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Sincerity has no place at the karaoke mic

Erect an ironic fortress

Dear Hipster:

I work for a small, professional business with about 12 other people. I love the fact that our “office” is very collegial and informal, but the flip side of that is that everybody is all up in everyone’s business all the time, and it’s easy to mix up personal and professional boundaries — case in point, our upcoming company retreat. We are all going to a karaoke bar, ostensibly to bond over the mutual humiliation of off-key singing and forgotten lyrics. In principle, I think this is actually a good idea that could bring people together, but I’m absolutely terrified of getting up in front of my co-workers and embarrassing myself. I’ve never sung karaoke, and till recently I’d hoped that trend would continue forever. If I worked for a bigger business, I just wouldn’t go, but our tiny company makes that a lot harder. Except for me, everyone is psyched about the retreat, and it will be conspicuous, not to mention breaking with the spirit of the office, if I don’t show up; doubly so if I attend but refuse to take part in the festivities. For the sake of better bonding with my co-workers, how do I overcome my karaoke phobia?

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— Alex, Golden Hill

Since your opinion of your job and coworkers appears overwhelmingly favorable, I suspect you can do whatever you want, including refuse to sing on grounds of being the boss of you, without irreparably tarnishing your reputation around the office.

Video:

"Come On, Eileen"

That said, you haven’t lived till you’ve wrestled with “Come On, Eileen,” realizing much too late that you don’t actually know any of the words other than “come on, Eileen” and “toora loora toora loora yeah.”

Karaoke is a golden opportunity for hipsters and non-hipsters alike to erect an ironic fortress against performance anxiety. Unless actively gunning for the job as Journey’s lead singer, sincerity has no place at the karaoke mic. “This is How You Remind Me” will forever be a great karaoke song precisely because Nickelback is so unspeakably bad. It’s funny for a trio of drunk white girls to enthusiastically butcher “Gangsta’s Paradise” because Dangerous Minds exists out there in a collected thirty-somethings’ childhood. Crowds will always appreciate a 220 lb dude in a Tapout hoodie getting through the Titanic song without cracking up.

Your quest for karaoke comfort begins and ends at the point where you don’t take yourself too seriously. If baby steps are in order, I recommend any of the karaoke houses in Kearny Mesa, where you can test the waters in a private room with a few trusted friends.

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Dear Hipster:

I work for a small, professional business with about 12 other people. I love the fact that our “office” is very collegial and informal, but the flip side of that is that everybody is all up in everyone’s business all the time, and it’s easy to mix up personal and professional boundaries — case in point, our upcoming company retreat. We are all going to a karaoke bar, ostensibly to bond over the mutual humiliation of off-key singing and forgotten lyrics. In principle, I think this is actually a good idea that could bring people together, but I’m absolutely terrified of getting up in front of my co-workers and embarrassing myself. I’ve never sung karaoke, and till recently I’d hoped that trend would continue forever. If I worked for a bigger business, I just wouldn’t go, but our tiny company makes that a lot harder. Except for me, everyone is psyched about the retreat, and it will be conspicuous, not to mention breaking with the spirit of the office, if I don’t show up; doubly so if I attend but refuse to take part in the festivities. For the sake of better bonding with my co-workers, how do I overcome my karaoke phobia?

Sponsored
Sponsored

— Alex, Golden Hill

Since your opinion of your job and coworkers appears overwhelmingly favorable, I suspect you can do whatever you want, including refuse to sing on grounds of being the boss of you, without irreparably tarnishing your reputation around the office.

Video:

"Come On, Eileen"

That said, you haven’t lived till you’ve wrestled with “Come On, Eileen,” realizing much too late that you don’t actually know any of the words other than “come on, Eileen” and “toora loora toora loora yeah.”

Karaoke is a golden opportunity for hipsters and non-hipsters alike to erect an ironic fortress against performance anxiety. Unless actively gunning for the job as Journey’s lead singer, sincerity has no place at the karaoke mic. “This is How You Remind Me” will forever be a great karaoke song precisely because Nickelback is so unspeakably bad. It’s funny for a trio of drunk white girls to enthusiastically butcher “Gangsta’s Paradise” because Dangerous Minds exists out there in a collected thirty-somethings’ childhood. Crowds will always appreciate a 220 lb dude in a Tapout hoodie getting through the Titanic song without cracking up.

Your quest for karaoke comfort begins and ends at the point where you don’t take yourself too seriously. If baby steps are in order, I recommend any of the karaoke houses in Kearny Mesa, where you can test the waters in a private room with a few trusted friends.

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“Short and sweet with unhinged vocals and guitars”
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I don't have Facebook, so I can't respond directly to the comment from John Ruzicka, but Rock Out Karaoke totally played at my wedding and they were awesome!

April 27, 2016
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