I feel a little embarrassed writing this post simply because of the amount shit I have personally talked about Taylor Swift in my time. Trust me, I've talked a lot of shit. Back in the day I thought she was just another tweenage robot, that she interviewed like a five year old, had a vocabulary comprised of 20 words and... she dated a Jonas Brother for chrissake. It probably didn't help that my boss at the time told me that I was "just jealous of her because I wasn't skinny and attractive".
(Sigh. Burn in hell dickface.)
BUT! I've repented and changed my ways. I am a devout Taylor fan, and you'll never change my mind. Wanna know why? Because of this catchy-as-hell song:
I contemplated not posting the video and giving you an audio link in order to spare you the juvenile visuals... but the flapper outfit at the end is too good to skip. So, my summary of the song?
Taylor Swift is a genius.
I'm serious. Just hear me out: Middle School cliches aside, there is a lot of wise life advice hidden in this song. Take for example the lines I wanna prime factor down into psychological brilliance...
I'll bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold
but the cycle ends right now 'cause you can't lead me down that road
and you don't know what you don't know...
1.) "I'll bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold". YES. I've yet to meet someone who's "growing up" didn't leave them scarred in someway or another. We all have complete and legit reasons for why we do what we do; for why we think what we think. I don't believe in emotional policing... I believe that people are allowed to think awful things as much as they want. I'm serious! The fact is, our consciousness and view of the world is created by our interactions in life; we are a sum of what has happened to us. We are our experiences, and quite often as children we have no control over what happens to us. It's tragic, but true. How can you hold someone responsible for something that they had no power over? Our personal responsibility comes as an adult when we must be held accountable for our actions in relation to our upbringing. No matter what hand of cards you were dealt, adults may not hurt others using this as a justifiable reason. Ever.
2.) "But the cycle ends right now 'cause you can't lead me down that road". Healthy boundaries outlined by Taylor herself. Your actions will not determine my actions. Fuck. Yes. Sing it girl!
3.) "And you don't know what you don't know... " I made fun of this seemingly stupid line for SO long. Turns out it is SO profound. People don't know that they don't know... and it's the most frustrating thing for those of us who process, think, and value introspection. The world out there runs amok with humans racing around fueled entirely by knee jerk reactions to anything that they come in contact with. They have one primitive setting: "React!" and their thought process is partial at best. People quite often have no idea why they do what they do and goddamnit if that isn't inconvenient for the rest of us. It most certainly is the more treacherous road to look deep inside of ourselves and explore the human psyche. It is messy, confusing, dark, and unknown; the road less traveled. Luckily though, for those of us who choose this path, we also gain insight into why other people do the stupid fucking shit they do. This doesn't make it easier by any means, but it will shed a little understanding and lessen the pain. I like this picture quote from Chomsky:
You feel me?
So Taylor, thanks. You summed up in a verse what took me an hour to type out. I promise not to make fun of your songs anymore, even the one where you sing about Tim McGraw (...really?). Thanks to you, I think we've all done a little thinking about why people gotta be so mean... and how we can all be an adult about it.
P.S. Name calling at the end of the song isn't really being an adult about it, but I'll forgive you this one time.