Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Know How They Feel

I'll grant you, the off-tune warbling of really drunk Korean girls that sometimes leak through the walls and halls of local noraebang 노래방 or karaoke singing rooms can sometimes run a chill up my spine.

I'll even consider that a note or two of my own has missed the mark on occasion ...

Still, that's no reason to kill somebody. Unless you're in the Philippines. The NYT is reporting on a category of crime in that steamy archipelago dubbed "My Way Killings" by the media there for the frequency with which Ol' Blue Eyes' killer tune seems to be involved in the violence.
... many karaoke bars have removed the song from their playbooks. And the country’s many Sinatra lovers, like Mr. Gregorio here in this city in the southernmost Philippines, are practicing self-censorship out of perceived self-preservation.
Karaoke-related killings are not limited to the Philippines. In the past two years alone, a Malaysian man was fatally stabbed for hogging the microphone at a bar and a Thai man killed eight of his neighbors in a rage after they sang John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Karaoke-related assaults have also occurred in the United States, including at a Seattle bar where a woman punched a man for singing Coldplay’s “Yellow” after criticizing his version.
Still, the odds of getting killed during karaoke may be higher in the Philippines, if only because of the ubiquity of the pastime.

So Frank Sinatra and John Denver are out, which puts a big dent in my repertoire, limited as it is by my vocal range--it's not really a range, even, more like a camping stove. Hopefully a sincere rendition of "Give Peace a Chance" will give peace a chance.

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