Strange and Independent Things

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

– Robert Frost

I have chosen Independence Day 2022 to write about Stranger Things Season 4 for a number of reasons. 

First, the finale was big and bold, colorful and dark, intense and touching- much like our 4th of July fireworks.

Second, the themes of standing up and fighting back against bullies, tyrants and evil forces resonated with me.

Third, it reminded me of the kick-ass American spirit, strength and courage of the 1980s.

Lastly, brave heroes are important and should be recognized and respected.

I’ve written about the prior three seasons of Netflix’s popular series Stranger Things in my blog and book and I continue to enjoy the fond memories of my childhood. Being a class of 1985 graduate made me connect even more with the story and the characters of Hawkins High School class of 86. I was taken back to Friday nights spent with my girlfriends at Skateway 9 near my hometown in New Jersey. The lights, music and action of the roller rink were perfectly captured in the show and it brought back vivid memories of being bullied by the mean-girls at school who didn’t like me for some reason or another. I still had great fun with my good friends and loved the energy of disco music.

Being a fan of the band Metallica, I was especially delighted by the scene with Eddie Munson (my new favorite character) playing “Master of Puppets” on top of the trailer in the Upside Down. This character was also the Dungeon Master in the D&D games played with Dustin, Will, Lucas and Mike. In the end it was a brilliant and masterful performance by the misfit teenager who partly reminded me of Eddie Van Halen and some of the guitar-playing boys I went to high school with ( Joe Argese, Scott Janis, Craig Boschetti, John Horvath and Mike Gardner).

Speaking of music in the 1980s, I have great memories of being in the Spotswood High School Marching Band/ Color Guard. Just like in Stranger Things, we had dorky, hot and uncomfortable polyester uniforms and it didn’t stop us from having fun at the football games, local parades and other events. We even took cool bus trips to exotic places like Montreal thanks to our amazing music teachers Mr. Cohen and Mr. Milstein. I’m still in touch with many of my friends from band on Facebook and during trips back home including Ed Dougherty, Charles Kolbasowski, Steve and Carol Varga, Rose Fairchild Neliden, Stacy Remantas, and Janet Warley.

The amazing cast of strong female characters on Stranger Things continued to inspire and impress me. These women didn’t give up and gave it their all in the face of extreme pain and malevolence. I especially liked the intense powers of Eleven, the courage of Max, the ferociousness of Nancy, and the witty intelligence of Erica. These strengths and personal attributes are sorely needed in 2022. Watching Nancy expertly handle the shotgun to fight off the monsters reminded me of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2.

Pure, unadulterated, bad-ass courage and skill by nerves of steel women- that’s what I’m talking about!

And so, these are my random, strange and independent thoughts on July 4th about Season 4 of the sci-fi hit Stranger Things.

Here are the strong and simple messages I was left with:

Keep fighting for your friends and don’t give up. 

Good will conquer evil.

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