I use the word "persona" because there are times when she breaks character and we get to see her passionate and corporeal side. It's not often, but regular enough to know that it's a core part of who she is, always stirring beneath the surface. This makes her unlike the depressive leftoids who just whine and rage all day long, and whose light moments only amount to numb, mumbling sarcasm. Thoroughly depressed people are boring -- they may or may not be insightful, but not entertaining. And Alison is entertaining even to non-depressives, especially the recurring theme of her charming yet exasperating encounters with the critter world.
today a squirrel came in through my open window and started riffling through my stuff (rude!). when i walked in on him he shot out the window but then looked back in upside down from above. WHAT is this guy’s problem??— Alison Balsam (@foolinthelotus) July 1, 2019
engaged in psychological warfare with my cat who wants me to feed him but I’m pretending to be asleep whenever he approaches— Alison Balsam (@foolinthelotus) November 7, 2019
If she hadn't mentioned it, I'd have thought she was 10-15 years younger. She has a distinctly youthful mode of expression, which I attribute to her post-horny / volcel tendencies. Not piling up a certain body count has kept her from sounding jaded, weathered, and grizzled. Her tone is more like a precocious college student -- and so is the eagerness and yearning for something fun to happen in life, in contrast to most depressive cases. She's more of a frustrated fun-lover than a numbed-out buzzkill.
And if she were a total cerebral, she wouldn't have such a fondness for physical, tactile objects like old editions of books, vinyl records, and vintage furniture. If it's only the informational content that counts, who cares what material form it comes in?
She also wouldn't have such a weak spot for dance music:
fuck i love this songhttps://t.co/bWZIFuxJ3s— Alison Balsam (@foolinthelotus) October 16, 2019
I can overlook the minimalist euthanasia soundtrack stuff she posts in a depressive mood, if she overcomes that with body-moving lose-yourself music like that. She's really fond of the second half of the '80s, the vulnerable phase of the 15-year cultural excitement cycle. That was the hangover after the manic first half of the '80s (which overall would be a little too bouncy and upbeat for her personality).
An earlier post examined the turn that dance music takes toward minor-key, start-and-stop rhythms, and heavy layers of repetitive trance-inducing hooks, during the vulnerable phase of the cycle. This appeals to audiences who are in a social and emotional refractory state -- and so, most like a depressive and socially anxious person. They aren't feeling invincible like in a manic phase, so they can't just throw themselves out there on the dance floor -- they need to be coaxed and comforted, and to feel like they don't have to make a firm decision. Rather, their body is merely being possessed by some spirit or force, and they're passively going along with whatever it's making them do.
I think the late '80s vulnerable phase has songs more to the liking of someone like her, instead of the early 2000s or the late 2010s, because they built up more slowly and steadily back then. Someone who feels awkward about putting themselves out on the dance floor does not want to be overwhelmed by a sudden maximum level of energy, right as the song begins. They can ultimately resonate with a high energy level, they just need more time to get comfortably immersed in the groove, one level at a time. And it can't ever get too fast of a tempo, or too major-key of a tone, or else it wouldn't strike a chord with their fundamental depressive core. It needs to stay moody.
Since the late '80s is tailor-made for these types, let's explore further examples. This isn't so much of a standalone mixtape -- it's more of a list of initial songs to get the person to loosen their inhibitions, dissolve their self-awareness, and just let go of their cares. Then other higher-energy songs could fill out the playlist.
First, a precursor that still belongs to the new wave era of the early '80s, but points the way toward the second half. Laura Branigan's cover is even more early '80s, way too overpowering for a depressive cerebral. The original by Raf is slower in tempo and in its build-up, it's more moody and haunting, and the vocal delivery is more anxious and insecure.
"Self Control" by Raf (1984)
And now for the late '80s proper, dominated by the freestyle genre (I chose extended mixes for their even more gradual build-up, to ease the listener-dancer into the mood).
"Dare Me" by the Pointer Sisters (1985)
"I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz (1986)
"Fascinated" by Company B (1987)
"Show Me" by the Cover Girls (1987)
"Cross My Heart" by Eighth Wonder (1988)
It's only Sunday, so that leaves plenty of time to get familiar with these songs in order to use them as inhibition-dampeners by the coming weekend.