A Defense of Karaoke

Trying not to get hung up on things, go with the flow, and enjoy life, but some things need to be said and, to paraphrase Hemingway, writing is sitting at the iPad and bleeding. Or would Hemingway be more of a barebones Android type?

This post is about the feeling of being robbed, the best sex I’ve ever had – maybe not explicit detailed, simply an anonymous name drop, she knows who she is – and the paucity of karaoke in this city. The topics are only tangentially related and not linear.

Yesterday a man in the street asked for a lighter. It was on Soukenicka just opposite my hostel and outside the fancy restaurant. There were cameras, but I have not filed a police report as it appears more trouble than it’s worth. The phone is blocked however and my concerns now are primarily with having signed in to various apps. Oh well, there is no damaging information so it should be fine – I advise everyone to install a good tracking software so you can more easily recover your devices or at least get the guy caught.

It feels bad. Really bad. I mean, this is right outside the place I have decide to make my home in the city. From now on, I will have to be exceptionally careful about letting anybody get close or giving them anything if they ask, even something small as a fire. I was only lighting the guy’s cigarette and now life becomes a little harder. I will need to get a new SIM, try and get the contract transferred or something, plus find a new handset which is affordable yet can do a variety of tasks, and then there’s the contacts. Oh well. I can take solace in that it could have been far, far, worse. The guy did not seem physically violent and actually recoiled when I asked him where my phone was in my most profoundly Scottish tones. Glad I didn’t follow him to the “vodka bar” as he probably would have taken everything I had.

Stay safe,  everyone. This city is thoroughly mad. And that is occasionally a bad thing.

Anyway, the reason we are all here today – sex!

Details may be sparse to protect anonymity, but the bottom line is that I met someone and it was incredible. Though comparisons are hard and a little unfair as memory can become clouded, I think it’s the best I’ve ever had.

One key point of this is a difference in condom use. I have most always used condoms in my life, I got very stupid at one point, but have had persistent issues from the first to the last. The things are tight, uncomfortable, and not conducive to a good experience. Recently I switched to a brand called TheyFit, where you can download a measuring guide or simply describe your experience and they will get you a corresponding fit from out of a gigantic array.

My three pieces of advice for the best ever: good communication, lots of foreplay, condoms that actually feel good.

I wish I could write more of how it felt, and how impressive the experience just was, and how it has made me reevaluate the act in general – I get why people get so mad about chasing it now, though I don’t think I’ll start. Though I’m a Byronesque romantic; I am also reasonable.

There is a distinct karaoke problem in this city. Though there are several nights, Friends on a Tuesday starts at 7 appears to end at 10pm. Those of you that know karaoke will recognise this as an abomination of a timeframe. There are other places with karaoke but, having talked to a man named Yaroslavl yesterday, there is a distinct lack of audience at these nights. I will need to gather a proper troupe. Other than that, there are private karaoke rooms and I cannot express my disdain for the concept of private karaoke enough.

I will try however for though brevity is the mainstay of wit there is something to be said for getting deeply ingrained in a topic.

Private karaoke is an awful idea. The spirit of karaoke is of a room of anonymous and enthusiastic amateurs who own the stage for their brief 3 – 5 minute section, unless they decide to get silly and put on the long version of Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf or Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. (It works occasionally for these long songs, however, and though cliched they are true expressions of karaoke. Everyone can get involved as they are so well known, and in the hands of someone who can move and dance half- well they can really make a night.) Song choice is important; it can both reveal or conceal character, and if a song is wrong for a person you can tell instantly. In private spaces, you will only be around people you know. You therefore will make less risky decisions and try and fit into whatever image you are trying to create amongst these people instead of being your authentic self in front of the at least partially anonymous audience. Performance is the perfect vehicle for self-expression but to express oneself it is important to open up fully and this is, ironically, easiest among those who know almost nothing about you. Who you will never see again. Everyone else has too much history.

Hence, it is my belief private karaoke is a mere zombie of karaoke. The flesh of it is animated, but the soul is gone, and it is not karaoke as it should be in its fullest expression of Truth and Beauty.

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