Monday, September 15, 2014

Taylor Swift Revisited [But Not Really]

Hey, everyone. So, I know I wrote a blog "article" [partially/mostly] about Taylor Swift about a year ago (ffffffffuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhkk), but I'm a male, cis-het, Hispanic, American human who's not too proud to revisit a subject or reevaluate an opinion or belief in [the] light of new information. Ms. Swift was recently interviewed by the Guardian in promotion of her forthcoming fifth album, 1989. The interview is as chummy and softball as you might expect, but Ms. Swift also shows a surprising amount of introspection [which, yes, would have been any amount of introspection whatsoever, but ykwim]. It's like she actually learned [at least two of] the lessons [I felt] she needed to learn in the past year, namely, that "boyfriend-stealing," [and, therefore, one would assume, "girlfriend-stealing"] is "not a thing," i.e., no one can "steal" your significant other unless they WANT to leave you, and that feminism doesn't [or doesn't have to, or at least shouldn't] have anything to do with "pitting men and women against each other" (this is a critique of feminism that goes at least as far back as the suffrage movement, which, to me, seems to suggest that anti-feminists haven't come up with any new arguments in the past 100-150 years, but that's beside the point). Ms. Swift even adopts the "feminist" label herself! So, hey, credit where credit is due. And in this case, I'd have to say that credit lies with Lena Dunham for becoming friends with Ms. Swift, and, apparently, being a really good influence on her...

Another effort by Ms. Swift to promote her new album was to release a music video for the lead single, "Shake it Off." The song is about ignoring Teh H8erz™. Whatever. I honestly don't care, even though it was co-written by Max Martin, who is basically Satan to me, as a musician—and not in a good way—and I fucking DARE you to look up his previous "works" and tell me I'm off-base! Look—I always say [or at least think] that there's a difference between criticism and "h8in'"—that you can't surround yourself with yes-persons—that you can go ahead and tell "h8erz" to fuck off, but it would behoove you to pay attention to your critics just on the off-chance that they might have something constructive to say. Of course, I'm not sure that most people even HAVE H8erz™—that would require that there be people who give enough of a fuck about you to hate you, and I don't know you [probably], but I'm skeptical that that's the case. [201409171700 edit: I've just realized that, even if you, personally, don't have H8erz, it's still possible that you might fall victim to people who just spread out hate as widely as they can, or target people they see as "vulnerable." This is a slightly different circumstance, but it's still no better for YOU. Sorry.] Ok. On second thought, even though you probably don't have H8erz, if you ever want to ACCOMPLISH anything, you probably WILL have naysayers. But again, you have to learn how to distinguish between naysayers, who can go fuck themselves, and people who are just trying to offer you a realistic appraisal of the risks involved in whatever endeavor you're undertaking. You probably won't have time to analyze each individual voice to determine whether they're a naysayer or, um, the other thing, but you can't get caught in an ideological bubble or believing your own hype, and the only way to learn how to make these distinctions is through experience—where was I?