Karaoke: Cruel and Unusual

As home to the country's largest concentration of Vietnamese-Americans, any story about Vietnam is liable to generate strong opinions in OC. But regardless of how one feels about the current government of Vietnam, I think we can all agree that a story in today's Long Beach Press-Telegram shows that, at least in this case, the government has a shockingly poor understanding of human nature: “Vietnam Bans Alcohol in Karaoke Bars“.

According to the Associated Press, “Karaoke bars in Vietnam will no longer be allowed to sell or have alcohol on their premises as part of the country's continued campaign against so-called 'social evils,' a government official said Friday.” That's right, the government is attempting to impose sobriety on karaoke. I suppose there are people who engage in karaoke while sober, but I've never seen them. And I'm pretty sure I don't want to. It just seems so unnatural. To paraphrase Emma Goldman, “If I have to listen to karaoke sober, I don't want to be part of your revolution.”

(Paul Brennan)

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