Reading, Watching 02.05.24
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues
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Someone complimented me on my Taylor Swift piece at a party this weekend but then quickly enjoined me to “never write about her again.” There were a couple of things I felt I left out of my piece from Thursday and after being given this instruction, I feel compelled to keep going out of sheer contrariness. Also, she just won the Grammy for best album. So, if I may —“Eat it, good reader.”
Another aspect one should consider in the right’s meltdown over Swift is what might be called the “jilted lover” dimension. In the minds of right-wingers, Swift ought to be one of them. The culturally conservative figure she cuts ought to make her also a political conservative, but she’s not: as far as her political views have been revealed, she seems to be a fairly normie liberal. Of course, as I hinted at in my piece, that itself is sort of the conservative position in an age of a reactionary right. What was then called the “alt-right” (there is no alt- anymore, this is just the right now) once fetishized Swift as an “Aryan goddess.” Parts of the left bought into this projection and suspected her of secret Nazi sympathies. She has disappointed their fantasies, turning out to be merely an All-American gal. Her response to their perverse idolization of her whiteness was decent, straightforward, and conventional: “There’s literally nothing worse than white supremacy. It’s repulsive. There should be no place for it.” And, in a bizarre twist, her rival, Kanye West, turned out to be the Nazi sympathizer, which is less surprising when one reflects that fascism has always attracted those frustrated artists and intellectuals whose pretensions have perhaps outstripped their talents.