Making a playlist is harder than it seemed —especially when there are all these rules. No songs with profanity. No songs with “overtly” sexual content. No songs about death. No songs that degrade women. No religion or politics. No songs with racial or cultural slurs. I mean, I get the last one. Who listens to racist music anyway? What is racist music?

I’m sitting in the little room listening to Queen’s Radio Ga Ga trying to get inspired. But with this repressive list, I think I’m starting to understand why my Dad always says that bureaucracy is a big part of almost any job. Not that this is a job, job. Kevin and I aren’t getting paid to do this.

We thought it would be cool if we could play music over the intercom at school during lunch hour on Fridays. I said something to Mrs. Goodwin and she thought it was a great idea and mentioned it to the principal a couple of months ago. I had totally forgotten about it until last week when Kevin and I were called into the office and given this list of rules. They took over two months to get back to us, but they’re expecting us to be ready to go in just two days.

So now we have to find cool, happy music that fits all the criteria. They already nixed Joy Division and Bauhaus (how teachers know who they are is beyond me). I think New Order should be okay.

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Image: Freddie Mercury of Queen, as featured in MTV: Who’s Who in Rock Video, Zomba Books, 1983.

Welcome to the Little Room is a series of 250-word re-imagined vignettes from my ’80s youth with a focus on music and style. It appears weekly on periodicult.com.

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