Monday, October 31, 2011


There's enough hate in the world already, amiright? 

There are plenty of things to legitimately hate: Bigotry. Brutality. Religious extremism. Non-Knocked Up romantic comedies starring Katherine Heigl. These are real problems making the world a worse place.

Cardioke, laughable though it may be, is not one of those things. The Internet has a healthy enough crop of petty grievances and unchecked vitriol without me taking pot shots at a bunch of people singing Pussycat Dolls out loud while doing high-impact aerobics. 

Cardioke (cardio + karaoke, get it??) is the runty brainchild of Billy Blanks Jr., son and heir to Billy Blanks of Tae Bo renown. This is as pure a distillation of the American Dream as the "Jump to Conclusions" mat or the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, and I'm not about to start casting stones. 

I was prepared to do so when I came across this clip. It's got so much going for it in the Internet-mockery department. But here's how I got on Cardioke's side:

0.24 seconds in -- We meet Desiree and Jackie, founding members of Cardioke and sassy middle-aged gals wearing bedazzled shirts from Stein Mart. Do your thing, ladies.

Desiree's had arthroscopic knee surgery. How bout that!

Jackie's in her 60s and don't need no lululemon wicking shirt, thankyouverymuch.

1.07 -- You know, the moves aren't bad. Blanks' cuing isn't great, but none of these moves would be out of place in your average aerobics video.

1.29 -- Check out the curvy girls representing! I love that this chick is freely bouncing around in this crop top, and looking mad confident and sexy in the process.

2.36 -- A move called the "Cardioke crab" appears. 

3.18 -- Wow, I actually like this version of "Don Cha'" or whatever it's called. Take away all the Pussycat Doll posturing, up the bpm and you have a pretty serviceable tune.

4:09 -- There's something exciting and terrifying about being asked to sing while you exercise, as if either isn't hard or humiliating enough already. But you know what, a big part of learning to like exercise is learning to let go and just do it. If it takes singing to get there, fine!

Blanks seems to have abandoned Cardioke, as -- surprise! -- the synthesis of amateur singing and aerobics failed to captivate the nation. (This legal tussle may have something to do with it, too?) But Blanks DARED TO DREAM. He had an idea (and a hefty inheritance to fall back on), and he went with it. Was it for daddy's approval? Sheer love of karaoke? Who knows. What's important is that he tried, and now we have a world that has seen Cardioke. Posterity wins!

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