I go to sings in which people routinely use cribs, including The Book; and I go to sings where cribs are against the norm, tho they are tolerated in recognition of the fact that none of us is getting any younger. I enjoy both types, but am marginal in both, as I am in all groups, including especially the human species; so perhaps I can contribute some perspective.
In the commune I belonged to 30 years ago, the national sport was volleyball. It was played without teams (the entire court rotated after each point), but of course some players were better than others, and after some discussion they were allowed to form their own league in which they could keep the ball in motion more of the time. They managed to do so without disparaging the duffers who continued to have fun at their own level.
Group singing is not quite like volleyball; it is a little more like rockclimbing, in that there is some built-in handicapping that allows a mixture of levels of competence to be enjoyable: the more skillful and knowledgeable ones can lead. However, there are limits to that kind of satisfaction, as there are to all kinds, and it is well within reason for people who want to look at each other while singing to seek each other out.
If I were a mainstream RUS addict, I think I might respond to get-your-nose-out-of-that-book agitation like this: Life is too short to learn a lot of songs. Singing is important, but so is snowboarding, or making borsht, or getting laid, or keeping my children out of bad company, or whatever. I have a sense of proportion, and my proportions are not yours. The ability to enjoy oneself at a low level of competence is a precious resource for happiness, not something to be ashamed of or bullied out of, particularly when the alternative is mechanized tantrums coming out of loudspeakers. When I hear the word "excellence" I reach for my revolver.
--- Joe Fineman email@example.com
||: There is nothing wrong with devil theories in politics. Just look to the devil in the mirror. :||