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The Weekly Rant: When we have to agree to disagree with the ones we follow

April 27, 2016

I almost called this one “the fault in our stars” but I didn’t want to confuse people, Taylor Nation.

I’ve already ranted about how close we come to celebrity worship when we follow celebrities around. To be honest, we have an easy time with Taylor. She keeps herself clear of the political minefield. These days the most controversial thing she’s done is bleaching her hair, where the fandom jury has been divided. I’m not jumping into that one, T-Swizzle can do what she wants.

(Source: Stand Up To Cancer - Taylor Swift and Jaime Oliver's "Bake It Off" sketch)

(Source: Stand Up To Cancer – Taylor Swift and Jaime Oliver’s “Bake It Off” sketch)

But there are other figures in the entertaining spectrum that have strong opinions on a diverse number of issues. When your convictions don’t match theirs, there’s always some disappointment. Specially in the current political climate in the US (disclaimer: I’m Canadian, I don’t have a horse in this race), finding out your favorite movie star, the singer you love or the entertainer you always read up on has different political views than yours is always a bit of a letdown. Should you take it personally?

This is the part where I have to remind you that everything I write has a “In my humble opinion,” added before every statement.

I say it depends on what you can live with. Let me give you an example. There’s an ongoing debate of whether being a feminist means you must support the only feminine candidate in a political race. However, gender equality (sorry, sometimes I have to use this exact term to make a point) means both candidates have equal opportunity to become president. Yes, feminism also means female representation – but here’s where I might lose points (or win them depending who you ask): I believe that your personal opinion on who is more qualified should not be gender biased either way. And yes, even when you’re trying to make up for the gender bias that used to exist before. It’s one of the reasons I don’t use that label anymore. More on that on my previous rant. Still an ally though.

To argue the alternate outcome, there are things I can’t live with. Again, this is just an example. There’s a movement of people that are very vocal against vaccination. It’s disappointing for me to hear about celebrities who’ve subscribed to this opinion. So in this case I prefer to just admire their work from afar, but no longer follow them on social networking or read up on stuff they are doing in the media.

Of course it becomes more of a prickly subject when an actual crime has been committed. Sometimes not even the object of your admiration is not involved directly. We have a very recent example of this with the case of Kesha versus Sony and Dr. Luke. Several artists have have him as a producer, so should you listen to those albums anymore? Should you choose to do so, do you feel guilty? Do you have to put out a disclaimer explaining that you’re not endorsing any third parties involved with something you enjoy?

I’ll give you another one were the artist is directly related. Chris Brown was convicted and sentenced for felony abuse of his then girlfriend Rihanna. This is not alleged guilt – it’s admitted and convicted with all the evidence. What now? Should you listen to his albums anymore or rule his music right out? Again, can you live with it? Can you divorce the work from the author’s previous wrongdoings? Sometimes we can, and sometimes we can’t because we’re human. Some might think it’s not fair to judge someone’s work – but we are allowed to have opinions. Personally, I didn’t like his music to begin with so that’s an easy decision to make.

Bonus clip! In case that GIF at the beginning of the post make you yearn to watch the video where it comes from, here’s a treat for reading through this post:

Watch on YouTube

On other news, Taylor Swift and Idris Elba have been revealed as the two celebrity co-chairs alongside Vogue’s Anna Wintour for the 2016 Met Gala to be held on Monday, May 2. Taylor has already said she’s going to be dressed as a robot. And carry a sword. She might be kidding, because if that happens the internet might implode.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

  • May 2: The 2016 Met Gala. Taylor Swift and Idris Elba have been revealed as the two celebrity co-chairs alongside Vogue’s Anna Wintour.
  • May 10: The first-ever Taylor Swift Award will be given at the 64th annual BMI Pop Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
  • May 22: The Billboard Music Awards are broadcast LIVE at 8pm ET on ABC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Taylor Swift is nominated for eight awards.
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