Humor, pop culture

TAYLORGATE: KIM KARDASHIAN IS THE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST OF OUR GENERATION

Written after a nearly 13-hour workday. So tired I didn’t even consider writing “werkday.” That’s a lie. I thought about it.  

S/o to my coworker/friend/workout buddy Melanie (I’m too tired to think of a real pseudonym) for our extended work day. Also s/o to my other coworkers Lazy-Eye, Thinks She’s Pretty, Mittens, Tonya Harding, Voldemort, Real Housewives, Hot Sauce, and Rumplestiltskin. You guys are awful, but also hot?? I can’t figure it out.

I eventually want to address more serious topics, but the thought of exercising my brain in that direction is too much rn, so we’re going to move onto something that LIGHTS MY FIRE.

So much has gone since 2009 that I can’t even begin to recap it, but I’ll try to do my best. 2009 VMAs, Taylor Swift wins Best Music Video or whatever, over “Single Ladies.” Kanye storms the stage and says Bey deserved the award—true. Taylor gains massive popularity—kind of rightfully. Kanye is totally besmirched in the press—kind of rightfully. Both stars continue on their way, making a tentative peace the same way two rival prides of lions make a tenuous alliance.

All is relatively calm until Kanye releases “Famous” off the album The Life of Pablo. The lines “I think me and Taylor might still have sex; why? I made that bitch famous” strike a fire in Taylor, and she says in a later speech not to pay any mind to people who will try to “undercut and make claims to your fame.” V relatable.

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Source: People // GIVE US THE FACTS, KIM.

Kanye lashes back and says that Taylor knew and gave consent for the lyrics. Kim K concurs. Taylor basically calls Kim a brainwashed Stepford wife. Kim K says, “Rlly bitch?? We got video, hunty.” Taylor shits her pants but does not back down. The ruckus simmers. Recently, Calvin Harris and Tay broke up, then Calvin badmouthed Taylor (called her boring, again—kind of rightfully) and Taylor leaked that she wrote Harris’ summer Rihanna anthem “This is What You Came For.” Tbh I could take or leave the song. But that’s neither here nor there.

People are calling Taylor a snake, and Kim K—in time for the airing of the KUWTK episode that deals with the “Famous” drama—decides to pull out her fucking Sherlock Holmes cape and SnapChats the entire video that shows Kanye on the phone with a very-on-board Taylor Swift, thus apparently proving that Taylor was a tay-liar, and her high-waisted jorts were v much on fire. Kim showed the world the other side of Tay, and thus proved that she is more influential than Woodward and Bernstein combined. Kim makes Watergate like a middle school rumor mill. Bow down.

Taylor says the part she has an issue with was the “I made that bitch famous,” which she claims Kanye never cleared with her. But from what I glean from TayTay, I doubt that she was fine with “I think I could have sex with Taylor Swift” and not fine with “I made that bitch famous.” Seems like you’re upset about the wrong apart, Tay.

After this—a scene that makes Cersei Lannister blowing up King’s Landing with wildfire look like a FUCKING PLAYGROUND FIGHT—Selena Gomez decides to stop trying to revive her career and tweet on Taylor’s behalf. “Let’s use our platform for real issues,” she said. EXCEPT she has never tweeted about Alton Sterling, or Philando Castile, or any Black Lives Matter movement, or anything of that ilk. She tweeted about Orlando. But when t comes to defending a white woman, suddenly everyone wants to focus on “real issues.” Chloe Grace Moretz concurred with Selena Goawaymez, but she’s tweeted more about shoes than she has about social issues. Khloe got involved and tweeted an unfortunate picture of a girl she thought was Chloe, but it wasn’t. A for effort, Khlo, but no dice.

Part of me thinks this is a conspiracy concocted by Kim K and Tay—the witches of Macbeth—but that seems very extreme, given the excessive vitriol being lashed at Taylor. I think this because it’s very unlike Kim, who keeps everything in her queendom neat and ordered, to go off script like that and show something as messy as unveiling Tayliar Snake. Also, there is the whole “Search” aspect of the Taylor Swift note, which suggests that it was previously written and recalled for the occasion.

I would like to take a line from the Taylor Swift Instagram note. “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one I never asked to be a part of, since 2009.” Most of me thinks that this proves that Taylor Swift is just like everyone in the entertainment industry—largely concerned with projecting their own narrative. Which is fine, dude, but own up to it. Don’t try to destroy other people to protect your own image. Taylor Swift has included herself in that narrative, making herself the victim of Kanye West. She chose to indulge in that dialogue, to make herself a character in that storyline. She is the one who wrote a song about it, who kept bringing it up, who allowed it to buoy her. Don’t throw stones at the glass house you just walked out of. Don’t burn bridges that you might need to cross over again.

Taylor has made bank off of being the victim, playing off the racism in America that allows us to come to the defense of a white woman who is the “victim” of a black man, even when that black man has  done nothing wrong. He wrote a lyric about her? And what has she made her career off of if not writing about other people? Kanye West is not perfect, but stop pretending Taykor is. And this is not a dig at her relationships, or an attempt at slut-shaming. That should not be important to the conversation. What is important is that Taylor Swift is a pop powerhouse and media mogul. She is every bit as powerful as Kanye. She is not the underdog any longer.

And shockingly, I found myself agreeing with Selenirrelevant Gomez—celebrities, use your fucking platforms for something actually constructive. I was grateful for this welcome distraction from issues such as the Dallas shootings, or the Baton Rouge shootings, or the mistreatment of Leslie Jones, or the still prevalent restrictions of abortion—WHICH IS LEGAL—or the still discussion of same-sex marriage, or the fact that Trump made Mike Pence—who LEGALIZED queer discrimination in Indiana—as his VP. Sometimes we need something dumb to give us a breather, and to make us realize what is really important.

We need to care more about social justice issues than social media. I think that the Tayliar situation reflects a lot of how our society thinks, but we need to focus on issues that require real, dynamic change. I’m a complete pop cultural anthropologist/junkie/apologist, but even I understand that this debacle is PENNIES compared to what else is going on. I wish the people I see in my life and on social media who are as fired up about taking sides in the Kan-Tay-Kim fight would be as passionate about other issues. No tea, no shade, but we need to pour our influence towards real change.

And lastly, remember that Beyoncé’s sheer greatness created a feud between two of the most powerful alphas in the entertainment industry. She did this by accident. Imagine what havoc Queen Bey could cause on purpose.

The moral of this article is: Buy “Lemonade” on iTunes. You don’t want to know what might happen if you don’t.

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Life, Rambles

THE 2K15 VMSLAYS

I feel like I’ve been writing nonstop for the last three days, so this post is going to be a goddamn WALK IN THE PARK.

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The VMAs were last night. I literally gagged on her eleganza when I saw on Tumblr that Violet Chachki—the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7—was there, and she is now the background picture of my laptop. To pay homage to other idols of mine, my lock screen is Gigi Gorgeous and my home screen is my husband Nick Jonas. They’re all so beautiful I could die.

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Later on, when Miley Cyrus performed with a coterie of drag queens—

Side bar, I love the word “coterie.”

—I kept pausing to scan the faces and find my favorite drag queens. Pearl was there. And I saw Willam Belli’s full-on asscheeks. It was such a moment for the whole community. AND the Happy Hippie campaign people introduced Miley, which makes Gigi’s presence there a lot more understandable, but also Brendan Jordan was there in a stunning off-the-shoulder top.

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I really enjoyed the drag queens and the Happy Hippie people, but I felt like they were used as props a little bit by Miley. Her performance was weird as hell, and not in a good way. I almost would’ve preferred—actually, definitely—if the drag queens just performed by themselves. Like, they just acted as jumped-up backup dancers for her. They are titans of performance. The whole thing just seemed like a victory lap for Miley, who has been very problematic lately.

Before and during the release of the Bangerz album, which I loved, Miley amped up the sexuality and the nudity, but it seemed to have a purpose. She was making a statement about how we view women and how we view artists. She was pointing out the underlying misogyny in her industry. It all made sense, in a roundabout way.

But right now I don’t really know what Miley is doing. On Jimmy Kimmel, when he was blushing like a fourteen-year-old as she was only wearing a cape and pasties, she made the point that boobs were okay to show on television but the female nipples were something to be censored. It’s a really interesting point and shows how we still sexualize women’s bodies and take away their autonomy while also expecting them to police themselves so as to avoid stirring men’s lusts.

She’s smart and aware, but I can’t understand the dreadlocks. I don’t know the full history of dreadlocks, and I’m white, so I can’t speak fully about it, but it seems like cultural appropriation at its finest. And when Nicki called her out during her time at the mike—I died—Miley answered with a blasé tone about her.

And it goes right back to the Amandla Stenberg—Kylie Jenner situation. White women appropriating black culture are seen as “hip” and “on-trend,” but black women are penalized for utilizing the same aesthetics. And even as I’m googling Nicki’s name, all of the photos for the articles are Nicki growling, face contorted, at a ditzy, smiling Miley.

Black women who speak out, like Amandla and Nicki, are painted as the Angry Black Woman, which then allows media to brush them aside as “overreacting.” Even as I Googled Amandla’s name to find an appropriate article to link, there was an article about Amandla’s “feud” with Kylie Jenner. Amandla was pointing out Kylie’s cultural appropriation; she wasn’t slinging mud in the middle school playground. She is eloquent and aware, but classified as “feuding” and “angry” and a “jackhole,” according to Andy Cohen (who has since apologized, but it still happened).

I don’t know everything about Nicki and Miley and Taylor, but I feel like Miley is not understanding fundamental things about why Nicki Minaj might be upset. The reason Nicki lashed out at Miley is because Miley believed Nicki was wrong in the great Nicki-Taylor Twitter-feud, and was “Nicki should be more polite. It’s all about openness and love,” and that is so fucking frustrating because, I’m not black, but I can imagine that it must be frustrating to be a woman of color in the entertainment industry who is sexualized and demeaned and forced to watch as a white woman gathers laureates of praise continuously, when you’re both equally successful.

Miley’s answer betrays her privilege because she was born in a world where she was given the option of being nice and polite and open. Nicki had to fight for her place in the industry, and she’s allowed to be angry at the system that continually puts her down. Ugh, I don’t understand enough of this to really be eloquent but it just sucks and Miley is really annoying me right now.

This post wasn’t meant to be a rant about Miley Cyrus, so I’m going to change topics.

Because I’ve been stockpiling posts that will be scheduled to post for the first few weeks I’m in London, I’ve been writing a lot and it’s very emotionally draining. Firstly, it’s hard to think of things to write about because I’m always inside my house—so zero inspiration—and my life is not that interesting. But I’m trying to get the first month—ish—done so that I have regular content for Mondays and Thursdays and I can feel unencumbered to write about London when I want, without scrambling for a full-fleshed post.

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Also I have been saving this gif for three days because it very much describes my life right now. Also because Diane Keaton!

That is all—omg, Meryl Streep.

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