MTV's James Montgomery has rushed to Taylor Swift's defense in the face of a brewing backlash. His article, "Why You Shouldn't Hate On Taylor Swift" aims to discredit the petty slams of petty people. But while I have no personal beef with the "country" megastar, I think people should freely rail against her.
Montgomery's reasons to fawn over Swift include the fact that she's young, writes her own music and that her album sold like hotcakes, turning her from the "underdog" (when she was what, 12?) to prom queen.
Now, I agree with Montogomery when he laments that "negativity and pettiness are the cultural currency of the day, that they drive page views and sell magazines, and that we are all competing to.. get to the bottom the fastest." But in this case, I'm guilty as charged.
For starters, Taylor Swift is 20 years old. We no longer need to walk on eggshells for fear of offending an innocent child victim. Swift may not be able to legally drink a beer (though the annoyingly wholesome star would probably be one of those boring sticks in the mud who nurses a club soda with lime all night), but we no longer need to handle her with kid gloves as we do the teen set.
Then you have the fact that she delivered a wretched, embarrassing, borderline unlistenable trainwreck of a Grammy performance (insult to injury: the great Stevie Nicks was at her side). I was in my bedroom (having already been driven away from the telecast by Pink's cheesy Cirque du So-gay acrobatics) and had to come back to the TV to find out who was behind the atrocity. Watch it at your own risk (apologies for the quality of the performance and of the video):
So, the young woman apparently cannot sing, but we are suppose to forgive that because...
...She writes her own songs! And that is the most irritating defense used by Swiftians. That a filthy rich, bestselling singer who writes her saccharine lyrics is news and cause for celebration says more about the sorry state of contemporary pop music than Ashley Simpson's SNL lip-synching debacle did back in 2004.
These are not the only good reasons to drop out of Swift's Facebook fan page. She is in Valentine's Day, after all (if that movie's many insufferable stars were wiped out, Inglourious Basterds-style, at the film's premiere, Hollywood would be in its best shape since the pre-Star Wars halcyon days).
Also, Swift is the anti-Susan Boyle, and how could anyone support the anti-Susan Boyle? Think about it. Swift is young, Boyle is old. Swift is (arguably) attractive, Boyle is...not. Swift is the best-selling digital artist of all time, Boyle's blockbuster debut briefly took tangible album sales off life support (although the same can't be said for its geriatric listeners).
As for the Kanye defense, I think we can all agree it was the best thing to ever happen to Swift's career. She'll probably write a fluffy song about it. Next time, let's hope Kanye disrupts and saves us from a pitchy performance and not an acceptance speech for yet another undeserved award.