Karaoke vs. Popped Collars: A Cultural Debate
Here’s a little Saturday morning SAT logic problem for all you brainiacs out there:
Costa Rica : Karioke :: America : _________
A. Popped collars
B. Justin Bieber
C. Bicycle shorts worn by anyone not presently competing in the Tour de France.
E. The Deep-Fried Twinkie
Here’s a hint: It’s a trick question.
The answer is F: All of the above. They are all awful, disturbingly rampant phenomena in the U.S. from which there is literally no possible escape. Just as karioke is in Costa Rica.
Every weekend, all the hardworking Ticos and Ticas of Bagaces flood the five bars in our small town to take turns belting out played-out 80’s ballads and mournful Spanish songs about lost loves and painful memories and, for some inexplicable reason, cats.
Yeah, we couldn’t figure that one out, either.
And these people don’t just sing. They sing. They shut their eyes tightly, clutch the microphone and sway their hips. They pump their fists and lean into the high notes like they are possessed by the vengeful ghost of Celine Dion.
My bad, Celine. I hadn’t seen you since the early 90s, so I just assumed you were dead.
They have absolutely zero qualms about publicly displaying a level of raw, unharnessed emotion that most Americans would be embarrassed to show in the privacy of their own closets.
And while it’s not always pretty—okay, 95% of the time it sounds like this:
–even then, Costa Rica’s love affair with karioke is still far less offensive than any of the above-mentioned phenomena we’re forced to bear helpless, silently screaming witness to in America.
Allow me to elaborate:
… I rest my case.
And you can’t really blame the Ticos because it’s not like they’re out blowing off a week’s worth of steam by crushing 15 beers, getting into violent fisticuffs with traffic signs and puking in the backs of cop cars.
They’re just happy to be here, peacefully doin’ their thang.
And if their thang is belting out an off-key rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to a crowd of strangers every Friday and Saturday night, so be it.
Just pass me a beer and the mike.