Pop Culture Friday!!!! Taylor Swift knows trouble

21 Dec

1.  Taylor Swift–Trouble When You Walked in–Ok, so I’m completely neutral when it comes to Taylor Swift.  I think she’s nice enough, I certainly appreciate all the causes that she supports, but I always found her kind of, vanilla.  Completely inoffensive, but nothing that gets its hooks into me.  This song doesn’t really change that opinion, mostly because it seems to be squarely aimed towards teenage girls.  Anyway, the video starts with her monologuing about her pain the morning after some outdoor festival.  She rolls in the dirt and EMOTES, going in and out of the fetal position, and standing with her mouth open, saying things like “You can’t find yourself until you’ve lost yourself” and other self-help statements for girls who have suffered through bad break-ups.  We flashback, and see her on a whirlwind romance with a Badboy–or at least a guy who looks like the “bad” member of a boyband.  He gets in a fight at a bar!  We see police!  He rides a motorcycle.  He’s TROUBLE!!!!!   Anyway, we see Taylor swift clutch her fists and writhe in pain whenever she’s around him, so I’m not sure why she hangs out with him, but he leaves her for another pixie girl and she ends up in the dirt at the dance party, where the whole video start.

Ok, I get it.  We’ve all fallen for someone who wasn’t good for us, and sit around just filled with that horrible wanting when they don’t really care.  It’s as universal as gravity.   At the time it feels life-changing, but just a few months later you wonder who was that person and why on earth did I fall so hard?  And I can see an army  of young women sitting in their bedrooms and going through all seven stages of grief as they cry into their pillows and tear up photographs, then tape them back together.  I can say one thing, that I’m sure glad I’m not in that emotional space anymore.  But it doesn’t really speak to me.  Reviewers have commented on how raw this album is, but I really don’t find it that way, I more see it as keenly aware of its demographic.

2.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn–This week’s number one book is an interesting one–after all these boilerplate series, we’ve got an author that seems to build a story in a rather literary (while also pop) way.  It’s a sort of Hitchcockian story where a woman is dead (or is she?) and her husband is the prime suspect, and we see things from both of their points of view and neither are trustworthy.  It’s a sort of very smart airplane read, and I can get behind that stuff 100 percent.  One thing that I find interesting is that the internet seems filled with people who HATE the ending because people don’t get what they deserve, that the bad people don’t get punished, and the good people don’t get rewarded.  I find this interesting.

Why do we want this in a book?  Life doesn’t afford this, in fact, Life more often takes random chance and people try to reason how they got what they deserved or not.  While justice is a natural desire, sometimes I find the thirst for justice to be confused with a thirst for revenge.  To me, justice is a head thing, while revenge is a feeling thing.  Justice makes the world better for everyone if fairly administered, revenge makes things worse, so whenever people get that way I start to shrink a little.   Is hurting someone ok just because they hurt someone else?  Doesn’t hurting someone harm more than the person being hurt?  I have another division between justice and revenge–justice wants fairness, while revenge wants people to suffer.  While wanting people to suffer when they’ve done awful things is a very human feeling, it’s one that is incredibly dangerous to succumb to, it makes for mean spirited people who cause more harm than the people they are after, I can tell you that.

3.  Mu-Yap–Turkish music–This is one of the biggest you-tube channels.  The biggest thing I found surprising is how cosmopolitan I found a lot of the videos.  People are dressed to the nines, and while the music has a very strong Turkish flavor, they’re dressed like artists and models here, which surprised me in general.  One of the videos Canim Isterse is straight-up what little 14 yo grunge-lover pewterbreath would have found cool, replete with pouting and ironic standing around a vw.  However, the rest are extremely glamorous as well, and I think that’s what I found surprising, the focus on glamour that goes beyond what American videos are doing right now.

4.  The Jim Henson Doodle book.  For your Christmas, get yourself this.  It’s wonderful.

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