Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Karaoke Time!

It's just as well for most of the world's population that they don't live in South Korea this week. Although undoubtedly a garden spot for some and indubitably a more salubrious clime than that of their northern neighbour, this week it would not be the place for those of a musical bent or ear.
For this week, the nation has celebrated an event rather comparable with the testing of a nuclear device in North Korea. I refer, of course, to the achievement of a lady in breaking the world's record for Karaoke by warbling for sixty hours non-stop.
No doubt this will gain her an entry in that compendium of dubiously useful human achievements, The Guinness Book of World Records. However, I would suggest that those who were subjected to listening to sixty hours of the stuff are equally deserving. Somebody must have been there to ensure that she didn't nip off for a quick gargle between numbers.
I've had a limited exposure to the delights of the karaoke business but from what I've heard, I feel rather as Sir Thomas Beecham felt about the bagpipes. He said he had no real objection to them but felt that they were heard to their best advantage from the far side of a mountain. Karaoke, I feel, should be restricted to places such as camp sites on the Costa del Fish 'n Chips.
But human nature never ceases to amaze me and I am sure that, somewhere, someone is tuning up their tonsils for a go at this world record.
Now, I've always suffered from a laudable lack of ambition and why there should be this desire to come first, beats me.
At school, I never aspired to be top of the class. On the contrary, I set my sights merely on ensuring that I was not at the bottom, thus gaining the comment on every report: "Should try harder."
When serving in the air force I had no desire to rise through the ranks to be Marshal of the Royal Air Force. I simply concentrated on getting out as soon as possible.
And, later on in life, a succession of bank managers would testify to my lack of desire to become independently wealthy, other than at their expense. Indeed, many frequently suggested that we should return to our original arrangement wherein I banked with them - and not the other way around.
Thus I have spared myself from the agony of defeat and the humiliation of coming second. I suppose I've missed out on the ecstasy of coming first but you can't have everything.
It seems to me that there's quite enough strife in this world without my adding to it. There was an epitaph which sums up my attitude. It began:
"I strove with none,
For none were worth my strife."
Now, if you'll excuse me, I must rush off to practise my karaoke.
There's a record waiting to be broken.


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