Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Karaoke Contest...

I’d like to share with you a excerpt of a personal encounter of mine summarized and written by Courtney Jensen. Don't let the word Manifesto scare you.

The writing of our Manifesto, I was provoked by a fairly inspiring episode
in an Asian grocery market. Lum was involved. And when it was over, he wrote me
a letter on a piece of computer paper. Upon receiving it, I was entertained.
Thus, I decided to do you, a reader, a favor and retell the story.

The summary is this: Lum won a karaoke contest.

But he didn't mean to enter. What he meant to do was buy a fish that either
had or didn't have a head at an Asian market. But in addition to buying a fish,
he was accosted by a little Korean grocery clerk.

"Excuse sir, do you sing?"


She grabbed his arm and tugged him toward a platform ("stage") in the
middle of the store. Still a little confused (and still holding a saran-wrapped
tilapia), the music started.

It was that David Bowie song Ziggy Stardust.

Lum was obviously familiar with this number.

So he switched the tilapia to his left hand, grabbed the mic with his
right, and began his performance. When the song got to the cuss words, he was a
little unsure if he should sing them (being as the "audience" was comprised
mostly of little kids).

He ended up belting them out really loudly (assuming Asian kids don't know
the words but for the melody they make).

After the performance, a child with Down syndrome came up and gave Lum a
hug. A big one.

Lum hugged him back. A medium-sized one. And then the following
conversation took place:

DSK: "Do you wanna have lunch with me?"

Lum: "I can't, I have to go to work."

DSK: "Why?"

Lum: "I need money."

DSK: "Why?"

Lum: "I don't really know."

DSK: "Do you wanna have lunch with me?"

Lum: "I have to go to work."

DSK: "You're mean!"

Leaving for work, Lum was filled with as much clarity as he was pride (none
of either; he was totally confused and embarrassed) but pleased that he'd won
some money with which he could buy some new Dojo equipment.

And I was semi-riveted by the whole episode... and in turn, motivated to
create our manifesto, realizing most underground bands wouldn't be caught dead
at a karaoke contest in a Korean grocery store. And they would excuse their lack
of festivity as a facet of integrity.

And this is just dumb.

Everyone in the world should be caught dead at karaoke contests in all
sorts of venues if it affords them the chance to be a disabled kid's
ten-second-hero. Life is inherently dull and painful and these moments are
interesting enough to be therapeutic.

Visit http://www.autopilotdojo.com/ to read more writings.

No comments:

Post a Comment