Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A 2nd Pearl Harbor?

Before Cathy and I met, I hadn’t given much thought to karaoke. Being subjected to people singing songs you didn’t particular care for (and off-key, to boot) was something that one would only come across in certain bars or restaurants on certain days. It was easy enough to avoid; I did not know a single individual who would even consider owning a karaoke machine. Now, it appears that nearly everyone I know owns one.

It was not until I married a Filipina that I came to know how prevalent karaoke is in the Filipino community. My wife is very sociable and we’ll find ourselves at a “get together” at least twice a month and after the food is eaten the men head off to one area while the women make their way to the room where the hostess has the karaoke equipment set up.

They can spend hours on end, singing and laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Not one of them can carry a tune in a bucket, but, that doesn’t seem to matter one bit.
Now, I learn that a Japanese toy maker will be manufacturing a portable, personal, hand -held karaoke machine. According to a Reuters story;

“The "Hi-kara" karaoke machine, by Takara Tomy, is a 7-cm (nearly 3-inch) cube which weighs less than a pound and works like a real machine.
Once the singer selects a song, which can be downloaded off the Internet or from special music cartridges, the lyrics come up on a 2.4-inch display. The machine also has headphones and speakers attached.
"Hi-kara" will go on sale in October for about $100, with song cartridges costing about $40 each.”

So, the question is, will this device make my life a living Hell ? Will I now be forced to listen to karaoke everywhere….at any time and any place? I’m optimistic that scenario won’t happen. To the Filipinas we know, karaoke is as much a social event as anything else….there isn’t much private karaoke going on. Thankfully, the Hi-kara won’t catch on here because it isn’t group oriented.

Still, to be on the safe side, I won’t be mentioning the Reuters’ article to my wife.

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