NO UKES!! A MANIFESTO
Not musical? Can’t count past 4? Unable to hold a tune? No sense of rhythm? Couldn’t be bothered mastering a musical instrument? Feel a desperate need to belong? Then the strum and hum ukulele revolution is for you! Join thousands of tone-deaf string scratchers pretending to be musicians as they inflict excruciating and heinous aural pollution upon an already cacophonous environment while butchering perfectly good tunes!
this ukulele craze, which apparently shows no sign of abating, is, in my humble opinion, the manifestation of “karaoke consciousness” and that, “anyone can sing and be a star”-style brainwashing which has been foisted on an unsuspecting public by the greedy and talentless, who, envious of musical prowess, are just too damned lazy to do anything about it. The so-called “talent reality” shows on TV are permeated with this myth that every mum, dad, kid and dog can be a star without having to do anything remotely resembling practice, the only requirement, seemingly, being the ability to claim a good, tearjerking back story. The producers of these shows are encouraging every self-deluded dunderhead they have what it takes, in order to profit from using these poor sods to cobble together cringe-worthy, train wreck, torturesome television.
Now you may argue that the ukulele is an almost sacred instrument in its birthplace of Hawaii. Well, the same could be said of bagpipes and Scotland and, yes, these are salient points. However, the truth is that those locales are indeed where those instruments make sense, have meaning, belong and should stay! Outside of their countries of origin they look and sound, well, silly, incongruous and devoid of relevance or cultural clout.
You may also posit that the wholesale introduction of the ukulele into schools is giving kiddies a meaningful, musical foundation. Well, for many years now, plastic recorders (ever heard a massed kiddy recorder orchestra? Painful doesn’t begin to describe it) have been inflicted on schoolchildren. How many professional recorder virtuosos can you name that have emanated from those enforced programmes? Ditto for ukes – once the little darlings are freed from the shackles of school life, my guess is the humble uke will not be much of a feature of their teenage life!
And the sound! Played with a woollen plectrum, they sound like someone strumming their shoelaces with a straw! Like a limp asparagus shoot slapping wet cloth! And did you know that the word “Ukulele” means “aural enema” in Hawaiian?!