©Dan White. No repro of words or pictures without authorisation.
It’s a little known fact that Daisuke Inoue, the supposed inventor of Karaoke failed to patent his invention and never received a dime for his creation even though, since it first appeared in the early seventies, it has taken over the world.
Good. He should be locked up for crimes against humanity. From Delhi to Dili the monstrous caterwauling of the supremely untalented, yet supremely unaware blights lives and provokes all the wrong kind of passions.
In the Philippines singing “My Way” is justifiably against the law as it provokes gangfights with guns. Just the opening chords are enough for sinister mustachioed men to head into a trance of aggression and reach for the pump action.
In Florida a demented 21-year-old woman attacked a man singing ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. The reason for this violent outburst was precisely explained. He “sucked.”
She screamed, “You suck!” before she punched him in the mouth very hard. Clarity is good. We should understand her pain.
“It took three or four of us to hold her down,” recalled bartender Robert Willmette. When she was escorted outside, she “went absolutely crazy,” throwing punches at anyone who came in reach. Terrified patrolmen then blocked off the street, which inflamed the woman’s fury even further. Before they could handcuff her, she charged the improvised police barricade, head-butted an off-duty officer, drawing blood and knocking him out cold…….. All this might appear extreme. Extreme perhaps, unless you were actually privy to the rendition of ‘Yellow’ that set her off. Who is anyone to judge?
In fact the horror of this viral noise pollution is unlikely to be the work of Daisuke, an unassuming man whose main line of work to this day is selling cockroach repellant.
Most likely, this aural abomination was created as some kind of Nipponese revenge for having lost the Second World War. As the Imperial Japanese army was pushed back across the Pacific and the generals knew it was all over, some demonic psycho deep in the heart of the black-ops division of the Tokyo military machine conceived a revenge so evil and so perfect that ever after the rest of the world would regret ever having won the battle of Midway let alone having bragged about it. For those in the know revenge is sweet. There are inscrutable old men smirking in Okinawa rice paddies to this day.
And now look what they’ve done? You might be in the misty, scenic foothills of Mount Fansipan In North Vietnam. Perhaps enjoying a Pina Calada as the sun sets over the mystical sheen of the idyllic paradise that is Boracay in the Philippines…. As you gently drift off into a reverie of peace, tranquility and calm, you might think that the meaning of life itself could emerge from the softly lit calm gently permeating your soul.
Forget it. In one brutal instant the air is rent by that appalling mid-tonal wailing as some deluded and half drunk stranger manages to hit notes so painfully just off key that even Ornette Coleman would be scratching his head at the split 5ths. It is supposed to be ‘Moon River’ but actually sounds like the last stand of a pig being dragged out of a pick up and into the waiting abattoir.
Perhaps the cruelest horror of Karaoke is the effect it has on those who might otherwise be quite shy and unassuming. Mousy secretaries suddenly turn into wild and savage sex pests as the strains of Tata Young’s “Sexy, Sexy, Sexy. Bitchy, Bitchy, Bitchy” consume their being and let loose an alter ego that no one could have guessed existed.
Maybe even more terrifying than the warped flowering of the sexually repressed is the smug chest thumping of the truly in love.
It is a depressing thought that some people must actually practice this at home.
One daren’t contemplate what is going through the mind of the cheery couple that get on stage and try to perform an authentically synchronized rendition of ‘Summer Nights’ from Grease. These people know all the moves! Olivia Newton John’s coy semi-virginal come-ons….. John Travolta’s vacant, high-pitched screech as the song is eventually drawn to an excruciating close leaving sane men weeping.
When threatened mankind is capable of swift collective action to defend the species. Governments step in and nationalise banks to defend our savings. Troops are dispatched to far away countries to shoot all kinds of poor people for reasons that no one can quite remember… One can only hope that common sense will prevail and people do the right thing before its too late.
The time for action is now! Pull the plug! Yank out the fuse!…
Open the doors of the rehab center… Envy the deaf.
(c) Dan White.