that high note. I feel like when the music starts, every one of them is thinking "They don't think I can hit the high note. Well they're about to find out I can."
On behalf of everyone in the karaoke audience, let me say the following: We know that you can hit the high note. In fact in any one of these interchangeable slow ballads where a man done you wrong but now you're standing on two feet - you can hit the high note. We will further concede that you can sustain the high note at an impressively loud volume. Even more than that - you can hit the high note, sustain it, and then relapse it into vibrato whenever you feel the moment is right. There. We acknowledge it. Now please finish the song because your assertive, 0n-key, loud twang of a voice is fatiguing, and you're standing too close to the mike.
I just don't like involuntarily being made a part of someone's personal fantasy. Cause look at them up there. They aren't with us, they're in their own little world. They truly think they're dazzling us with their secret talent. And if you hang out with the same people enough, you'll see the same women sing karaoke a dozen times. And each time, it's the same fantasy - "They don't think I can sing. Well they're about to find out how wrong they are." Give it a rest, karaoke women. Take it down a notch.
Still haven't been paid back by that friend, by the way.