Apocalyptic Playlist: Identifying With the Dystopian Genre

Fallout

Hey all! My name is Max, and I am a genderfluid DJ sending you love from scenic New Jersey. I started DJing officially in college at the beginning of my sophomore year, but I have always created playlists for as long as I can remember. I create them mentally any time I’m listening to music, usually about whatever I’m feeling or thinking about. I try to figure out what inspires me about a mood or a genre, and find all the different ways that that inspiration can connected to all kinds of music, like wonderful little threads.

My taste in general tends to lean towards the fantastical. A huge part of my love for the fantastic stems from how genres like horror and science fiction address issues that plague a society. As a genderfluid queer human, I frequently find myself identifying with the so-called monsters. The problem is that when you look at certain characters who have this otherness related to sexuality and being an alien in a society (for example, the character Irena Dubrovna in the 1942 film Cat People), on a certain level, you begin to see yourself as The Bad Guy. No matter how sympathetic characters like Irena are to the audience, there is still a great deal of sin and shame associated with the condition of being “other.”

That is part of the beauty of the dystopian and zombie genres. The mainstream is what has destroyed the every day for the fringe members of society, rather than the other way around. If you think about any zombie story (Night of the Living Dead, The Last of Us, etc.) or any post-nuclear or dystopian narrative (Fahrenheit 451, the Fallout series, etc.), the monsters in the story are not the fringe minorities. The monster, at the end of the story, is humanity. Specifically, how humanity can commit the greatest evils in the name of keeping itself safe. Whether that is through oppression or biological and nuclear warfare, the fallout (see what I did there), the hubris of humanity, and its loss of empathy for their fellow inhabitants of this world are the true evil.

So, enough about me, really. The final thing that I have to say is that, while I love the Fallout radio, there are only so many oldies hits I can take. It’s more about the characters internal dialogue with their surroundings in this playlist.

For all you anti-hero outlaws with hearts of gold, here’s some tunes to keep you upbeat in the post-apocalyptic heat. Whether you’re dealing with ghouls, tools, zombies, or other abominations made from the mistakes of our forefathers, this station is for you. It comes complete with fragments of the American Dream and language as explicit as the evening news.

This playlist was specifically inspired by The Last of Us, the Fallout series, and just a dash of Red Dead Redemption. I hope you roll into your nearest saloon to these tunes and knock back a glass of bio-hazardous bourbon before you have to begin your shootout.

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