So Taylor’s new song and its video have been causing quite a stir on the internet the last couple days. I decided to check it out for myself to A- see if it lived up to all the commotion and B- see if I could make sense of it.
Short version of my findings after watching: It did not and I could not.
Aside from being wildly confused and filled with self-loathing over the fact that I am presently attempting to to understand the underlying message(s) of a Taylor Swift song, I did have some thoughts….
•First off, let’s call a spade a spade and all just go ahead and admit that this song blows. The hook is kind of catchy but it’s 30 seconds out of a 4 minute song and the other 3:30 is indefensibly horrible. If you love the hook and that’s enough for you to consider this a good song then congratulations. You are the musical equivalent of a content Cleveland Browns fan. You’ve enjoyed going 4-28 the last two years because those 4 wins were so good and get stuck in your head?
•Animal Farm contained less symbolism and allegory than this video. Plus Taylor is a one of a kind creative genius, ESPECIALLY New Taylor, so obviously Animal Farm isn’t as nuanced or complex.
•”I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!”
(the Old Taylor overhears this, comes running in from the next room)
“What the fuck? I said I was busy and to take a message if anyone called, not tell people I can’t talk because I’m no longer living. Tell them I’m in a meeting, on the other line, swinging in my giant bird cage. I mean Jesus Christ, Warren Beatty and Faye fucking Dunaway do a better job of giving awards than you do taking a phone call. You can’t come up with anything besides ‘she’s dead’? You don’t even have to give a reason. She’s unavailable and it’s none of your goddamn business what she’s doing. I ask you to do literally one thing and one thing only, handle the phone for 20 minutes and you’re incapable. Ridiculous. You know what New Taylor? Now we got bad blood.”
•The video has about 130 million views (and counting). Just under 129 million votes were cast in the last presidential election.
•In a recent interview, members of the Village People were asked what they thought about the video. They responded collectively saying they weren’t huge fans because Taylor’s backup dancers were “a little too gay for their taste”.
Except for the one with the leather chaps and the handlebar mustache who said “Whatever bro. Just means more chicks for me. Fuckin love chicks.” then went for a high five and was left hanging. (I think he might be hiding something about himself.)
Since I didn’t really understand it and think most of the symbolism and underlying messages went over my head, I went to the Comments Section below to get clarification and explanations of everything.
The commenters did not disappoint…
No Bodak you weren’t. I don’t know how anyone misses that or how you think that was a clever detail but Katie is confused and Logan is impressed, so there’s that. Sarah’s observation was a good catch though. And I like how she spells caaarazy.
I feel like truth is true is reaching a bit? She’s creative because she spray painted ‘Reputation’ on a golden private jet? That’s not creativity, it’s called vandalism. She also cut off one of the wings with a chainsaw earlier. I don’t know what that was about or where you’d get a chainsaw that can cut through plane wings, but it also doesn’t strike me as creative either.
Maybe it means she’s staying grounded?
Damn. I’ve read through like 100 useless comments and I just accidentally came up with something that better than all of them combined.
So I don’t know the right answer, but I can recognize when something is definitely the wrong answer. Truth is true, while a true statement by definition, is an incredibly ironic name for this person. Truth is false or Truth is caaarazy (shout out to Sarah) would be a little more accurate. Also, this post was edited? So this is the corrected version of her statement we are reading? I’m scared but also a little intrigued thinking about the rough draft.
There are 398,000 comments so I haven’t gotten through all of them yet, but here are a couple others that caught my eye:
Don’t do it Melanie!!! No!!! DISLIKE
Way to go everybody. Look what you made her do. Now old Taylor is no longer the only one here that can’t come to the phone right now because she’s dead.
Wow. There’s a lot going on here.
- Did she trade GOD for the devil? Is that what was going on? I think we had different interpretations.
- “This is a disaster.” – Well you’re not wrong there.
- “Taylor please listen to me.” – 398,000 comments and counting. There’s less than a 70% chance of her seeing your comment and probably even lower % chance of her listening since it says trust nobody 2 lines up.
- Telling someone that they make you feel sad for their parents. Turns out not a great way to get your message across. That might be off putting to some people.
- Her parents are super SAD though. Crying all the way to the bank.
- “Well I had to put my 2 cents in…” – No. No you absolutely did not. Also, throwing in that you just had to add your 2 cents really diminishes the message. You can’t implore then end with just my 2 cents. Think about “I Have a Dream” or “Ask not what your country can do for you…” or the Inches speech in Any Given Sunday. Now imagine if MLK, JFK, or Pacino had closed with “Just throwing my 2 cents in”.
Think you might in the wrong video’s comment section buddy. Unless he comments on all of John Cena’s YouTube videos too, but he uses the name “TAYLOR SWIFT die haRd fan.
That is neat. How or why 1,300 people felt compelled to chime in on this, I will never know.
So at the top of this entry after just watching the video, I didn’t know WTF was going on here but after reading comments and writing about it for the better part of an hour, I think I’m beginning to understand – The good girl goes a little darker, bolder, possibly a little slutty. She’s over caring about society or the media or what she’s supposed to be. She’s got a little edge all of a sudden (for this album at least). Yep, I see what’s going on here. Can’t believe I didn’t recognize it sooner.
She’s just being Miley. This is just a CLASSIC case of JBM. Early detection is key, hoping we caught it in time but hard to tell at this point.