Fucking Expensive Karaoke - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Fucking Expensive Karaoke

Fucking Expensive Karaoke

Published May 8, 2009

I recently paid $60 to make a fool of myself. I and about eight other people went to an Indian restaurant inventively named Calcutta. After some mediocre Chicken Danshak and a dauntingly massive bottle or three of Taj Mahal beer (or as it is known to the Shah Jahan, ‘My Dead Wife’s Tomb Beer’), I ventured that the only prudent course of action at the time was to hit up a Karaoke place.
    Two bars later, we had finally gathered enough juice to make good on the suggestion, and travelled to an undisclosed location in New York’s East Village. A room was rented, and a series of inspired renditions of underappreciated nineties songs quickly followed, along with uncounted pitchers of the horsewash they call beer in the States.
    Now, understand, that to me this is standard fare. Nothing reserved for the ultra-rich; just an innocent, affordable gathering of young alcoholics with a bottled-up and repressed love for well-crafted pop songs. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing you’d have to pay more than, say, $150 for. Well, I thought wrong.
    Together, me, Sprengjuhöllin and their assorted lackeys and sycophants ran up a bill of $385 dollars, tips excluded, of which I paid $60. It’s insane. How did what we did that night equal the value of the same time spent in a psychiatrist’s office, the Ritz-Carlton, or a hooker’s ass? It’s mind-boggling. Human beings, evolved human beings, should not have to pay that amount of money to sing badly recreated pop music through poorly equalised microphones.
    Now I’m not saying Karaoke is a bad choice for an evening’s entertainment, but is it really worth all that? Couldn’t you get the same experience at home for a tenth of the price? Why do we feel this constant need to throw our money away on commodities so dubious they can scarcely be referred to as such? It’s ridiculous. We pay more money for worse alcohol and have less control over shittier music and talk to more boring people in bars; why do we do it?
    I’m not trying to make some searing indictment of the alcohol-based entertainment industry here. I just want to know where these guys get off charging money like that for a basic human need. No answer so far provided to me has been satisfactory, save for the theory that we’re all misanthropic, self-destructive animals, unhappy with survival and discontent with happiness. Only that could possibly explain why we paid all that money to sing Karaoke.

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