The Karaoke Social Contract (12 Principles)

1.  All people are entitled to sing a song once in a while.

2.  In a public social atmosphere, all people are obligated to be aware of their surroundings.

3.  If the karaoke is a free service provided in a bar, you are obligated to get a drink if you want to participate in the free service.

4.  Time is finite and songs take up time. If you don't get to sing a song because of the queue being particularly long, the proper attitude is, "Well hey, at least I'm still not involved in a civil war in Central Africa."

5.  If it's your birthday or your special occasion, you should get to sing a few extra. "Getting fucked up tonight" is not a special occasion.

6.  If you're particularly good at singing, the civil thing is to lend your voice to duets (when requested) rather than hog the queue with your greatness.

7.  If you're not particularly good at singing, it's okay, but see again #2.

8.  "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Don't Stop Believing," "Friends In Low Places," "Hotel California," and "War Pigs" are still and always a bad idea.

9.  You are not obligated to participate in karaoke even though you're in a karaoke bar. There is a live community of karaoke nerds who will be happy to over-participate while you nurse your drink.

10.  No one cares about your opinion on how much someone ruined a certain song. The point of karaoke is to inhabit music with authentic appreciation, not to "do" a song "well." 

11.  That song you've done 11 times this month because it's your "go-to" is not as important as the song that someone loves which they are trying to sing for the first time.

12. Respect. Fear. Melancholy. Affection. Your fucking ex. The fucking day you had today. The warmth in your belly. These are the things that make karaoke a powerful ally. "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." Your time will come. 

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