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Open Mic Night

One of my many places to frequent are cafes. I’m obviously a coffee addict, anyone who has spent any time with me should understand this. I suppose that an obvious symptom is when your best friend is your former barista. Most people make many assumptions about me, first off that I must hate Starbucks because I’m a philosophy professor (on “sabbatical”) therefore am anti-corporate. Well that’s not true, I actually like Starbucks.

Why? I’m not going to get into some corporate loyalty, flavor arugment; what I like most about all of the Starbucks I have ever been too is that they never have an open mic night. There’s no stage, thus no danger of coming in and seeing some cardigan wearing douchebag with an acoustic guitar playing a shitty cover of “Let’s Lynch the Landlords.”

See, that self important ass (whose ego rivals that of Bono), thinks he’s fighting the system at the cafe where he talks Marxism while drinking a three dollar cup of coffee. In order of ranking open mic band/music night is the worst. Why? Because it’s not only bad, it all sounds the same. Everyone has to be playing the guitar, there simply isn’t a normal instrument that is portable enough to carry around to a cafe. I would like to see someone bring a lute or a lyre to the open mic music nights. But it will never happen, because even in the supposed open minded ultra tolerant atmosphere of the hippy coffee shop there is a conformity that must be followed. Don’t believe me? Try and play the Star Spangled Banner at one of these things. Unless they believe you are singing it ironically watch their faces and see them roll their eyes.

I write this post as I sit in a coffee shop that is hosting an open mic comedy night. It’s definitely better than the music/band night because it is largely ignorable. For some reason this crowd seems to understand the proper ratio between crowd v. performance. Which is unique as the volume level is usually amped up for the bands because someone once figured out a way to hide their suckiness behind volume.

My theory is that if they turn the volume up high enough the speaker will crack and buzz thus disguising the terrible music. Poetry nights are the next in line. Not because of the poetry, if I don’t like it I don’t have to listen to it. What i hate are the “ranters.” Poetry is supposed to have rhyme and meter. Not to say that every poem has to rhyme but that there’s a beat to it. It’s not prose you assholes, and screaming it doesn’t make it better. Yes, you think Bush sucks, is it really a poem if you just kind of say that over and over again?

Comedy night is definitely the best. Only one yeller so far, and it was in context.

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