Gay Men Defuse Potentially Fatal Violence in the Philippines When Men Sing Karaoke; Sinatra's "My Way" is Especially Dangerous

  • tokugawa

    Posts: 945

    Feb 07, 2010 3:02 AM GMT
    "But in karaoke bars where one song costs 5 pesos, or a tenth of a dollar, strangers often rub shoulders, sometimes uneasily. A subset of karaoke bars with G.R.O.’s — short for guest relations officers, a euphemism for female prostitutes — often employ gay men, who are seen as neutral, to defuse the undercurrent of tension among the male patrons. Since the gay men are not considered rivals for the women’s attention — or rivals in singing, which karaoke machines score and rank — they can use humor to forestall macho face-offs among the patrons.

    In one such bar in Quezon City, next to Manila, patrons sing karaoke at tables on the first floor and can accompany a G.R.O. upstairs. Fights often break out when customers at one table look at another table “the wrong way,” said Mark Lanada, 20, the manager.

    “That’s the biggest source of tension,” Mr. Lanada said. “That’s why every place like this has a gay man like me."

    Full article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/world/asia/07karaoke.html?hpw
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2010 3:21 AM GMT
    I don't see this as being a praiseworthy accomplishment for gays. On the contrary, they should not be getting involved at all, and instead allow all karaoke singers to freely exterminate each other.
  • tokugawa

    Posts: 945

    Feb 07, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidI don't see this as being a praiseworthy accomplishment for gays. On the contrary, they should not be getting involved at all, and instead allow all karaoke singers to freely exterminate each other.


    However, in the current economic climate, if you are unemployed, you cannot eliminate any potential employment opportunity.
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    Feb 09, 2010 2:27 AM GMT
    Old news on the 'My Way' shootings. Heh. (And yes, if you heard it being sung a hundred times a night - VERY BADLY - you'd probably be murderous as well).

    As for gay GRO's, a lot of the more effeminate gay men here are natural comedians. They're somewhat the equivalent of drag queens in the US but are less likely to dress in female clothing and are a bit less intimidating to straight men. As I mentioned before they are often at the forefront of organizations anyway, especially social ones, and even church ones. They're as serious as the women on achieving goals and more capable of cajoling the men (who are usually the lazier bunch, hah!) into actually working together with the group. Plus being mostly impervious to personal insults, fending it off with self-depreciating humor or bitchiness - a skill learned from being teased from childhood for being gay. So yeah, natural diplomats I guess.

    Not really an ideal job though, ROFL. Filipino karaoke bars are rowdy, unlike the shielded karaoke cubicles in other countries, they're quite open. And the inherited catholic machismo don't help matters either when it comes to defending honor over a mistimed chuckle when someone overestimated his voice range and squawks while singing their favorite song on the karaoke.

    An interesting thing though: The most violent and the most dangerous drunks are usually those with political clout and policemen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 09, 2010 2:49 AM GMT
    Well shit, if i had to endure hours of bad singing while drunk, i'd be going on a killing spree too, lol! I feel the same way everytime i go to most gay clubs;
    "If i hear one more badly remixed disco song!!!!!!!" icon_evil.gificon_mad.gificon_evil.gificon_mad.gif
    But we Filipinos do have a very violent society, which i'm sorry to say, but i'm glad i left there. It's like almost everyone's trying to find an excuse to be angry because they seem to have little or no control over the political, financial, social and emotional problems they face. Add to that the pressures they face from their everyday lives.
    Seriously, everybody needs to calm down....