At heart, I am an a cappella singer. I sing and harmonize and do that beat box thing with my mouth when I can't remember the lyrics
but it's been a long time since I've done it in front of people. Sometimes the past reminds us of what we are not now. During my early pubescent years in the Roslyn High School Chorus, I realized that subjecting people to my singing voice falls under the category of cruel and unusual punishment. Notice here, I made the clear distinction between what I like to do, and what will drive others to put on a bloody roast beef suit and swim with piranha.
Unfortunately, others on this campus have not made the same realization I did and are adding more and more singing groups to the roster of unlistenables. Cornell needs another a cappella group like Collegetown needs a new pizza place, and like I need another butterfly tattoo on my inner thigh. Enough is enough already, people! I'm sorry, but if Last Call, Cayuga's Waiters, The Hangovers, The Cordials, The Key Elements, The Class Notes, Nothing but Treble, The Touchtones, After 8, The Chai Notes and The Ithaca High School Ith-matic A Cappella Troupe all reject you, perhaps you shouldn't be singing. I promise you, you're not robbing the world of greatness; no one wants to hear your version of "Galileo."
To the would-be a cappella group, the one that specializes in singing "Weird Al" songs, I suggest you take a cue from the people who get rejected from other groups like "On Tap" or "The Shadows." Namely, don't start a cut-rate version of the group you wanted to join. Just picture a sub-par tap group's posters -- The Tap-a-holics present "Tip-Clap-Clip-Tap: An Interpretative Tap of Thoreau's Walden." I don't want to draw any connections between a poor performance and Chinese water torture, but when a third of your audience begs you to "Stop, please, oh, for the love of god, I think my ear drum is trying to crawl out, sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud, mommy, it's cold," they're not just being nice.
What would happen if everyone started their own variation of an existing club?
Didn't make it into the Cornell Sculpting Society? Join "Skullpt," Cornell's only all-ashtrays sculpting group! Neged by the Skitz-O-Phrenics? Join the "Narc-O-Leptics." Didn't see eye-to-eye with the Whistling Shrimp's improv comedy? Join the "Whistling Rumsfelds" and their brand of improv hostage-policy debate. Are you too chunky for the Teszia belly dancing group? That's no problem in the "Tease-us" beer-belly dancing group; we've got more gut to strut. Rejected from The Cornell Lunatic and The Sun but still want to write articles that no one will read? Write your heart out on the Pi Kapp Listserv
(firstname.lastname@example.org); what have you got to lose?
Superfluous club creation is a leading cause of spontaneous anarchy, underage drinking and undue self-exposure for the people who start the unwanted club. We should congratulate people who are innovative and driven enough to create extracurriculars that don't feel extraneous.
There are many clubs that are just waiting to get started. We don't have a bumper-bowling league, nor do we have an animal shelter with chestnut-brown canaries or ruby throated sparrows. We don't have a junior TV station with coverage of campus events or sports news, but luckily, not much happens here and our buddies at I.C. cover our men's hockey team.
Perhaps I'm too cynical. In my groggy senior way, I realize that it's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore. I am sorry. If you have the talent and feel like you've been passed over by the ego-inflated members of this University's performing groups, I encourage you to find a teacher, develop your abilities and then deliver a solo recital to 120 of your closest friends. Harness your talents and expose yourself without a group. Understand that performing groups see their shows as popularity contests rather than as enjoyable displays of their abilities, and many of those groups should be stung by bees. If you really think you should be singing, then sing, sing a song, sing it loud, sing it strong. But worry if its not good enough for anyone else to hear, because I've got hairpin patience and a loaded 22.255 Remington 700 bdl riffle with stainless barrel and laser targeting.
If you just want to be in the spotlight, don't start another club, please wait until the marriage of your first child and take that opportunity to make a really long toast about liking piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. This does not mean I don't love you; I do -- that's forever -- but the only new group we need on campus is my new group, "The Rom-Bom-Boms." As a back-up tenor, I encourage you all to come see me, Thursdays and Saturdays, when we sing our version of POD's "Alive" and, of course, "Galileo."