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I Don’t Wanna Live Forever. I don’t wanna support this movie. An Editorial

December 10, 2016
(Source: @TaylorNation13)

(Source: @TaylorNation13)

The following post may be for mature audiences only, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who could use a new calendar from the Taylor Swift store, we’re usually all in to support Taylor Swift’s music. However, in case I haven’t make it abundantly clear, I do tend to voice my opinion on the things I’d rather not endorse. The Sparkly Dressed has attached her name before to things like diet soda and cosmetics. She’s been known to write songs like “Today Was A Fairytale”, ¬†“Sweeter Than Fiction” and “Safe in Sound” for movies of different genres. Yes, I know there’s more. These are just examples ūüôā And then, there’s¬†Fifty Shades Darker.

For the record, I don’t have a problem with¬†consenting adults engaging into BDSM roleplay or live the lifestyle out loud. Yes, that’s what¬†Fifty Shades Darker is about. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” which is the single by Zayn and Taylor, is in that movie’s soundtrack. Show of hands, how many people here expected I’d be explaining BDSM in a Taylor Swift blog? I assure you I’m as surprised as you are. At the same time, I don’t want to dance around the subject. So, here we go. Ahem. I got this. I think.

You probably know the idea of roleplay from dressing up at comic convention or playing video games in which you play as a character such as a wizard or knight. But BDSM (which stands for Bondage Domination Sado-Masochism) is when adults roleplay with the illusion of control. In other words, they pretend in the bedroom for the sake of fun (as in sex, but sometimes more than that) to a degree that one person gives up their freedom (temporarily and with safety measures and limits) to the other. Not the best explanation, but the important thing is this happens between¬†consenting¬†adults. There’s a reason I keep highlighting that word. The problem I have with¬†50 Shades Of Grey and the books and movies that followed it, is that consent is sometimes not given or the character who has the privilege of taking the domination role (Christian Grey) often abuses it. Abuse is not romantic. Any relationship, even one with a BDSM theme, requires trust and abuse is not part of that equation.

From the outside looking in, it just looks like a movie with some erotic sex, but it’s problematic. So, sound the alarm? Well, you’d be too late. It’s hard to find something that is not problematic. The soda industry and the cosmetics industry have been known to take decisions that were not always health-conscious. I¬†know it sounds like I’m trying to be apologetic of Taylor’s choices. I am not. I am saying that even if¬†Taylor’s name is attached to the PR machine for this movie through its soundtrack, you can choose to watch something else.

I didn’t start drinking Diet Coke when the soda¬†promoted Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour, yet I went to a concert. I am not subscribing to Apple Music because of Taylor’s ads and I can enjoy the ads. I didn’t see¬†One Man just because “Sweeter than Fiction” was in the soundtrack. I did however went to see¬†Valentine’s Day because Taylor was in it. I did love her performance, but I wouldn’t recommend that movie. The music industry is another facet of entertainment, so movies and music are often sold together. You can’t really turn off your mind as a fan when it comes to the media. So, rather than making an exception because it’s¬†Taylor Swift, remember than following your favorite artist doesn’t mean you need to consume every¬†products that are associated to her¬†brand. Instead, I would advise you use the same criteria to choose something regardless of who endorses it.

That also means you could just get the song and forget about the movie, while we’re at it. I know most people will go with that one and I could just lead off with that and leave out everything else. I just tend to go further than most people and overanalyze everything (bet you haven’t noticed that).

In other words, use your mind. Form your own opinion. Right or wrong, it’s yours to make.

Next up, I get blocked by Taylor Nation. Or perhaps they’ll let me go with a warning again. ūüėČ

Coming up next, on next year’s calendar:

The 13 Days of Taylor: What to give your favourite Swiftie

December 6, 2016
(Source: store.taylorswift.com)

(Source: store.taylorswift.com)

We’ll be right back after these messages, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who could use a new poster or a keychain, we’re just going to stop for a commercial. Don’t know what to give your favourite blogger¬†Swiftie BFF this holiday season? Well, try getting something from the Taylor Swift Store. They’re once more doing the 13 Days of Taylor, which might be the best time to grab some merch you’ve been eyeing all year or some of the more recent offerings.

Yes, it’s December and there’s nothing wrong with buying gifts for the people you love, but remember to make it less about the gifts and more about the gesture. ¬†As a young country singer used to say a few years back, Christmas must be something more. To be honest, I always prefer to listen to Back To December instead, so here’s a clip for old times’ sake ūüôā

Watch on YouTube

Coming up next, on next year’s calendar:

(Sources: Taylor Swift Store)

News Update & Commentary: AT&T announces Taylor Swift NOW

November 28, 2016
(Source: AT&T)

(Source: AT&T)

You can bet your ass I have some commentary, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who hangs by where the cooler should be and then thinks he should get a cooler, we are not big fans of the adjective¬†exclusive. One would say, with grounds to be right one hundred percent of the time, it’s definitely not listed in our top ten. However, even I have to use it when it applies and it applies here.

Taylor Swift’s image is after all an intellectual property that seeks profit. This is business. Taylor’s time, name and fame (which¬†again we should reaffirm is not owed to anybody but herself and her fandom) are a precious commodity. Taylor Swift is a brand – yes, she’s a person too, I don’t forget that – but as a brand she has to seek out the better deal.

According to Billboard, AT&T has announced the new streaming service DirecTV Now. This comes after the news that AT&T has acquired Time Warner and its cable service DirecTV. You might be thinking that I’m advertising for them, but within its original content was Taylor Swift NOW which was dubbed “a new video experience only on AT&T”.¬†AT&T Entertainment & Internet Services executive¬†vp and chief marketing officer Brad Bentley mentioned that it will consist of 13 episodes. Unfortunately, this is only available to users of this service.

Watch on YouTube

Okey so it’s not my idea for a Taylor Swift TV (my motto would be “all Taylor, all the time”) but I guess it comes close? Sounds more like a mini-series TV special than a channel but remember that Taylor has signed onto a deal with AT&T to create new content. This is the first we hear on how that’s going to take shape. Too bad this probably won’t reach us in Canada, but I’m sure a few ninjas I know will find a way.

oming up next, on next year’s calendar:

(Sources: Billboard, AT&T via YouTube)

A Place in this World. An Editorial.

November 23, 2016

I’m still trying to figure it out, Taylor Nation.

Regular readers of this blog know that I often use Taylor’s lyrics as an inspiration to talk about real world issues. This one is going to be a stretch. The world is a small place and the recent US elections have brought up a lot of radicalized opinions front and center. Suddenly everyone is supposed to pick a side. Political affiliations are now associated with extreme opinions for just about every social aspect.

(Photo: Duncan Hull)

(Photo: Duncan Hull)

But it the real world, I have found people have more diverse opinions that just one extreme or the other. A lot of people criticize movements because of what they do, or the way they do it, more than for their ideology. Criticism and tolerance should not be complete opposites. However constructive criticism has been replaced with vitriol and insults fly all the time. Trolling the other side, that is saying something offensive for the purposes of triggering people, seems to be everyone’s pastime. On the other hand, being oversensitive to the point of becoming irate at the touch of a feather should not be your modus operandi. There has to be some tolerance – and common sense – applied when someone is trying to get a rise out of you. Rule of thumb, if you can tell there’s nothing to gain from making the other person see your point of view, then move on.

Contrary to what people say, you can have a tolerant point of view in which your opinion might lean to either side without needing to put down everyone who disagrees. Being right does not require you to shame people who you believe are wrong. Can we stop this “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” thing? I am saying you should conform to every situation. You can very well dissent if that is your choice. But I do strongly recommend dropping the hostility out of your rhetoric. There’s a moment in which civil disobedience turns into public violence. Can attention be brought to a cause without insulting statements? Perhaps not in this day and age. Perhaps I’m completely off the mark. But I’ll always have the right to my own opinion.

Your opinion doesn’t have to match what people think of you. Don’t let people box you into a particular standpoint. You are allowed to doubt, analize and criticize everything. Every. Thing. That doesn’t make you a bad person, that doesn’t mean you’re a traitor to the cause you follow. Chances are that you are not alone. You just admit there’s always room for improvement. Make sure you join groups out of your own initiative, and keep your mind open to other points of view. And if you’re not sure, I suggest you lower the volume, seek quiet and peace and then listen or read the same ideas again. Do they retain their strength? Or did they only seemed to shine because of the tone and the loudness?

Coming up next, on next year’s calendar:

The 50th CMA Awards: Taylor Swift presents Garth Brooks with Entertainer of the Year!

November 3, 2016

A little advance warning would be nice, Taylor Nation.

(Photo: Erika Goldring/Filmmagic)

(Photo: Erika Goldring/Filmmagic)

I was watching the 50th Annual CMA Awards last night on a whim. It was a great show. The performers were going back to the old country classics. Even Beyonce’s appearance, accompanied by the Dixie Chicks, was a decent country performance. Hall of famers and past winners were singing their old hits and every now and then we’d see a clip from the CMA Awards from past years. I enjoyed the comedy chemistry of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Little Big Town performed their new single “Better Man”, and I thought that was as close as we’d get to have Taylor for this giant anniversary.

Sometime halfway into the show, we heard it. Taylor Swift was going to be presenting Entertainer of the Year. Flashbacks were now a very real thing. Was Taylor’s appearance unconfirmed until the last minute? Is that why it wasn’t possible to announce it with the promos? Regardless, we did get the very same Forever and Always Fearless One presenting the Entertainer of the Year award to Garth Brooks. Wish you would’ve seen it. Short and sweet, but she was warmly received.

Watch on YouTube

It was an all out tribute to classic Country while still honouring Country’s current best. I’m glad the Enchantress got to participate, even in a small but bright moment. Check out Maren Morris singing “My Church” if you can, she really seemed like the rising star last night. She won New Artist of the Year. Also, congratulations to Eric Church for winning Album of the Year for Mr. Misunderstood.

Coming up next, on next year’s calendar:

(Sources: 50th Annual CMA Awards)

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