February 7, 2010 12:02 PM Subscribe
posted by applemeat (55 comments total)
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"After a day of barbering, Rodolfo Gregorio went to his neighborhood karaoke bar still smelling of talcum powder. Putting aside his glass of Red Horse Extra Strong beer, he grasped a microphone with a habitué’s self-assuredness and [...] belted out crowd-pleasers by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. But Mr. Gregorio, 63, a witness to countless fistfights and occasional stabbings erupting from disputes over karaoke singing, did not dare choose one beloved classic: Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way.” “I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” he said. “You can get killed."
“My Way” has reportedly generated so many outbursts of hostility that some bars in the Philippines now do not offer it on the karaoke menu
Is there something inherently provocative about "My Way" (YouTube link)
that inspires violence among karaoke enthusiasts? Sources quoted in the NYT link suggest that the song's "'triumphalist' nature might contribute to [...] violence" as its "lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody when you’re really nobody." Or is "karaoke rage" a predictable consequence of the fact that karaoke bars may bring together several socially combustible elements?
Elsewhere in the world, karaoke song selections as varied as Dio's "Holy Diver"
and John Denver's "Country Roads"
have been implicated in rage-related crimes.