We didn’t sit together, but it didn’t matter, because we spent the evening texting. Yours say things like: “I’m so happy for all these girls whose first concert it is” and “She should have cuter boys in her band.” (Srsly, Taylor. Work on that, please.)
Anyway, Taylor’s two-hour performance was amazing and even better was watching girls in sparkles and pink tutus screaming and singing along and waving their glowsticks. Pure joy. But let’s get to the analyzing.
Ada: feminism is alive and well. taylor swift is angry. girls today are awesome.
Kara: taylor swift is pissed! and you might not know it from just listening to her music on the radio. but the whole show was, as i think neal said, a revenge fantasy.
Ada: and he said it’s the best way to get revenge. by being smart and successful. and having friends. and making art.
Kara: she had that part where she is like “there are 2 kinds of love: fairy tale love and real love and real love doesn’t always turn out so well.” DARK.
Ada: totally! she is LEVELING with those eight year olds. listen kid. life kind of sucks. and boys kind of suck. don’t let them get away with anything. THEY SHOULDN’T DO BAD THINGS.
Kara: i had always thought the music was all romeo and juliet. but its kinda like: romeo and juliet die in the end.
Ada: i think this may be 2010: don’t let anyone get away with anything. don’t put up with it. no wallowing. just fuck them, move on. we are post-wallow.
Kara: we are definitely post-wallow. even beyonce. with “why dont you love me?” is still, like, “dude, im awesome, whats your prob?”
Ada: “be a dick to me? go for it. i will humiliate you in front of TEN MILLION tweens and their moms.”
Kara: also, at the same time as post-wallow, neal was like “this is like alanis’ ‘jagged little pill,’” which i get too. confrontational.
Ada: taylor is the savvier alanis morissette. she knows how to sugar coat. and THEN throw the chair. also i related to the ‘i can’t play 12 string guitar huh? go fuck yourself.’
Kara: the whole story about the older man telling the younger girl she cant do something and the girl being all “fuck you” and doing it.
Ada: you totally show up the condescender and then you tell everyone about it. totally riot grrrl.
Kara: i guess i should say, for the record, i have some reservations as far as that goes. i mean, im totally into taylor. but i also think she is super-normative. and her desires are super-normative.
Ada: yes. a boy, success, romance. but she wants to do things bigger than dating the boy from the football team! she’s got ambition! did the 90s girls have ambition? i feel like they whined a lot. they didn’t have tons of self-direction. whereas taylor has crazy amounts of drive.
Kara: hmmm, i dont know…. they were singing about stuff that is very unpopular i mean, taylor is singing stuff that white male record execs can get behind.
Ada: but what did they want? the 90s girls like Alannis. i feel like i never knew.
Kara: they wanted guys to not be assholes. they wanted to be in control of their sex lives.
Ada: taylor wants the boy and the zillions of fans and for people who wronged her to suffer. and she wants people to clap for 20 minutes while she just stands there in between songs and looks cute.
Kara: those are pretty normative desires. im not saying i dont have them. but she doesnt exactly go super deep. (except for on white horse! that is deep.) also, she is like 20, but she sings about being 15. and the way she sings about being 15 is part of how i felt at 15. but also my 15 was darker.
Ada: mine too. but i really like “fifteen.” i relate. and not in a nostalgia way. it’s about not getting distracted by what other other people want. you need to figure out what you want. and who doesn’t need to think about that sometimes?
Kara: i was telling someone last night about taylor. and he was like “but how can you like her with your politics, she is so normal, i thought she stands for the stuff you hate.” i guess part of it is that her songs describe this experience we are all having even as we all know there is another layer she isnt describing?
Ada: yes i think so. pop music is general so everyone can relate. and she is ultimate pop. but she basically acknowledges in her concert that she really fucking means it. she wants a fucking guy to be nice to her. (i love how even though taylor never curses we feel we must curse to describe how intense she was.)
Kara: YES. and we all feel that way.
Ada: taylor = perfect pop star. totally relatable to everyone, everywhere. possibly too normative.
Kara: we all have normative desires sometimes.