Tag Archives: You Need to Calm Down

Question… Can the Ultra-Famous have Reeaal Friends? [Part 5]

27 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even the song’s subject(s). Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted.  

Miss Americana showed me that Taylor is pretty isolated, and lonely much of the time. In the documentary I came away with the impression that the people around Taylor are mostly superficial. Brendan was distracted, for instance. Abigale is still Taylor’s friend, but things were stilted. They are in different places in life. Abigale has a family and Taylor’s super-fame is not relatable. They had little to talk about. Tree, Taylor’s publicist seemed like the most genuine, interested person, but she’s on the pay-role. The other people on Taylor’s team seemed harsh and judgmental. Their focus was the brand making money, not Taylor the person who has actual thoughts and feelings. Taylor’s love interest was seldom shown. It was weirdly secret, and when Taylor won her Grammy’s she had nobody to share her happy moment with. Taylor’s mom was the only person that was there for Taylor, the person. And I think Taylor’s super-celebrity status makes her alone in the world. Her idea of friends conveys this:

And every single one of your friends was making fun of you

Friends:

Dorothea

blank space

You need to calm down

paper rings

london boy

Lover

champagne problems

tis the damn season

the last great American dynasty

Archer

This is why we can’t have nice things

Closure

Taylor talks about 5 categories of friends, with many people overlapping in the categories over time.  There are famous friends, other queers, peripheral friends, betrayers, and a friend who became her lover.

There are strategic friends.  “You got shiny friends since you left town.” The friends are new, dazzling, and elevate status.  What Dorthea does not say is that the friends have a lot in common, are good listeners, or loyal.  I get the impression from the passing remarks that these relationships could be superficial or to be in a certain scene.   The friendships are for publicity, to get in a door, or just thrust together because they are in the same business.  In the highly satirical song, Blank Space, she casually says “let’s be friends.”  There is nothing real or authentic about it.  It’s not a friendship based on trust or mutual interests, it’s mutually beneficial.  Taylor is describing entering into a contract for the benefit of the media and general public, not a genuine connection.  

Then there are other queers.  Taylor feels their commonalities.  They are physically around where she lives, and in the industry.  They share similar experiences and struggles.  Though Welcome to New York doesn’t specifically say “friends” it has a similar tone to the rest of these songs.  

Welcome to New York

These people escaped their small towns and the homophobia so rife in them.  Many of them were estranged from family and had no one when they came to New York looking for a better life.  They put that angst, and the pain of being bullied for being gay, away and lived more authentically.  These people came together, and are coexisting in the same space, but Taylor doesn’t mention being especially close to any of them.  She is doing her own thing, and they are going about their business too.  They nervously and excitedly walk through the village realizing there are people like them.  They search for love–a unique experience given their childhood isolation and trauma.  And Taylor is right there with them, feeling the difference in acceptance between Nashville and New York.  In You Need to Calm Down, these friends are explicitly named as part of the queer community.  The homophobes are comin’ at them like a missile.  And Taylor is on the inside of the gay trailor-park, the same as the queer friends.  Though she isn’t close to any one person in this community, she gets it.  Taylor is one of the queers.

There are other people that are around during the important relationship.  In a lot of the songs, friends are relegated to the background, while Taylor and her Lover are centered in the lyrics.  In Paper Rings the friends were high the first night they met.  It’s like Taylor barely notices the friends because her love “blurs her periphery”-they are just inebriated people that can crash in the living room.  The friends are just there in songs like London Boy.  Champagne problems reiterate that the friends are fickle, not evergreen.  If something goes wrong, the friends aren’t there cheering.  Much like this song, Question…

The fourth category are betrayers.  I get major frenemies vibes from most of these songs, actually.  In Tis the Damn Season Taylor talks about so-called friends just there to gossip.  Last Great American Dynasty uses bitch-pack, a moniker that may be a bit sarcastic, but isn’t a super-nice way to describe actual friends.  The Archer says all her enemies started out as friends.  In This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things, Taylor reminds the audience that she isn’t that great at picking out authentic friends.  She aligned with people who later turned on her, and threw her under the bus.  She makes a point to toast her real friends, but in the same breath mentions the people she can actually depend on-her mama and her baby(lover).  

Finally, there is Karlie.  Her lover and her went from friends to this.  She keeps writing pages about their epic love story.  And after the final break-up being friends again would iron it out so nice.  But Taylor doesn’t want that.

Midnights and the Lover-Era Coming Out Foiled

29 Oct

It is speculated all the rainbows and butterflies and bi-colored wigs were building up to something aside from just “allyship” during the Lover era.

Taylor was crying prior to this announcement.

She answers, “I have a lot of emotions about the whole thing…”

Robin asks what the BIG reveal is:

Taylor announces. . . a song.

Note that both of them seem very tense in their faces.

Robin tries to get her to give the actual BIG announcement a second time:

Taylor deflects:

Robin brings out the big guns and motions to the fans waiting in the rain for a BIG announcement:

It’s a very pointed–tell the REAL announcement:

Taylor downplays the rain and does not announce anything else:

Look closer at the facial expressions and body language [Robin Asks. Taylor Answers]:

You’re going to do your big coming out announcement. mmmmm, probably not.

YOU’RE going to come out in the announcement. Absolutely not.

You did that?! You announced a single. During the NFL draft… This is all you’re getting.

Bringing the suffering and loyalty of the fans into it. This is not going to work on me.

Pride Month 2019:

all the cameos remind me of this moment in (gay) history:

Taylor was really leaning into Pride:

The LAST day of Pride month, June 30, 2019, Taylor sent this message to fans:

This masters heist was a major turning point.

New York Pride Parade. June 30, 2019;

But here’s the thing:

A deleted tick-tock video was saying that the panels in the pride dress did not match Billy’s skin tone, but would have matched Taylor’s. And this theory was substantiated by the designer who did a duo drinking tea! It’s BIG proof.

Taylor couldn’t come out and possibly alienate her fans/the general public/the industry, because she wanted to rerecord her masters in order to devalue the “stolen” ones. So coming out was scrapped last minute.

And we got confusion in the lover era.

The rainbows and light happiness came to a screeching halt.

Sadness was palpable:

London Boy was added to the Lover album last minute.

And UK listeners didn’t think it made regional or cultural sense:

Also, the placement of London Boy on the tracklist is jarring:

Why. the fuck. would anyone place the lightest, most buoyant song immediately next to a song dealing with Cancer and possible, impending death of her mother???!

I marked songs on Lover that I think were placed on the album after the coming out was scrapped.

So what songs on Midnights might have been on the Lover album in the place of those 3-4 out of place songs, or in addition to the tracks?

I need to think about this more, but right away I lean toward Question… and The Great War. But when I analyze each song, I’ll mention the “fits the Lover-era better” songs.

A Rainbows and Butterflies Obsession

21 Sep

But first, real quick: Ummm, when did WordPress become so user UNfriendly? Drafts are gone? I’m now having trouble uploading pictures. The auto-save didn’t work. I wrote this entire thing and it glitched at “publish” so irritating! It’s like the Myspace days, save your work elsewhere, lest lose it. Any tips?

 

And the topic at hand:

I am obsessed with Taylor Swift.  I have always liked her song-writing, and incorporation of personal details in lyrics (see so many blog posts that used her songs).  When I was driving almost 3 hours one way for all my IVF donor appointments, I must have listened to “Mean” and “Your Not Sorry” a billion times.  Her writing really touched my heart.  But I went away from her when Red came out–and was NOT available on Spotify.  Because how was I going to listen to the album without streaming?  That is also how I lost track of Adele also, who I think is super-talented and a wondrous singer.  But if you don’t allow streaming, I don’t have motivation to dig around.  And a lot was happening in Taylor Swift’s life and career at that time.  But once you’re out of the loop, it’s hard to get back in.  So I missed Red, 1989, and any Reputation stuff save for the music itself on the latter album.  I missed the dating, the clique, the feuds (except what was ubiquitous in pop-culture), and thus pretty much everything.

Brandi Carlile was my jam since, oh, 2010.  And I wish her music and everything still resonated with me now, as it had before.  I want to love it.  I wish I was still really into it.  I feel Brandi is an earnest person, with a good track record, and genuine concern about making the world better.  Her rock and folk albums were inspired, and even superseded some of The Indigo Girls’ work for me.  I like her (I guess her persona, because she makes you feel like you know her).  Her concerts are THE BEST.  And her actual singing is unmatched.  When she popped up on Zac Brown Band’s backing-vocals yesterday (listening to Spotify at work), I immediately knew it was her.

I am just not excited about this Americana direction she’s taking, dabbling in country, pandering to bullying, ect… to get Grammys.  I dutifully listen to the music she’s collaborating on, and really, really try to be a great fan.  But it’s not organically happening for me.  I can appreciate the work, I like it ok.  But my fandom is not what it used to be–and that’s disappointing.  It’s not over.  And I hope Brandi’s next album will feature the twins more, still have those notes she can hit like no other, and reignite the spark for me again.

And this post is not about how there can only be one female artist.  Not at all.  No trading is going on here.  I like them all and have a place in my heart for all of them.  There obviously, can (and needs to be) ALL the women in music.  They can all be successful, it’s important to support that, and help it grow.  I’m just illustrating that there was kind of a hole there (in my fandom?)… Which is when butterflies were bandied about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love color, love flowers, butterflies, tye dye, kittens, glitter, and unicorns, all of those things.  Always have.  It’s nothing to do with anything, just what aesthetic I’m naturally drawn to, and what incites passion and enthusiasm in me.  So when the “Me” video came out, it was my LIFE.  It was as if Taylor Swift made a video specifically for me.  Even better that little clues (Easter eggs) were throughout.  I also watched Pop-Up Video and loved all the trivia and facts and behind-the-scenes.  Same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So just like that I was hooked back in, trying to find the meanings and read the clues.  And when super-gay “You Need to Calm Down” came on to the scene–I was floored.  It was fun, it was bright. . .  It painted Taylor (we’re on a first name basis) as at least an advocate and at most, was a coming out party for bisexual.  And that led to Kaylor.  Which is an easy word to describe a possible love between Taylor and Karlie Kloss.

PS-I don’t know what shipper means, and I don’t really care for it (I’m not 12), but that is the language used amongst Swifties, a group I’m too old to be in.  Which needs to change.  I should not be excluded just because I’m in my 30’s and can’t get on to the cool lingo.  Taylor Swift is an artist I’ve followed for a long time, I’m interested in, and who’s music/career I’m really into right now.  So I’m taking age out of it and being a super-fan (but leaving out the parts not applicable to me).

 

A lot of things made sense to me about Taylor being with Karlie.  Especially when you see the looks, body language, and intimacy between them on YouTube.  I feel like I have insider information about the difference between what friendships look like vs more.   I also know about the coming out process.  And when the lyrics of her songs are dissected in a different way–it makes so much more sense.  I am impressed by how coded Taylor intentionally or unintentionally made her lyrics and videos and media.  Like, how detailed could such a busy person get?!  Color me impressed!  That’s my very favorite thing about Taylor’s work.  Also interesting:  The LGBT community has used codes (handkerchiefs, ear piercings, etc, etc) forever to remain secret at large but still identify each other.  Which un-ironically(?) can describe Taylor Swift’s whole thing.  And what’s it called? double entrande’ ? Karlie has a computer coding school for girls, I think?  Codes, all the codes!  So now I guess I’m obsessed with accumulating irrefutable evidence of their relationship ie, I guess “outing” Taylor.

 

 

 

 

 

Which isn’t cool, and something I, personally, hate.  But I’m not doing in a blackmail way or smarmy, or anything.  More in a–knowing the REAL inspiration behind songs lets you in on the secret and allows more authentic enjoyment of the material.  It’s a little like my obsession with Disappeared (Jaycee Lee Dugard, The McStays, Maura Murry, etc, etc…) and wondering what ever happened to that person. . .  I always think about scenarios, make theories, and comb the internet for clues.  But this is a little brighter, because it’s about a true, hidden love-not disappearance and death.  But same combing for clues, making theories.

(Another blog post about that later–it’s kinda it’s own thing)

I was super into every Lover video, lyric, and Easter egg.  And thrust back into Taylor’s world-though I have a daunting amount of research to catch up on just so I know what’s going on.  There is a lot of media attention, romance stories, break-ups, friendships, characters–it’s worse than studying Chaucer.

Even more exciting-is that Taylor Swift is known to stalk her fans, get to know them via social media, then INVITE THEM TO HER HOUSE TO MEET HER.  Instant fantasy.  You know how I always want to meet them.  Hopefully the tone of this blog, and any criticisms of Taylor’s work doesn’t preclude me from that.  I thought about erasing any trace of negativity just in case.  But the integrity of the blog comes first.  Any my authenticity is always primary.  Over time, feelings can evolve, as Taylor herself knows all about.  Those were my opinions with information I had at the time, so they stay.

What I’ve learned since I wrote (especially my Reputation review) then is that the album is OK as a stand-alone.  But what really expands the experience and gives it depth are the background stories, music videos, and especially the Easter eggs.  Which is why Reputation got kind of a mediocre review from me at first (which has changed with my Kaylor knowledge) and is waaaay better now.  That’s why the Kaylor truth is so important for Taylor Swift to share, and also why it’s important for me not to go erase the past.  That’s me and my story, and just like Taylor’s works, plays a part in future works.

So that’s what is happening with Me! (see what I did there>) and why I have been inspired to write (more, still not enough-time gets away) again.  And to especially make some songs.