Dear Real Awesome 80s,
I noticed your name has been affixed to a Spotify playlist charged with representing the high school-era musical tastes of darlahern1970. While I want to congratulate all the songs, after I tell you what I remember about darlahern1970 they may not welcome applause for making it on this list.
I feel it’s only fair to tell you that darlahern1970’s sociopolitical positions, conveyed in ceaseless right-wing Facebook posts, simply do not fall in line with what incited her early love of the bands on her Real Awesome 80s playlist.
Though she has expressed unyielding opposition to legalizing marijuana through various memes posted on her Facebook timeline, rest assured that darlahern1970 is the person who explained to me—while we were getting stoned on the steps of the Reynolds family’s mausoleum in the graveyard behind my house—that “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth was “duh—totally about smoking weed!”
You should also be aware of darlahern1970’s adamant support for abstinence-only sex education in schools. She has probably overlooked the fact that “House of Fun” by Madness is about a young man’s first experience buying condoms, while also conveniently forgetting how she used to play a 45 of “Life in a Northern Town” over and over because it reminded her of the first time she and Danny Pasquale “did it” in his parents’ basement during sophomore year at Midvalley High.
Also? High School darlahern1970 (who panicked many times over a missed period between the releases of Fables of the Reconstruction and Green) probably wouldn’t be great friends with Future darlahern1970, who has really made her voice heard on social media as an opponent of Roe v. Wade “under ANY circumstance.”
On top of everything, darlahern1970 eats rather frequently at Chik-fil-A, citing their policy of closing on Sunday as proof of “solid Christian values,” and blithely ignoring my memes about Chik-fil-A’s contributions to anti-gay groups. I’m not sure that the songs by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Bronski Beat, Hüsker Dü, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Culture Club, and Soft Cell would feel at home on her playlist if they knew this.
There are so many other tidbits I could share about this woman who claims to be afraid Bernie Sanders “wants to turn the USA into the USSR” but won’t delete the Communards or Gang of Four from her Real Awesome 80s playlist—a woman who doesn’t see the irony of jamming out to “Know Your Rights” in her youth and displaying a Blue Lives Matter banner on her current Facebook cover.
Don’t worry: you are a great playlist. You reflect the eclectic musical tastes of many people who came of age before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Apartheid.
Unfortunately, a better reflection of darlahern1970’s current worldview can be found on another playlist she has compiled called “God, Family, Country.”
westendgirl1107 (Midvalley Class of ’88)
P.S. – Given Morrissey’s seemingly unthinkable slide into racism, Islamophobia, and denunciation of “the loony left,” I have few thoughts about the inclusion of “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” and “How Soon Is Now?” on darlahern1970’s Real Awesome 80s playlist. On one hand, I want to say, “How dare she?” On the other hand (obviously): that sounds about right.
K.M. Sheets is a writer and sporadic blogger obsessed with pop culture and politics. She currently lives on the Alabama Gulf Coast with her cat, but is pondering how to become a refugee somewhere else. Absolutely anywhere else.
Like a lot of people, she’s on Twitter scaring the crap out of herself on a daily basis: @popwastrel.