<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Karaoke Karina and the Series of Rants

So I just finished today's book, Karaoke Nights, which is an ethnography about karaoke bars. A rather fun book, actually, and enjoyable to read; however, as a result I found myself singing rather constantly throughout the day. ("Mr. Jones" was the favourite I returned to again and again, though I wandered as far into dangerous territory as to sing part of a Whitney Houston song. What can I say, except that it's fun to listen to the echoes in a bathroom where every flat surface is tiled.) Here I'd usually say something about how I can't sing and it's good that there was no one around to hear me, but parts of that book have me pondering this constant "oh, I can't sing" thing that you'll hear from 98% of the population of North America. Is everyone out there really so terrible at singing? Of course not. What we really mean is that we're not spectacular singers, that we don't come close to professional standards, that we are, in fact, average.

So as I was singing my average singing and reading my entertaining book, I realized that I'd like to have a go at karaoke. I wouldn't ever be a karaoke regular or anything of the sort, simply because music in general does not play a pivotal role in my life. (Though I am sad that I don't have a CD player here and that this laptop only has dreadful speakers, I spend most of my time here content with the silence.) And yes, it would take some prodding and giggling and a whole lot of support to actually get me up on some little stage somewhere to sing, but I think it would be fun.

Yet at the same time I know that that's very, very unlikely to happen, simply because I would want a group of friends to go out and enjoy this with, people I could prod onstage in turn and laugh about it with afterwards. And damn if I can think of a group of people around here who would like to go karaoke singing with me. (Here is where I wave sadly to all the friends who would go karaoke singing with me and are scattered throughout the United States.)

It's sort of like dancing. I don't say this a lot but I really, truly love going out dancing. And this happens maybe twice a year at most. Which isn't to say that there aren't dance clubs here in Toronto--quite the opposite--just that I don't know where to go, or when, and there's no way that I'm going out there alone. So somehow SF-gatherings tend to be the only place/time that I can find people to go dancing with me.

This year my dancing opportunities have been Ad Astra and Torcon. (And seeing as I still haven't posted anything resembling a con report, I'm sure that latter one comes as a surprise to some people.) Convention dances are … well. Yes. And yet they're fun simply because people there are so nonjudgmental, and are there simply to have a good time. The music sometimes leaves something to be desired (there was a really bad run for a while there at Torcon before things got going), and I always seemed to be hit on by the least desirable people (con crashers at Ad Astra, that older biker-pirate guy at Torcon--I'm all for nonjudgmental, but really) but they're still fun.

Dancing, though, is another of those things where people feel that they either have to be really good or standing on the sidelines. To which I say, bullshit! (Thereby ensuring that I'll have to delete this blog and all Google archives sometime before I actually become known as an author and people of any importance start reading this and judging my language. When did I start swearing so much here? Oh, yes, when I stopped pretending that every entry had to be interesting and well-thought-out and poetic and what have you, and just started writing what's on my mind whenever I feel like it. ... I should really make that a subtitle. Spontaneous Things: Not Interesting, Poetic or Well-Thought-Out.) If you want to go dancing and you're not good at it, so what? If it's fun, who cares what those drunken morons in the corner think.

Which is where I hit the point where I wonder where I'm writing all this down. It's also the point where I was about to veer off into a rant about categorization and superficiality, which would then lead into my rant about categorization of written work and/or writers, which in turn leads to my related rants about the relationship between the Romance and Science Fiction/Fantasy genres and literary vs. "good reading". Which are all very good rants, I assure you, but not what I'm going to write right at this very instant. Why? Because having finished Karaoke Nights, I either have to start on Mauve or continue The Painted Bird (small squeak of fear) or return to Anna Karenina, or maybe write that assignment that's due tomorrow. And sometime I have to eat dinner. Mmmm ... dinner.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 8:03 PM


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger

Spontaneous Things © Karina Sumner-Smith 2000-2005