For all the disparagement they receive, people still click on list pieces. They want to weigh in. They want to post their own ideas about what should have made the list. They want to call the author an idiot. What’s not to like?
What some in the great unwashed forget in their rush to sack anyone with the temerity to write a list piece is that most published lists are subjective. Unless compiled on the basis of citable data or statistics, a list is a personal opinion, and as such may be no more valid than a list that anyone could make.
A subjective list has to be cautious with the collective “we” and other inherent assumptions.
“Sitcoms We’re Ashamed to Admit We Enjoyed” is not an objective list. Most viewers would be ashamed to admit they enjoyed the short-lived 1979-80 McLean Stevenson vehicle Hello, Larry, which became a running joke on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. But there’s got to be somebody out there who liked it and was bummed when it was canceled.
If somebody writes a list piece titled “The Best 1980s Female Pop Stars” and forgets to include Madonna, go ahead and call him or her an idiot, but the word “best” is subjective. Conversely, “The Top Twelve Biggest-Grossing Tours of 1983” is an objective list.
Where am I going with this? To the next level. To the ideologically partisan list piece. A list that blends notoriety with interpretation, art with agenda, and subjectivity with bias mobilization.
Here are my top five 1980s one-hit wonders that can help guide conservatives to victory in the midterm election. All the artists mentioned here made other records and had varying degrees of success in the music business, but these are the songs for which they are most known.
5. “Turn Up the Radio” — Autograph
One sure bet as the midterms loom: Conservatives will be turning up the radio. Not to listen to anthemic party rockers like Autograph’s solo chart-topper — which still receives airplay on classic rock stations — but to hear what their favorite radio talk show hosts are saying.
Not to hear Rush’s “Limelight” for the fifty-millionth time, but to find out what Rush Limbaugh thinks about any eleventh-hour attempted Democrat desperation plays. To ascertain who Laura Ingraham favors for speaker should Republicans hold the House. To monitor Sean Hannity’s onion-peeling reports on the Deep State (he says “unpeeling the onion,” which technically means putting the onion skin back on, but whatever). To know when and if Brian Kilmeade will ever take a vacation.
4. “See You in Hell” — Grim Reaper
Oddly enough, Beavis and Butthead didn’t like these guys. Grim Reaper would seem to have had it all, a catchy Sabbath-esque riff, one of the most piercing song-ending screams in the history of headbanging, Satan on a stick. It’s a one-hit masterpiece, but GR only got marginal traction at a time when metal was selling like Garbage Pail Kids.
The problem? They were rightly or wrongly perceived as poseurs. Seen to be cashing in on metal’s finest hour while dispossessed of some undefinable, dues-paying authenticity.
Who are the political poseurs of 2018? Keith Ellison posing as a model Democratic socialist? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posing as someone with a college education? Joe Manchin posing as a Sometimes-Trumper?
Andrew “America Was Never Great” Cuomo has stopped posing; we now know exactly what he really thinks.
See you in hell, friendo.
3. “Smooth Up in Ya” — BulletBoys
Unavoidably, some candidates, positions, and movements are going to get un-consensually poked by the business end of this election. If the Democrats win, get ready for open borders legislation and unending legal warfare against the president.
A slick guitar track slathers SUIY with salacious heaviosity, but it’s vocalist Marq Torien’s steamy read that resonates. The song proved to be the BulletBoys’ crowning glory and issued them a ticket to ride the Hair Revival circuit after metal vocals went Cookie Monster.
This is a family-friendly website, so let’s just say conservatives and libertarians hope… how to put this… that when all the votes are counted the Republican Party comes out on top.
2. “Cars” — Gary Numan
Gary Numan created a dystopian soundscape (1979) in which humanity is enclosed in metal/plastic conveyances that symbolized the interconnectivity of tech culture. In Gary’s world, by this interpretation, we are what we drive, and unless your state has implemented a mail-in-ballot system, driving is exactly what many of us will do on election night.
We’ll be virtually or actually driving in our ideological bubbles to the polling places, Trumpservatives in flag-waving Ford F-350s, suburban liberals in Subaru Foresters, Antifa resisters in their dad’s old Buick Regal with a “Bernie” sticker, etc.
The key for the right is to get out and vote, Trump-aligned when possible, but also for RINOs, neocons, moderates, even Never-Trumpers when necessary.
Whatever you drive, it is imperative to deprive rabid Democrats of the impeachment card.
1. “Fantasy” — Aldo Nova
Italian studio wunderkind Aldo Nova made an offer rock fans couldn’t refuse in 1982.
The core “rightness” of “Fantasy” is complemented by a cascading guitar/keyboard leitmotif and wired-tight bass and drums. By the time we reach the video’s freeze-frame ending we understand how timeless recordings are wedded to consciousness with imagery.
Like when President Trump signs off at his rallies with The Rolling Stones hit “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” (Pay the Stones for the song rights, Mr. President. They don’t need the money, but you can afford it.)
Or when Mike Huckabee took the stage in support of a pro-life county clerk to the strains of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” (The governor ended up paying $25,000 for unlicensed use of the song—IMO it was worth it.)
Or when Bill and Hillary, in happier times, made Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” the theme song of their rise to power.
What songs will best theme the outcome of 2018? Go ahead, it’s all subjective. Your guess, or list, is as good as mine.