Karaoke and Crazy-Pants

So last night my friend S. and I went out to do some karaoke.  For those unfamiliar with karaoke, it’s when you go out and fool yourself into thinking you’re a better singer than you actually are because the acoustics in your shower is a liar.  So S. and I went, did a little singing and while he did a good job and chose songs that were actually in his register, I went for songs that I thought would get the crowd pumped.

Valuable karaoke lesson: Crowd only gets pumped if A) they’re pumped before you even get on stage; or B) You’re a good enough to get them pumped through your awesome vocals.  While I did a good job with “With a Little Help from My Friends”, the bar was basically empty when I sang it.  When it was filled with people, I chose to go with Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” (someone should’ve stopped me before) and Europe’s “The Final Countdown” (folks counted down to when I would stop butchering the song).

In all honesty, I had fun singing even if I did a poor job.  I don’t mind making a fool of myself as long as I’m having fun doing it.  You can’t do karaoke or really any kind of public performance if you’re too scared of being embarrassed.  However, after “The Final Countdown”, I was feeling pretty beat and decided after S. did one more song, we would leave.  Then a self-proclaimed social butterfly by the name of Lana* flitted over to our table.  Lana had been at the bar almost as early as we had and she had done a pretty good job singing.  She decided to come over to our table and talk to us for no particular reason, but I’m so glad she did because she made the night far more entertaining.

Lana was rocking a goth look of black clothes, dyed-black hair, and a necklace of skulls around her pleated skirt.  After our introductions, I mentioned that I had saw her reading a book earlier and inquired to what it was.  It turned out that she was reading some young adult fiction and my question, “What are you reading” turned out to be more loaded than the nicety I had intended.  Lana was die-hard about young-adult fiction and began railing against Hollywood for not “going to a fucking Borders” and instead making shit like Alvin and the Chipmunks 2.  So why were they now “suddenly” adapting all this young-adult fantasy fiction (never mind movies like Eragon, The Dark Is Rising, City of Ember, or The Golden Compass)?  Because one night Lana had spoken to 15 movie producers and let them all have a piece of her unhinged mind.

You see, Lana wanted to take credit for just about everything.  When I told her I was a professional film critic/entertainment journalist (I don’t have the gravitas to make “movie blogger” sound dignified), this was apparently her opening to take credit for…

- Hollywood’s “new” love of adapting young-adult fiction.

- Netflix’s decision to stream more movies over Watch Instantly.

- Hollywood moving away from making movies and deciding to focus more on serialized television because it was more difficult to pirate TV than it was to pirate movies.

All of this was wrong.  I could have shot all of this down.  But I decided to be polite and just let Lana rant.  She was a righteous ball of ignorant fury and she blazed from one topic to another with S. and I just smiling and nodding in approval.  At one point, I believe my neck muscles started to twitch involuntarily because I was having difficulty swallowing all the bullshit she was throwing down.

At one point, Lana talked about how Hollywood needed to adapt some new piece of young adult fiction that was centered around vampires.  Since she had already spoken about her love of the young adult-fiction, I had to ask:

“So…what are your thoughts on the Twilight series?”

“I love them.”

Lana then proceeded to tell us how much she loved the story and the characters.  I asked what she thought of the movies and–shocker–she loved them too (although she admitted that she had no idea how they’ll adapt the disturbingly graphic fourth novel).  I was surprised to learn that she thought Kristen Stewart was perfect casting for Bella.  When I’ve spoken to Twilight fans at Comic-Con, they have all hated her and I think it’s because she removes their ability to project onto the character in the book.

After professing her love for one of the great pop-lit crimes of the 21st century, I had to get up and go to the bathroom.  When I returned, she was now ranting about S’s area of expertise: the environment.  It was at this point we learned that while Lana dressed like a non-conformist, her heart belong to conservative values.  She desperately wanted a thick cloud of ash to blanket all of California (but not kill anyone, which I thought was nice of her) and wanted S. to tell her which volcano she would have to explode in order to only cover one state.  I’m not sure which part of that request was crazier: willing a volcano to only affect one state and just make their lives miserable (but not kill them because that would be wrong) or that she thought she could call up the volcano like it was Netflix customer support and give it instructions.

Then she turned on global warming and asked rhetorically “What’s the right temperature for the Earth?”  At this point, my capacity to passively accept bullshit had become over-run and I muttered, “The one where polar bears have a place to live.”  But I could have muttered “There are angry demons shrieking forth from my anus,” and she wouldn’t have really been listening.  She was in her own world of having someone kind of suggest a topic and then ranting about it for minutes on end.

I couldn’t help but wonder if her madness was an act or an experiment to see how much nonsense she could spew without being called on it.  S. and I were just being polite but we were also fascinated at everything she was saying that was patently untrue.  She saw herself as a cause for the effects in the world.  We had a fun conversation with a walking, talking Illusions of Grandeur and it gave us a memorable story for the night beyond “Next time, we’ll choose better songs for karaoke.”

*Not her real name, or at least not the name she gave us.

Saturday, February 5th, 2011 humor, personal

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