all posts tagged 'taylor swift'

Can We Resolve To Be More Normal About Taylor Swift In 2024?

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

I don’t doubt that Taylor Swift fans sometimes feel marginalized or attacked. Especially the ones who are extremely online and see every bozo on Twitter who says Taylor Swift isn’t a real musician or erroneously claims she doesn’t write her own songs. Misogyny exists. No one (except those bozos) disputes this. And it’s undeniable that Swift communicates something extra special and relatable to her core fans that more casual listeners miss. And that is worth writing about. But at some point, the compulsion to hush or shout down anyone with a dissenting opinion starts to feel wearying and ungenerous. In 2023, it felt like a classic case of being a sore winner, to borrow a phrase used by the writer B.D. McClay in 2019 to describe thin-skinned cultural figures who want “acclaim, but not responsibility; respect without disagreement; wealth without scrutiny; power without anyone noticing it’s there.”

The first example McClay wrote about, naturally, was Taylor Swift. And that was before she got really big over the pandemic and beyond. But for all her winning, she hasn’t got any better about sportsmanship. She remains obsessed with score settling. (When you have a billion-dollar tour and still feel the need to drag Kim Kardashian for something that happened in the mid-2010s you have unlocked a new level of pettiness.) As for the Swifties, I’m sorry, but you don’t get to say 'This just isn’t for you' when your idol has achieved the ubiquity of Taylor Swift. Because Taylor Swift isn’t just for you. She’s for all of us. Everyone on the planet has Taylor Swift being shot into their ears and up their nostrils. She’s inescapable. Whether you like her or not.

So, some of us are sort of sick to death of hearing about Taylor Swift. And that’s an understandable reaction that has no bearing on your personal enjoyment of her music if you’re a fan. Some of us being sort of sick to death of Taylor Swift will not stop the content machine from servicing you. Fear and capitalism will no doubt roll on in 2024. But maybe we can all be a little more normal about it.

I admit that I'm a bit late to this one considering we're more than halfway through 2024 already.1

Maybe it's a consequence of me being intentionally not online this year, but I haven't seen a whole lot of Taylor this year, which is odd considering she released a new album.

Anyway, while I was reading this article, I thought of a recent Daily Show segment where Jon Stewart quips: "Why does everything have to be so fucking weird?"

Go watch the clip (relevant segment is from 2:32 to 3:45) to understand the context and the delivery of that line.

My wife and I have been saying that nonstop this past month, and it's the perfect question to ask ourselves in what could be perhaps the most bizarre year of our lives to date.

  1. I blame the crushing weight of my ever-growing Instapaper queue, and the fact that I've been reading actual paper books more often lately 😬 

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WeblogPoMo 2024 - Song 17: Taylor Swift - Anti-Hero

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

The story my daughter makes me tell the most is the time I asked Taylor Swift out on a date.

In 2008, my dad’s cousin was a truck driver for the Rascal Flatts tour. He asked if we’d like to go see the show and get some backstage passes.

Country music has never been my go-to genre, but I especially find pop country to be frustratingly formulaic and addresses a range of human experiences I don’t personally identify with.

But who am I to turn down an opportunity to go backstage and see how a major tour moves about the country?

My dad’s cousin took turns bringing my family backstage, and it was my turn just prior to the show starting.

We got to see where the trucks parked and the drivers napped while the show was being set up and torn down. My dad’s cousin’s cab looked particularly roomy and comfortable, not at all what I expected the inside of a 40 foot semi cab to look like.

We got to see the area where the video mixing guys did their thing. I remember being surprised because I know the audio mixing guys sit on the floor in order to get a better feel for how the audio plays in the given arena, but for video, I guess that doesn’t matter as much.

We made our way over to the area that led to the stage. It’s basically a bunch of curtains that make a tunnel. In pro wrestling terms, you might call this “gorilla position”, named after Gorilla Monsoon who you could find perched at that area during a show.

While standing there chatting with my dad’s cousin, a golf cart quickly pulls up, and off jumps Taylor Swift.

In 2008, Taylor was in her “pink sparkly guitar” era. She was amiable and full of energy.

She sees me and asks if I live around here. I say yes.

She asks me if I know who plays hockey in the Xcel Energy Center. I look around at the dozens of Wild logos and reply, “The Wild.”

She asks me if I know who they are playing that night. I happened to know they were playing the Chicago Blackhawks, so I reply, “The Blackhawks.”

She asks me if I know of a good place to grab a bite to eat around here.

I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to take a shot.

I responded: “Cossetta’s is right down the road and they’ve got amazing pizza. I’d be happy to take you there once you’re done with the show, if you’d like!”

She laughs politely, thanks me for my help, and disappears into the curtain tunnel.

She performs her first song and then addresses the crowd:

“Hello Saint Paul! How about those Wild? I hope they crush the Blackhawks tonight! Hey, is anyone gonna hit up Cossetta’s after the show for some pizza?”

I’m still not very interested in “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story”, but the last few years of Taylor’s evolution are compelling to me.

I will throw on Midnights and Folklore when I’m looking for some good background grooves.

The two Taylor songs that I have on my playlist1 are “Anti-Hero” and “the 1”.

“Anti-Hero” is so absurd that it cracks me up every time.

“The 1” is chock full of solid one-liners that layer on top of a general feeling of malaise. In other words, an accurate encapsulation of my internal dialogue.

I’m not a Swiftie, but I’m in an era where I’m working on countering my natural instinct to dump on any exceptionally popular pop icon without cause.

And while I might enjoy listening to some of Taylor Swift’s discography, I’m glad she shot me down.

She’s not even close to being on the same level as Shannon.

  1. Each of us have our own playlist in our family so we can shout “Hey Siri, play Daddy’s Music” and have our own jams play in the house.