May 23, 2015

Another cosplay fanfic approach to music videos ("Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift)

Earlier we saw the empty and jarring results of the cosplay fanfic approach to making music videos in "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, where a character from the original movie Clueless is aped by a singer whose persona is the exact opposite.

Now there's the video for "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift. It mimics Mission Impossible, Charlie's Angels, The Matrix, The Fifth Element, Tron (the Daft Punk one), Sin City, and pretty much anything else that the director got a boner to over the past 20 years.

Does Taylor Swift's persona lend itself to a femme fatale / film noir role? Of course not: she's an awkward virgin who only "dates" high-profile fags. Nothing seductive or man-eating about that. Ditto for the other girls and women, who are self-consciously striking poses like cosplay attendees at a nerd convention.

Does anything in the song's lyrics lend itself to an over-the-top apocalyptic spectacle? Nope: it's about some gay little tiff that she and some other frenemy have gotten into. Only to middle schoolers is that the end of the world as we know it.

Since no one wants to do anything cool and new anymore, we can expect to see more of this approach -- throwing together a bunch of references and allusions to pop culture that the audience has already masturbated to. Only now they get to masturbate to it in an unexpected setting -- a Taylor Swift video, a Family Guy episode, a new Star Wars movie, etc.

Rather than add to the variety of things you enjoy, the point here is to multiply and maximize the masturbatory value of the things you already like -- to obsess over them, over and over again.

Pop culture is quickly becoming one great big breath of stale air.

34 comments:

  1. What strikes me is how boring all of it is.

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  2. Blood-spattered sundress by Schoolyard Heroes was another song about a tiff between frenemies (atypically for their usual B-horror fixation), and I always found it odd the narrator denying the antagonist is a "sophist". Were they unaware that "sophist" is an insult? That album was from over a decade ago, but I can see such material as being in continuity with today but not much from before the mid-90s.

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  3. Well, smiling and looking like your having a good time seems to be out. Agnostic, you owe me 4 minutes of life for watching that video. Actually, I first noticed this with Janet Jackson. She looked great and sure could dance but she didn't look happy. Oddly enough, Lena Dunham couldn't even save that video. I think the point of the video is to sell Taylor Swift as opposed to the song or the audience. Probably, indicates the power shift in the music industry. In the past, the record company might have placed more emphasis on the song and the whims of the artist would have counted less. Yes, Taylor but we want them to buy this particular album. Rapper dude was really annoying as well. Love your blog and have a great weekend.

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  4. "I think the point of the video is to sell Taylor Swift as opposed to the song or the audience. Probably, indicates the power shift in the music industry."

    For the most part, in the 70's and 80's the music was good enough to sell itself. Record sales were so strong in the 80's that many artists barely got promotion compared to now. The level of the competition and minimal promotion meant that a lot of artists had a hard time sticking on the charts.

    Nowadays, a lot of artists rely on:
    - songwriters who often have minimal connection to the artist(original artist written songs peaked in the 80's and when 3rd party songwriters were used, the often knew the artist)

    - big shot producers

    - extensive advertising (gotta tell the masses that they need to get excited about something, just hearing the song wouldn't be good enough since the music sucks)

    - a lack of competition. In creatively dry periods like the post '93 modern era and 1935-1962, the corporate/contrived stars are capable of charting one "hit" (which usually stinks) after another. In the mid 60's-early 90's, whoever was "in" at the moment was constantly in danger of being shoved out of the spotlight by a artist (who sometimes were quite obscure aka not well promoted) releasing good material

    - Attractive (and hence youthful) performers. The 80's often get a bad rap for being superficial, but the nerds who hate the 80's conveniently ignore performers like:

    - Phil Collins, a scrawny/balding middle aged white guy.
    - ZZ Top, Who even knew what these guys looked like behind the beards and sunglasses
    - Lionel Richie, who has himself admitted to insecurity about his looks.
    - The Cars, Ocasek in particular was not going to make it on looks.
    - Cyndi Lauper, sort of endearing based on personality but definitely not looks.
    - Bryan Adams, I guess like Lauper he had a bit of charm but it came from stage presence.

    The proverbial door of opportunity now usually gets slammed in the face of homelier and older artists. How did the 80's get their "teen" reputation anyway? Maybe it was using relatively young actors but again, plenty of middle aged actors did well in the 80's like Clint Eastwood, Sigourney Weaver and John Candy.

    You can blame these trends on the dull public (who are now unwilling to take chances by listening to something more unusual and authentic performed by less than beautiful artists) as well as the basic lack of creativity.

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  5. "throwing together a bunch of references and allusions to pop culture that the audience has already masturbated to. Only now they get to masturbate to it in an unexpected setting -- a Taylor Swift video, a Family Guy episode, a new Star Wars movie, etc."

    You would think that after the Tarantino/Kevin Williamson mid 90's era that we'd be over this cutesy retro stuff. But nope, it might be worse now than ever before. And at least the likes of Tarantino were referencing a cooler period. Now we've got Gen X-ers and Millennials referencing post '92 crapola.

    "Now there's the video for "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift. It mimics Mission Impossible, Charlie's Angels, The Matrix, The Fifth Element, Tron (the Daft Punk one), Sin City, and pretty much anything else that the director got a boner to over the past 20 years."

    Did Silents subject people to nostalgia for late 30/40's/early 50's nonsense in the 50's? I wonder if Silents (maybe late G.I. as well) were as self consciously "retro" as Millennials (and perhaps late Gen X-ers) since neither generation got to have their own distinct and fun culture. Or in the case of late G.I. and Late Gen X, hit early adolescence when cocooning set in. Of course, Tarantino being a late Boomer didn't stop him from gushing about early Boomer culture instead of his own cohort's 80's culture.

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  6. Was hoping it would be a remake of the 70s pop hit by Neil Sedaka. I love that era of cheesy pop music.

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  7. The video also feeds the trend of movie trailers as an entertainment medium unto themselves.

    If it were a video from the '80s, the hokey plot would have a nice beginning, middle, and end, all in under five minutes. This video is just a bombastic "dramatis personae" that you'd see in a contempo plot-free trailer or series of posters.

    That stems from the focus on cosplay rather than characterization and dramatic arcs -- they're just advertising the costume that you would want to dress up in, rather than leaving the audience out of it and just showing characters who exist in order to tell a story.

    You see this cosplay focus in movie posters nowadays too -- they never hint at the plot (SPOILER ALERT!!!!1!!!1!1!1!), but instead show a static pose of one or another of the costumes that you might want to dress up as, and if you buy a ticket to the movie, you'll get to experience that character's badass powers.

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  8. The posters for the Avengers movies really capture how the audience is window-shopping for cosplay outfits and lines of dialog that can be spat out by pulling on a string in the back of the costume.

    http://www.theaterhopper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/avengers_poster.jpg

    http://www.disneymovieslist.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/avengers_age_of_ultron.jpg

    The lower 30% of the poster is name branding, the upper 10% the list of stars. The central 50% is a bunch of static poses among unrelated and disconnected "characters" (cosplay models). The remaining sliver under the stars' names gives you just a teaser about the plot.

    Plot doesn't matter, only the tech specs of each of the badass characters. We're shopping for immersive cosplay experiences here, not for a story.

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  9. If it were a video from the '80s, the hokey plot would have a nice beginning, middle, and end, all in under five minutes.

    I've always thought that a big reason for 80's videos having a storyline (often with actors/models) was so the audience wouldn't dwell too much on the fact that some of the musicians weren't necessarily attractive or cool.

    "That stems from the focus on cosplay rather than characterization and dramatic arcs -- they're just advertising the costume that you would want to dress up in, rather than leaving the audience out of it and just showing characters who exist in order to tell a story."

    This reminds me, do you ever hear late Gen X/Millennial nerds griping about "getting the character right"? They're not really talking about effective characterization as much as they're talking about regurgitating bit by bit every aspect of a character's established backstory and identity.

    What does it say about how lame we are that we get disappointed when a movie doesn't validate our "insider" knowledge (get a life).

    Who cares about this stuff if the characters are engaging? The audience in '77 didn't have any idea who Luke or Han was other than word of mouth and a couple basic things suggested by the trailer.

    Now people get indignant when Spock or Luke or Batman doesn't painstakingly recreate the image built up by decades of media that today's legions of dorks have consumed.

    Nobody wants to experience mystery, wonder, or joy these days. Instead it's the OCD drudgery of ticking off boxes of minutiae instead of dropping our pretentions and just going wherever the creator's imagination takes us.

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  10. Fake Herzog5/23/15, 6:22 PM

    I think this is a spot on analysis of the music video. My only objection is your characterization of Taylor's dating habits -- maybe one or two of her past boyfriends might turn out to be gay, but not all of them and certainly not her current squeeze Calvin Harris.

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  11. "do you ever hear late Gen X/Millennial nerds griping about "getting the character right"? They're not really talking about effective characterization as much as they're talking about regurgitating bit by bit every aspect of a character's established backstory and identity."

    It's a sign of our spiritual void that people feel righteous anger over acts of blasphemy and sacrilege against pop culture icons rather than anything transcendent -- God, nature, nation, etc.

    The proper attitude is "Oh great, another lame cover of a classic '80s song / Another lame '80s reboot movie." I know it feels like a slap in the face when Hollywood keeps "raping your childhood," but that's a pretty small and not so coherent tribe that they're insulting.

    Meanwhile the hordes of Amerindians flooding over the border -- meh, Mexicans raping our country not as important as Hollywood raping my memories of Transformers. Average Americans desecrating Thanksgiving and Christmas -- meh, kind of tacky, BUT GUYS DID YOU HEAR WHAT THEY'RE DOING TO THUNDERCATS.

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  12. I'm willing to give people somewhat of a pass if they feel righteous anger over desecration of what is truly sacred, and feel similarly toward corrupting what was already profane.

    The ones who are cracked have a mis-wiring in their impulses about sacrilege, sounding the alarm about something profane while being blind, deaf, and dumb about something sacred.

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  13. A.B. Prosper5/23/15, 11:12 PM

    Feh, comparing Taylor Swift to Cosplay girls is insulting to the girls. The Cosplayers are often sweet, fun and sexy and while they are not always the font of originality, many of them approach their hobby with a sense of childish nerdy joy combined with seriousness, f

    And yeah while I am not her target audience, don't like her non country music much and I know nothing about her a person but is she supposed to be appealing?

    It seems to me that Taylor Swift as we see her is a manufactured product and looks more like a pretty Unsub from Criminal Minds or a Stalker from the show of the same name .

    Emily Deschanel h also has kind of creepy eyes but not as much as Taylor Swift .


    I wouldn't make eye contact with Taylor or go into an alley with someone with her eyes,ever.

    I'm of course not the only one seeing that, Canadian Parodiest Bart Baker has several video on her

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnaZW5Hf9_0&list=PL3M8ryDwtaytNlT1W5WP4elBa2Rxhm3OV

    Taylor Swift is the Devil among others, Its NSFW BTW but pretty funny.

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  14. Getting the character right? They're not really talking about effective characterization as much as they're talking about regurgitating bit by bit every aspect of a character's established backstory and identity.

    "It's a sign of our spiritual void that people feel righteous anger over acts of blasphemy and sacrilege against pop culture icons rather than anything transcendent -- God, nature, nation, etc."

    People (and therefore, life) have gotten so dull and cowardly since the early 90's that a lot of people have retreated from a heavier duty intellectual/social life. We can't discuss (or perhaps even think about) the horrors inflicted on the West by gays, Jews, Africans, Latinos, and doddering Silent/Boomer elites. But we sure can analyze the minutiae of Star Wars, Batman, Lord of the Rings, etc.

    It's like PC of the 90's and beyond became a means to dodge our cultural/social responsibilities for ferreting out the real bad guys and holding them accountable.

    We've brought up Wiemar era Germany when discussing places/times in which indulgence and glibness take hold over any sense of tradition and decency. But the height of this era didn't last for very long; eventually people wake up. But Germany was almost entirely white when they decided to "do something". Too bad so much of America is black/Mexican/Asian now that absent forceful expulsions, we're not going back to Kansas anytime soon. The more I look at stuff, the more I realize that ethnic diversity is the greatest factor in screwing things up.

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  15. "It seems to me that Taylor Swift as we see her is a manufactured product and looks more like a pretty Unsub from Criminal Minds or a Stalker from the show of the same name .

    Emily Deschanel h also has kind of creepy eyes but not as much as Taylor Swift .

    I wouldn't make eye contact with Taylor or go into an alley with someone with her eyes,ever. "

    A lot of young(ish) Silent gen. 40's/50's performers are quite off-putting as well. A quintessential Millennial like Swift (born late '89) has spent her entire life in a cocooning period. What if you knew never had any meaningful/soulful contact with another human being you whole life? What kind of personality would you have?

    I don't resent Millennials as much I pity them. What chance did they have? If they start to manifest sociopath tendencies in the 2020's after a dull youth similar to how taciturn Silents bided their time in the 40's/50's and then went on a rampage in the 60's and beyond, we definitely will have the right to bear a grudge against them. But if Silents have basically escaped accountability, maybe we'll give a ridiculous free pass to the Millennials as well.

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  16. "My only objection is your characterization of Taylor's dating habits -- maybe one or two of her past boyfriends might turn out to be gay, but not all of them and certainly not her current squeeze Calvin Harris."

    Those who grow up very sheltered (which is the vast majority of people born since about '86,with those being born in the 1st half of the 80's marginally less neurotic) are a lot more airheaded than you might think.

    An '89 birth like Swift is quite possibly a nearly asexual hetero girl who's been so naive about guys that she doesn't quickly detect a fag when she meets one. So she ends up "dating" numerous closet cases since the word has gotten out among show biz fags that she's slow on the uptake when dealing with guys who don't seem quite right.

    There's always the possibility that she's wise to the fact that she's being used and just doesn't really care that much. Plenty of women in mid century Hollywood had loveless marriages of convenience to closeted golden age actors.

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  17. Taylor Swift is definitely aware of her gay boyfriends' gayness. She's doing it to maximize exposure and brand value, while not having to actually open up to a male peer.

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  18. From her Salon magazine bio bio, Taylor Swift looks to come from a serious striver dynasty and to be striving pretty hard since young. Very canny about getting financial control of her music as well. She seems pretty high self control or ultra driven and probably puts off proper sex / romance for that reason. That's probably the vibe people get off her. Might be why she self identifies with femme fatale characters a little.

    Even by Millennial standards, I wouldn't expect her to be able to necessarily come up with anything too insightful into human relationships or life, because it's not like she's someone who's just spontaneously exploring that stuff and then gets popular because other people think she has something to say that speaks to them. She's more someone who very professionally puts together "product" in order to achieve "success". With that kind of ethos and experience, how is she going to genuinely make anything that doesn't really fit the way she lives her life, and has some real experience of failure, regret or destructive passion or anything like that?

    A lot like that Beyonce who was basically pushed and manufactured into being who she is by her father. Shades of the Jackson Five there, but I think Michael Jackson had a bit more natural talent, or at least benefited from the culture that was around then. Maybe it's always been a bit like that though.

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  19. Just to show how dopey we all get after going in too deep into the cocoon for too long, here's a wiki sourced summary of critics (some of them well into middle age):

    "Caramanica of The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country's foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults."[88] Josh Love of The Village Voice felt she displayed "preternatural wisdom and inclusiveness," "masterfully avoiding the typical diarist's pitfalls of trite banality and pseudo-profound bullshit."[89] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone described her as "a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture" whose "squirmingly intimate and true" songs seemed to be "literally ripped from a suburban girl's diary."[87] Music critic Robert Christgau characterized Swift as "an uncommonly-to-impossibly strong and gifted teenage girl."[90]

    " Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone described Swift as one of the best songwriters in "pop, rock or country": "Swift might be a clever Nashville pro who knows all the hitmaking tricks, but she's also a high-strung, hyper-romantic gal with a melodramatic streak the size of the Atchafalaya Swamp."

    Hyper romantic.Yeah...

    Folks, in cocooning periods we can appreciate the symmetry of a pretty face but not much else.

    If this is what passes for "intimate" or "romantic" I wonder how cold other artists must be. Now that everyone's been so boring, superficial, and bitchy for 20+ years we've lost touch with what makes something authentic and resonant.

    Does anyone think that Swift would've gotten this far with an uglier face/body?

    Keep in mind that the sort of glazed expression she gives off could also be put down to lots of meds to deal with the heavy amounts work she does. The combination of non-stop Millennial busyness and mental fragility is quite taxing, I'm sure.

    "while The Hollywood Reporter described her as "the Best People Person since Bill Clinton."["

    Yeah, people born in the late 80's are renowned for their people "skills".

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  20. Such an intimate songwriter who never addresses anyone by their name. The sole exception is a song "Ronan" about a 4 year-old boy who died of a brain disease, however she cribbed the lyrics from a blog written by the boy's mother; she didn't know him.

    Contrast that to "Luka" by Suzanne Vega, about someone she knew personally, and that sounds a bittersweet rather than a sentimental tone about a child in trouble. Actually knowing people is surprisingly effective for writing about them.

    In a more lighthearted vein, "Mickey" by Toni Basil sounds like she actually knew someone like that. Ditto "Johnny Are You Queer?" by Josie Cotton. It makes it easy for the audience to empathize with the singer, since there's more real-life detail underneath the lyrics.

    With Taylor Swift etc., they're all just making up these "relationships" they've had, and the lyrics land with a thud. About as convincing as some flaming homo like Ricky Martin singing about a girl who's livin' la vida loca, rather than a fellow hedonistic degenerate faggot.

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  21. About her looks, that may be another central part of her cosplay appeal -- being fair-skinned, blonde, and blue-eyed.

    If you look at the comments to anything related to her (YouTube video, song lyrics, anything), most of it is from brown-skinned late Millennials, who are a lot browner than earlier generations. It's like how all the stars on Latin American TV are European rather than Amerindian.

    Strange to think of the fate that tween favorites from the '80s would receive today. Tiffany and Debbie Gibson couldn't have made it -- they have brown eyes. They need to be caricatures of whiteness (Swift is also pretty tall, unlike the women who the brown fans know in real life).

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  22. It's hard to judge Taylor off of an SNL sketch but she looked awkward as hell in "The Californians" during the anniversary episode.

    She def. puts off that manufactured look. She's great material for it being a skinny blue-eyed blonde. Whether she's terribly intelligent or not, she is not self-made, her music does not speak for itself.

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  23. BTW I'm an '89er (October to be exact) but I'm also even more cocooned than my peers. Or at least I feel that way.

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  24. How do you know the youtube commenters are "brown-skinned"? Swift started out in country music, so I'd expect her fans to be rather white for their age-cohort.

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  25. About her looks, that may be another central part of her cosplay appeal -- being fair-skinned, blonde, and blue-eyed.

    If you look at the comments to anything related to her (YouTube video, song lyrics, anything), most of it is from brown-skinned late Millennials, who are a lot browner than earlier generations. It's like how all the stars on Latin American TV are European rather than Amerindian.

    How does she escape the obligatory shots at nordicism that Jew cultural critics usually inflict on pop culture? Maybe it's because she refuses to make waves and has developed a "self-made" image. I guess fawning over "strong" women overrides any concern about promoting nordic culture.

    Ironically, Jews bash the naive WASP)/nordic/slavic whites who are dumb enough to let Jews hang around in the first place. The most "anti-Semitic" people are street smart/tough hillbilly types who recognize scum when they see it and don't let Jews get too numerous or bold in the first place.

    I'm grateful that that Matthew Weiner guy is making such an ass out of himself with his victim posturing. Post War America has been the most Jew friendly culture imaginable, but Jews are Jews. Give an inch, they take a mile. And have the audacity to still complain.

    I sense that a perhaps subconscious source of anxiety for modern Jews is that the West is so Jew friendly that many Jews aren't doing enough to remain culturally and genetically distinct. In the past, host hostility strengthened their identiy and made assimilation impossible.

    Yet many modern Jews like Weiner occupy an uncomfortable grey area, at least psychologically. Being in a anything goes cosmopolitan Jew friendly climate, Jews like him are in almost every way fully assimilated to Anglo-American values and life. But since they aren't fully Anglo by blood or temperament, they still feel vaguely out of place in spite of attending prestigious schools, living in nice neighborhoods, and having glamorous jobs.

    All the while, they ironically work their asses off to tear down the very culture of NW Europe and it's people who laid the groundwork for America in the first place. As sailer points out, this has led to a paradox of Jews being so adamant to smite northern Euros that they can't even keep clannish (and thus Anti-Semitic) groups like Arabs out of America.

    I think something that really screws Ashkenazis up is that they are often part white Euro. So they go to great lengths to prove how non Euro they are. An anxiety about one's identity is something you often see with mixed race people.

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  26. "How do you know the youtube commenters are "brown-skinned"?"

    by their avatar pictures and names

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  27. "Whether she's terribly intelligent or not, she is not self-made, her music does not speak for itself."

    Oh, she's smart alright. Virtually all highly successful people are smart. Not necessarily talented, principled, or well adjusted though.

    There have been plenty of talented but dim people who never got anywhere. On the other hand, we've seen quite a few mediocre talents become successful by being personable, responsible and professional. I'm reminded of a Stallone story (Stallone being a big star without a ton of talent) about making the first Rambo movie. Stallone possibly risked his life to make that movie (he jumped off a bluff and into a pine tree breaking ribs in the process) and he did so without complaint. On the other hand, the actor who played the colonel character showed up on set with his own custom script. Kirk Douglas, I think it was. Douglas refused to follow the normal script and was promptly fired after the director or producer argued with him.

    Hollywood gets a lot of shit, but really, in that industry like in so many others, if you're a total dick you won't get too far. Insurance companies can refuse to ok a movie if a lead actor is considered unreliable.

    "It's like how all the stars on Latin American TV are European rather than Amerindian."

    Asians and mestizos are so aware of their charisma deficit that they need whites and blacks to entertain them. I don't think it's just about beauty per se; it's how boring Asians and mestizos are in comparison to other groups.

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  28. I remember when Taylor Swift first came to my town. The young teen girl I knew was super excited and when I saw Taylor Swift for the first time I knew why. The young fan could have been her younger, frankly prettier, sister. This was when Taylor was still pretty much country and had nothing to with brown skin fans wanting some blond goddess to worship. Taylor looked almost perfect, attractive but not so attractive as to be unrelatable and young looking because she was young. I assume she didn't have to guess what interested teen girls when she was writing her songs so I don't think of her as being manufactured like the typical boy band. Frankly, if she was more manufactured she might have a shot at getting older fans with songs written from a different perspective. Love all the comments just tossing in my two pesos.

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  29. "I assume she didn't have to guess what interested teen girls when she was writing her songs so I don't think of her as being manufactured like the typical boy band"

    Yeah, she's not quite contrived in the corporate sense, The problem she's got isn't being "phony", it's the fact that she's a sheltered Millennial lacking in maturity and empathy. So her vocals and overall affect fail to push the right buttons and you end up just yawning. I think a lot of middle aged stars and critics are kissing her butt because she's not brashly unappealing like most other Millennial stars.

    There's also the continuing feminist crusade to overrate what few female stars there have been since the mid 90's. In the less preachy 80's, there were more (and more talented) female artists to the point that nobody really cared to notice or comment on the gender of artists outside of a handful of middle aged feminists that nobody was listening to. Since the early 90's we've had to deal with boring-ass female artists get Pavlovian praise from the very PC culture. Remember the drowsy female singer-songwriter revival that was all the rage from about '96-'01? Does anyone still listen to that stuff anymore?

    "Taylor looked almost perfect, attractive but not so attractive as to be unrelatable and young looking because she was young."

    From a standpoint of model-like traits of a willowy figure, high cheekbones, fine tuned hair and makeup, and symmetry, Swift is far more beautiful than virtually any 80's pop goddess like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Belinda Carlisle, or Ann Wilson. Those women derived sex appeal (to the extent that they had any) more from an outgoing personality/charisma than god given physical traits. Kim Wylde was a bit of a beauty, but she also struggled with weight issues a bit. But 80's audiences didn't care; her charisma was more important.

    We can relate to homely people who are empathetic, upbeat and fun. Very few people can relate to a Grace Kelly or a Taylor Swift who merely need to watch their diet and go to the salon once a week to maintain sex appeal.

    Again, it shows you how braindead people have become since about the mid 90's that we rag on the 80's for being "superficial".

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  30. "Again, it shows you how braindead people have become since about the mid 90's that we rag on the 80's for being "superficial"."

    Ironic, given that 80s audiences were far less likely to discriminate against music performers based on looks.

    Cocooning media is designed to be emotionally numbing. This explains much of its mediocrity. Insane as it sounds, those music videos are intentionally trying to be unattractive; just as Millenial girls make weird, unattractive silly faces to keep people away.

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  31. Agree to disagree. I prefer the curvier 80's stars(Nancy Wilson!) to Taylor Swift who does have issues with symmetry. But I could see that if I was 30 years younger and a girl I would aspire to look like Taylor Swift. I know I'm not her target audience. Possibly, critic just say it's not for me but it is well done for what it is.

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  32. "Agree to disagree. I prefer the curvier 80's stars(Nancy Wilson!) to Taylor Swift who does have issues with symmetry."

    I actually agree with you that women were sexier in the 80's. But that has a lot to do with women cultivating inviting personalities during wild periods, as opposed to sexiness being based entirely on god given physical traits that are further refined with elaborate diets. exercise regimes, and meticulous focus on flattering clothes and make-up. This sort of OCD regimen is much more common in cocooning periods since people become so much more superficial.

    Since the 90's we've been lectured again and again that the culture/the media is making females feel terrible about body image issues because of an unhealthy focus on women who look TOO good.

    Yet who is to blame? The media is a reflection of what people want, not the other way around. From about 1965-1992 women (even celebrities!) were "allowed" to be seen with frizzy hair, skin imperfections, and non designer clothing. People didn't care because they overlooked shallow flaws and were capable of appreciating personality.

    People often make the mistake of assuming that a contemporary problem is something that's doomed to haunt us. What they're missing is how cyclical a lot of this is. Female celebs in the cocooning period of the late 30's-early 60's insisted on elaborate make-up and fancy clothes before they went before the cameras. Just like they do now.

    When we wake up and start having lives again, these elaborate rituals will seem like a pretentious waste of time and we'll focus more on doing things that matter.

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  33. "Ironic, given that 80s audiences were far less likely to discriminate against music performers based on looks.

    Cocooning media is designed to be emotionally numbing. This explains much of its mediocrity."

    Agnostic has brought up the problem of lame-o cocooners insisting that others find them awesome, because, well, just because. I think a lot of the 80's bashing can be put down cocooners fundamentally misunderstanding the people and culture of an outgoing/wild time. Cocooners want their lack of physical and social activity validated. And you won't find that validation in the culture of a more exuberant period. So they put down 80's characters and celebrities for not being more introspective and angsty. The hive/cocooner/autistic mind sees people being empathetic and having fun with social activities and says "does not compute".

    If by numbing you mean a lack of appealing and warm people and a lack of emotionally satisfying ideas, you're probably right. When you get deep enough into cocooning you're almost beyond the point of being reached. So the titans of culture mostly don't even bother trying to reach people with sincere, non emo performances in scenarios that a well-adjusted person would engage with. After all, hardly any one these days is well-adjusted, regardless of crime stats indicating that we're less apt to murder or be murdered than we were in the 80's.

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  34. " Cocooners want their lack of physical and social activity validated"

    True, but another phenomenon is that cocooners can't handle strong emotions. There was a post about how movies are directed to make them less emotional when crime falls - chiefly by making them really long. So music videos like this one are designed so that they don't really have a strong effect on people.

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