I'm Sick of Taylor Swift – the Spectrum – NDSU The Spectrum

The last time I wrote about Taylor Swift, I did so from a pretty charitable perspective. While I don’t like her all that much as a person, I do love a lot of her music, and that gave her a bit of a pass for me. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
I have two main gripes with Miss Swift, and those are her private jet-related choices and her decision to keep her mouth shut about the crisis in Gaza despite being one of the most prominent media figures in the world. 
Let me start off with the most obvious issue. We all know that Taylor Swift’s negative environmental impact is egregious, and last week her lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to the 21 year old student who runs the social media accounts tracking her carbon emissions. The grounds for this were that, theoretically, publishing Swift’s flight information could put her at risk of stalkers, but there are more holes in this than a goth’s favorite fishnets. 
First off, this is all public information. Her flight records are Googleable, because all pilots have to know when planes are in the sky and where in order to avoid collision. If a stalker really wanted to find Taylor Swift, her public flight records are not going to be the final step in the puzzle. Also, if she didn’t want this to be public information, it could easily be changed by chartering flights instead of using the jets that she owns. Private chartered flights don’t disclose their passenger lists publicly; the only reason we know Taylor Swift is the one in the air is because she’s using her personal plane. 
Aside from the fact that it’s ridiculous to pull something like this with no legal grounds, it’s also obvious that Swift only wants the accounts taken down because public perception of her is swaying – due to her, frankly, unforgivable use of her assets to make the world a worse place for every living being. It’s easy to get caught up in the music and the fandom, or turn a blind eye to Swift’s actions because so much criticism of her is just misogyny. But Queen Elizabeth wasn’t a feminist icon for committing genocide as a woman – she was just a genocidal maniac. There are real, valid critiques to be made about Taylor Swift and while the flack she gets just for living as a woman is also reprehensible, it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two. 
The world, and especially the internet, is a very all-or-nothing place these days. There’s no room for nuance or middle ground, or the co-existence of praise and criticism for the same person. Unfortunately, this makes meaningful discourse impossible because no human being is all good or all bad. Until we stop looking at everything as black-and-white, we’re not going to make any progress.
The private jet debacle, however, is honestly one of my lesser issues with Taylor Swift right now. Here’s the thing: she’s a billionaire. And in the current world we live in, there is absolutely no way to accumulate that amount of money without exploiting people on the way. There just isn’t. I would love for there to be a way for someone to ethically earn a billion dollars, but right now there isn’t one. I would be less upset about this if she was putting her money and effort into making the world a better place, but she isn’t. 
Taylor Swift has said absolutely nothing about the genocide happening in Gaza right now. I don’t think we need to turn to celebrities to tell us what to think about geopolitics, but I do think someone with the kind of platform she has is morally obligated to speak up against mass murder. But this could be said of any number of celebrities, so here’s why I care that Taylor Swift specifically isn’t saying anything: Israel is using her current media prominence to overshadow the atrocities they’re committing.
Last Sunday, America united the two genders (men and women, or football fans and teenage girls if you want to be more accurate) as the Chiefs played in the Super Bowl. The news was filled with the usual Superbowl chatter, but magnified times one hundred by speculation about Swift’s presence at the game. There were counters running for how many times the cameras showed her, and bets placed on whether Travis Kelce was going to propose after the game. Absolutely unhinged invasion of privacy aside, this was a massive media event.
As this was going on, Israel’s military bombed Rafah, the last supposed “safe zone” in Gaza where civilians had been told to take refuge. The death toll was staggering and yet I barely heard a single thing about it, because Israel knew that the media storm surrounding the Superbowl was going to drown out most other things.
I don’t think it’s Taylor Swift’s responsibility to save everyone in the world or anything like that. I don’t even expect her to be a particularly good person. However, I don’t think she’s stupid. There are atrocities going on in the world that are so much worse than anything I could ever even imagine experiencing. There is brutal suffering and death being visited on tens of thousands of human beings in a tiny strip of land the size of Vegas – and Taylor Swift is announcing a new album and, in the public records concerning her private jet’s flight to the Superbowl, labeling the flight as “The Football Era” to let her fans know she’s on the way to the game. 
Bread and circuses, huh?

The world wants us to turn away from what is happening in Gaza, and even if by some miracle she hasn’t figured it out yet, Taylor Swift is complicit in the media’s erasure of what’s really happening. I don’t think she’s working with the IDF or anything; this isn’t a conspiracy theory. I just think that Israel has been clearly staging their most brutal attacks on Palestine during times when world media coverage is turned to something else, and Taylor Swift is living in the spotlight these days. All eyes are not on the suffering of the men, women, and children of Palestine. All eyes are on Taylor Swift, and she knows it. So why can’t she – wildly successful billionaire musician – do anything other than try to further her already-astounding career?
I still love Fearless. I still think Red is a no-skip album. But the world is made up of both good and evil, and right now it’s a lot more important that I think the mass destruction of an innocent people is wrong. I’ve lost patience with Taylor Swift in the last few weeks in a way that I don’t think can be regained. Her current public persona is just one act of selfish assholery after another – and don’t even get me started on the Grammys. I have plenty of opinions about The Tortured Poets’ Society, but I will not be voicing them here. Subjective criticism of media has its place, but we can’t keep letting genuine criticism of political actions be lumped in with opinions on lyricism.
Even if Taylor Swift was the second coming of Shakespeare, it wouldn’t change the fact that she is trying to intimidate a college student into no longer analyzing her public flight data. I don’t care how good her music is – she’s using her power to hurt others and to gather more wealth for herself, and no discography can make up for that.
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