The Canonization of Taylor Swift

Despite her BFF and occasional producer Jack Antonoff’s rabid protestations, Taylor Swift is not a good songwriter. When left to her own devices Swift creates monotonous, repetitive choruses that range from one to three notes and recycle the same handful of chord progressions every album cycle. She is also a surprisingly unremarkable singer – a statement so uncontroversial only her most ardent fans would disagree.

Yet she has undoubtedly become the world’s biggest pop star, certainly of this moment, but also arguably of all time. A monolithic presence that has outsmarted every media trap, sidestepped every music industry pitfall, and calculated every single necessary action to outshine not only her peers but also some of the most popular artists to ever grace a concert stage. Her marketing and PR team have turned her into a phenomenon thanks to one mantra: it’s not about the music.

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Machine Gun Kelly vs the Smooth Vibes

It was a pretty one-note alternative music scene in 2002. Garage rock had taken off and mop hairdos were all over the magazines and MTV. It was all the The bands with the rocking and the rollicking riffs and the coarse snarls. Nu metal was in its twilight phase, with just over two years before it was abruptly extinguished. Emo, indie rock, and post-punk revivalist acts were popping up sporadically but hadn’t established a firm footing in the spotlight yet. Pop-punk came and went in waves but the two biggest Blink albums were in the rearview mirror.

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The Geek

There is perhaps no internet user more detestable than the geek.

There is no subset so aggressively uncool, so unrelentingly irritating, as the individuals who clamour for Reddit upvotes both on and offline, who are fluent in sarcasm, whose brains have been irradiated by the pop culture sci-fi they were raised on.

There is no internet user more detestable than the geek.

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The Grey Tsunami: Why is Twitter Furious Over the NPC Meme?

Let’s not bury the lede here: the histrionics over the NPC meme are absolutely ridiculous.

It’s ridiculous that those who promulgate it believe that they’ve uncovered a great truth about the human condition, because this is a long rehashed idea and the fact that it’s making any sort of headline is laughable.

It is also ridiculous that some people believe that it’s a weaponized political tactic.

Also, I’m a little bit jealous, because observing and satirizing mass trends in pop culture has been my bread and butter for years, and a lot of the ideas that have emerged from this meme have been jabs that I’ve taken many times.

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Covers Uncovered

I’ve written before about the tricky art of appraising a cover song, both on its own merits and in relation to the original. As cynical as it may seem, it turns out it’s much easier to say what isn’t a good cover rather than what is. There is of course that pesky ever-present quandary in the form of subjectivity, but in this realm there are some clear cut and nearly bulletproof statements one could make.

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