[Marxism] When Facebook Isn't Fun, or...

David Picón Álvarez david at miradoiro.com
Sat Mar 7 04:21:36 MST 2009

From: <sabocat59 at mac.com>
[Snipped some text with which I mostly agree.]
> Karaoke is really just an american idol fantasy. The person singing 
> doesn't play any instruments or write any lyrics. Its not a very authentic 
> form of self expression.

I think you're reading this wrong, or, at least, where I live karaoke has a 
different character. Karaoke is basically a modernization of what people 
used to do in gatherings: after having a meal and drinking, people would 
start singing. Most people wouldn't know how to play instruments or make up 
lyrics of their own (although some of our folk songs have forms that help in 
that regard, making it easy to add verses). But nonetheless I wouldn't say 
such singing would be an unauthentic form of self expression, it's just the 
expression of a collective cultural corpus instead of the corpus coming out 
of a single creative individual or a small group of them. Songs would get 
altered, verses added, modified or removed, according to popular taste, and 
so on. This is where karaoke loses something of that, because the music and 
lyrics are always the same, but on the other hand it helps people sing along 
to a melody, and it makes for a more complete experience of the music. 
People singing along after gatherings was not enough when people could 
instead turn on a stereo and listen to music. So I think karaoke is more 
ambiguous than how you portray it.

BTW, there's something incredibly funny about hearing a whole room of 
20-something-year-olds (me included) singing along to a folk song that was 
old in the 50s. Somehow songs that before karaoke young people would refuse 
as "old-fashioned" or "music for old people" are coming back into their own.


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