Two men were hacked to death with a meat cleaver in Xi’an on Chinese Valentine’s Day after daring to suggest that their four-year-old nephew stopped hogging the microphone at a local karaoke establishment.
Noodle shop owner Mr. Yun had invited his extended family to celebrate the special day with some light-hearted singing, but things took a turn for the worst when his young son had refused to leave the stage and it was 11pm already, a decision that was backed by his parents.
The two uncles became so annoyed by the fact that they weren’t able to have a go that they began pushing and punching Mr. Yun. Yun’s nephew, seeing the fracas, fetched a nearby cleaver and proceeded to hack the two to death, inflicting at least 10 wounds on each man.
Karaoke is the definition of ‘big in Japan’, where the practice originated, but is so big in the rest of the Asian continent that it rivals drinking alcohol in social significance. This latest outburst is just one in a line of many acts of karaoke violence: the Frank Sinatra song ‘My Way’ has been banned from performances in the Philippines after poor renditions of the classic led to a spate of killings, and a man in Thailand killed eight of his neighbours after tiring of hearing them butcher the John Denver song ‘Country Roads’. The Philippines murders were widespread enough to even have their own Wikipedia page, found here.
Reports that a man in Seattle was punched in the face onstage in 2007 when he refused to stop his rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’, however, is more likely down to the fact he actually chose a Colplay song.