Behind the Blog: An update on the story so far

Hello my distinguished fellow fandomites.

Update: I feel compelled to let you know, I feel that I will review some of these views in the future. While they were true at the time I posted them, some need reviewing, reconsidering and others might just need to be expressed differently. For the moment, this remains up unless I consider it no longer needs to be here.

I thought I’d give you a bit of an update that’s going to be several things in one. As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been blogging every week. There’s an easy explanation for this. I’ve been covering a film festival on another blog for most of July until the end of this week. That’s not the only reason. I’ve also been a bit frustrated with the focus on over-commercializing everything about Taylor as of late (I know everyone does this, but still…), so the harder explanation is that I’ve been also taking the chance for a breather.

Technically, all of these will become minor issues once Lover is out, so I’ve been silent on them. Since it feels like ages until we get to August 23, I guess we need something to talk about in the meantime. You can consider this also a bit of a Behind The Blog / Unpopular Opinions / Editorial / The Weekly Rant mashup.

I have a more favourable impression of the album since I consider “The Archer” an improvement over “You Gotta Calm Down” which itself was a lot better than “ME!”. However, the other announcement from Taylor’s last message was how the album would contain scanned pages of her diary. I don’t like this, I will tell you why, and the unfollow button is somewhere around here.

For the record, I am still waiting for the album before I can really judge what she’s bringing musically to the table. After all, what defines Taylor has always been her music first and foremost. With “The Archer”, I’ve caught a glimmer of hope that there’s something I like in the album although I’ll need to wait until the album release to get into it. For now, let’s talk about this new diaries’ pages album feature.

I’ve made my peace (yes, I’m borrowing a Taylor expression) with the fact that new era would also bring a more relentless trend to merchandize anything Taylor. I did not expect she would resort to sell some content of her diaries. Now, I’m pretty sure she’s only giving away things she’s signed off on, which is why she herself announced it. I’m pretty sure this is safe material to give away for Taylor, but what about her more impressionable fans? I’m concerned about the level of worship that some fans have for the Sparkly Dressed. It feels like this move encourages their obsession.

I’m also seeing a bit of a repeat of the 1989’s polaroid photo collection. With five different versions of the album, do fans get the same page of the diary per version or are we talking multiple combinations? A number of combinations means that there will be people forcing themselves to get any number of copies in order to collect all the diaries’ pages. But since the album does have a label of a different colour at the top, five combinations directly tied to five different pages is a more restrained selection.

I do understand music business is a business first and it’s primarily goal is financial gain. That’s the same reason why, although I’m on Taylor side regarding obtaining her masters, I don’t necessarily think Big Machine Records or Scott Borchetta are to blame for owning them in the first place. That was a legally signed contract. I do want Taylor to have a chance at obtaining her masters, but I also understand that is a valuable commodity that the current owner is not legally obligated to sell. I want Taylor to consider re-recording her material but I would humbly suggest she creates alternate versions, i.e. the re-arrangement versions she plays live on the latest tours would really work if she recorded those as new masters. That will be Taylor taking the power away instead of just buying them for cash.

Finally, the CATS movie thing. Listen, I do enjoy musicals. Phantom and Les Miz rank high on my list of enjoyable things to do but only when watched live. Their movie adaptations were not as enjoyable. I’ve never seen CATS in person, but the whole CGI anthropomorphism that the movie has done is a bit cringy to look at. Sorry, that feels a little nightmare-fuel-ish to me. I will eventually have to see it, I guess, but I definitely want to wait until it’s online so I have the advantage of a pause and fast forward feature in case I’m only in for Taylor’s performance.

I’m still blogging for the time being. I will have a lot more to talk when the album comes out. Please, take care of yourselves. Not everyone can afford all things Taylor, but that doesn’t mean that you should get everything Taylor if you can afford it. Getting the music is fine. Seeing if you can stretch your budget to make a show might be your motivation to save up.

On other news, Taylor has a few nominations for the VMA’s and you can vote if you want to. Honestly, I think this is an award she outgrew several years ago. It’d be worth it if we can see her and by then the album will be out, so I will count it as a positive.

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • August 23: Taylor Swift releases her seventh studio album, Lover.
  • August 26: 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on MTV. You can vote for Taylor Swift daily up to 10 times per category.

(Featured image: Taylor Swift via Instagram)

4 thoughts on “Behind the Blog: An update on the story so far

  1. I always appreciate your down to earth take on this fandom. While it is fun to connect with other Swifties, wspecially those that have been around since “Tim McGraw”, it is becoming increasingly hard to find those that are….level headed. I appreciate the art Taylor produces and I think the Taylor we know is “my kind of person”, but the extent to which some fans go to to idolize is extreme to say the least, and feels like some kind of competition. Our appreciation and adoration can’t and shouldn’t be quantified, so the shaming and guilting is out of bounds, at the minimum.

    Thanks for an always great read!

  2. All very valid points that I agree with. I’m interested to hear the rest of the album, too. Hopefully, she’ll give us more tracks in a similar vein as The Archer–one of her best and most emotional songs to date.

  3. I generally do agree with you, I enjoy reading your blog and have previously also ranted about Taylor’s tactics in recent posts. However, I’ve reflected quite a bit on that and changed my stance about certain things, and here’s what I think. You really sound needlessly grumpy, and I’m saying it in the most polite way possible.
    Taylor always does something extra about deluxe editions, so why is this case so bothersome? My guess is the materials’ reveals will range from the content of the songwriting voice memos of 1989 to the reputation poems. She’s not going to trash anyone publicly or reveal something too personal. And as far as I remember there wasn’t any backlash for the rep magazines featuring poetry and personal photos. Why would suddenly some journal pages cross the line? And I bet all the entries shared will have some connection and parallels to the music on the album.
    I’m also kinda tired of the “what about young and impressionable fans?” trope. Firstly, these kids have parents. Secondly, despite the fact that they have parents, they still share a lot of things online, anyway (not that it’s a good thing, though). Anyone can create a personal blog online. Thirdly, how many kids these days do you think actually bother to keep a journal? And finally, I firmly believe that you cannot expect a 30 yo woman’s actions should be limited because she has a teen following when she also has an adult fanbase.
    You mentioned yourself the five polaroid sets of 1989, which didn’t cause such a huge frenzy of spending money and what not. Personally, I’m on the “poorer” side of the fanbase, as well as an international fan. I own one version of all Taylor’s albums (except TS and Fearless) and with every release I decide if I’m going to get standard or deluxe. I’ve never been to a concert, never bought merch (really, by american fans standards I’m trash, lol). But still, I still love Taylor and her music with all my heart. Bottom line is, she could release 50 deluxe versions, I’ll still get just one. I don’t own any blankets, signed lithos, snake rings, cute shirts, rubber bracelets, logo hats, etc, and I’m doing just fine in my life. Some people will buy everything with her name on it and she caters to them. If some people just feel too much pressure to BUY. EVERYTHING. without having the means for it- that’s a whole different story, and it’s kinda on them.
    My guess for the over-commercialization of Lover has two parts. First, her new contract. If her record label agreed to let her own her masters, they must have made a certain deal to profit otherwise. If she owns all her songs and music videos, there has to be something, somewhere for them. Second, with everything she does, there are always sellers that pop up selling t-shirts or replicas of props etc, and Taylor is obviously taking advantage of that. Why buy from someone else when you can buy original stuff from Taylor herself? Again, she doesn’t feel more materialistic to me now; just business savvy. She doesn’t force anyone to buy 5 versions of Lover, merch, singles, vinyls or whatever, she’s only catering to a market already willing to spend hundreds of dollars on “Taylor Swift”.

    I need to clarify, I’m not trying to offend you and I apologise if I come across as aggressive. I’m only trying to say, there’s no need for bitterness or resentment towards Taylor. She wouldn’t be doing all that if people consumed more reasonably and critically.

    1. Hello Marion. This was an amazingly well-put post that is making me re-evaluate a lot of things I’ve said. And you are correct – the kids have parents. Thank you very much!

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