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Dare, The Human League (Rocko’s Modern Music)

Beware of the matrix
And keep a warm heart inside
Don’t jump off the train
There’s still a long way to ride
– Reality Check
Dare
The Human League, 1981
Synths aside, Dare has hardly aged a bit, even though it’s going on 30 years old.  The vague angst of Dare mirrors our own identity crises.
The opening track is a quintessential description of hyperreal modern pursuits:
Dream life the way you think it ought to be
See things you thought you’d never ever see
Everybody needs love and adventure
Everybody needs cash to spend
Everybody needs love and affection
Everybody needs two or three friends
These are the things
These are the things
The things that dreams are made of
Like fun and money and food and love
And things you never thought of…
‘The Things That Dreams Are Made Of’
And Dare’s reflections on modern mentalities are not neutral descriptions but affirmations: modern life is empowering and dazzling and endlessly exciting.
I believe in me, I believe in you
And you know I believe in love
‘Love Action’
Dare admits to complications in modern life — we can be certain that others will let us down — but this is all to be endured as part of the experience.  We may be tempted to cut ourselves off from others:
Being an island
Shying from trying
Seems the easy way
Such an easy way
‘Open Your Heart’
However, ‘Open Your Heart’ tells us to seek the future — and yet ‘there’s no future without tears’.  We ‘still believe in love’ (‘Love Action’).  Dare connects love with happiness, but rejection means that love will be shallow.  It makes sense to live fast:
Take a cruise to China or a train to Spain
Go round the world, again and again
Meet a girl on a boat, meet a boy on a train
And fall in love without the pain
‘The Things That Dreams Are Made Of’
And when others inevitably do fail us, we can always find security in the hyperreal image that we construct for ourselves:
Get around town
Get around town
Where the people look good
Where the music is loud
‘The Sound of the Crowd’
Still, Dare finishes with a wail of angst and confusion:
Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me?  Oh-h!
‘Don’t You Want Me’
Our society offers unlimited fascination and stimulation, and even the opportunity to construct your own reality, but where can we find the love we might still believe in?

Synths aside, Dare (1981) has hardly aged a bit, even though it’s going on 30 years old.  The vague angst of Dare mirrors our own identity crises.

The opening track is a quintessential description of hyperreal modern pursuits:

Dream life the way you think it ought to be
See things you thought you’d never ever see

Everybody needs love and adventure
Everybody needs cash to spend
Everybody needs love and affection
Everybody needs two or three friends

These are the things
These are the things
The things that dreams are made of

Like fun and money and food and love
And things you never thought of… *

And Dare’s reflections on modern mentalities are not neutral descriptions but affirmations: modern life is empowering and dazzling and endlessly exciting.

I believe in me, I believe in you
And you know I believe in love **

Dare admits to complications in modern life — we can be certain that others will let us down — but this is all to be endured as part of the experience.  We may be tempted to cut ourselves off from others:

Being an island
Shying from trying
Seems the easy way
Such an easy way ^

We must still continue to seek the future — and yet there’s no future without tears.^  We still believe in love.**  Dare connects love with happiness, but rejection means that love will be shallow.  It makes sense to live fast:

Take a cruise to China or a train to Spain
Go round the world, again and again
Meet a girl on a boat, meet a boy on a train
And fall in love without the pain *

And when other people inevitably do fail us, we can always find security in the hyperreal image that we construct for ourselves:

Get around town
Get around town
Where the people look good
Where the music is loud ^^

Still, Dare finishes with a wail of angst and confusion:

Don’t you want me, baby?
Don’t you want me?  Oh-h! ***

Our society offers unlimited fascination and stimulation, and even the opportunity to construct your own reality, but where can we find love?

 

* ‘The Things That Dreams Are Made Of’
** ‘Love Action’
^ ‘Open Your Heart’
^^ ‘The Sound of the Crowd’
*** ‘Don’t You Want Me’

Categories: Written by Arthur

Tagged as:

Arthur Davis

Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.

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