No More Shade for T Swift
I’ve thrown in the towel. It was sometime between first hearing “Blank Space” and then “Style” when I realized my agitation with T Swift had to cease. My down-right obsession with “Blank Space” began as more of a parody than a genuine appreciation that I now have for the song– elevating the volume to deafening levels when particular lyrics (“‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” or “I could make the bad guys good for a weekend”) played while mocking their inherent cheesiness.
Our culture is so saturated with ‘good guys go bad’ lyrics in music that Swift’s rendition is a bit refreshing, remaining true to the image she has maintained throughout her career. My morning commute began to consist of “Style” on repeat, and I may have written “You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye” in a card to my Valentine (if you saw him, you’d get it). It’s not only her catchy lyrics that have abated my distaste for the 1989 singer, but the quirky, generous person she appears to be.
FACE OF NEW YORK
The New Yorker in me was not pleased when the press release promoting Taylor Swift as the city’s first Global Welcome Ambassador dropped. My sentiments were not unlike those of nearly every native New Yorker I knew, articulated to a T in the NYT article, “It’s Taylor Swift’s City Now.” The article references blogger David Colon’s description of the single, “Welcome to New York,” that designated Swift as the city’s pioneer ambassador; as Colon puts it, the song presents the New York you would get “if you populated it entirely with humans raised in the Times Square Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., then let them out into the world with only a penthouse apartment, an Amex black card and leopard-print Prada luggage.” As it soon thereafter turned out, serving as the official face of New York was only Swift’s first real misstep.
Apologies in advance to the die-hards, but it’s hard not to make fun of trademarking phrases like “This Sick Beat” and “Could Show You Incredible Things”– I am sure F. Scott Fitzgerald first wrote the latter in one form or another. Rolling Stone provides a comprehensive overview of the do’s and don’ts when desiring to reference 1989 on typewriters, walking sticks, non-medicated toiletries, Christmas stockings, “knitting implements,” pot holders, lanyards, aprons, whalebone, napkin holders and the obscure collection of “whips, harness and saddlery.” Over-protective, much?
But, alas, there is still something so genuine, so innocent about her lyrics that provides insight into who Taylor Swift might be in reality. Sure, she’s a multi-million dollar country-turned-pop singer who brunches with supermodels in her $20 million TriBeCa penthouse, but I have become more interested in her generosity and appreciation for the fans who led Swift to stardom. It’s not often that celebrities welcome fans to their homes, write personal checks for college tuition, or donate proceeds to inner city schools — as the NYT reports, she will continue to donate proceeds from the sale of her single “Welcome to New York” to the schools. As long as T Swift keeps up the good work, in her music and philanthropic endeavors, she’s alright by me.