I’ll be the first one to admit that our society’s grind culture makes it feel nearly impossible to go on vacay without feeling some type of guilt or even a weird version of work-related FOMO. I mean, it can’t be just me, right?
So it dawned on me that the best way to use my leftover PTO days was to make take a long weekend, hang out in a cabin in the woods of Vermont with my best friends, GTFO of civilization, and listen to Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights—you know, as one does.
And after listening to the album in its entirety this weekend, I think it’s safe to conclude that Miss Swift wants you to use your vacation days STAT. How do I know? Because Midnights is best listened to while in a remote cabin in Vermont. Let me break it down for you.
I’m Damned If I Do Give a Damn What Other People Say
Song: “Lavender Haze”
The ultimate not giving a f*ck line. Don’t let people tell you how to take your days off. If you want to go to a remote cabin in Vermont and dissociate, do it. You have my blessing.
I Should Not Be Left To My Own Devices
Some of us don’t do well TRULY isolated, so I went to the cabin with friends. Also because it’s a pretty isolated cabin and while this album did destroy me, I wasn’t exactly in the mood to be… alone by myself in a cabin in the woods, you know?
And My Flight Was Awful, Thanks For Asking
Song: “Snow on the Beach”
Road-trips are simply a better idea when venturing to New England destinations. I will not be accepting any further questions at this time.
Fuckin’ Politics and Gender Roles
You know where that shit doesn’t exist? A remote cabin in the woods! Just kidding. I had Wi-Fi and Twitter, so I did indeed see all of the Taylor Swift-themed political campaign content and even made some myself, but I digress. All the politics and gender roles this weekend were on my own terms, just as Taylor would have wanted.
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Taylor wants you to stop feeling stuck—it’s time to get out of the city and get a change of scenery. I know this because she told me so herself, obviously. I mean, if you keep just rewatching New Girl, you may go insane. Luckily, this album is new to us all, so you totally are allowed to just listen to it until you have confirmed that it will be the top album on your Spotify wrapped.
I Hate That Everyone Expects Me To Bounce Back
Do NOT feel guilty about needing time to rejuvenate. That is what albums like this are for. Whether you’re at that cabin or just locked in your room, blast the album and ignore any and all responsibilities.
And I’ve Got a Lot To Pine About
Song: “Bigger Than the Whole Sky”
If this album doesn’t make you pine over every missed meet-cute and lost lover, I don’t know what you are listening to because it’s certainly not Midnights. While you’re on vacation, you should have plenty of time to overthink every interaction and relationship you’ve experienced. Hopefully, your main takeaway will be that these past traumas can eventually be turned into successes, just as Taylor turns her heartbreaks into songs that smash records.
Cheap Wine, Make Believe It’s Champagne
This one seems pretty self-explanatory. There’s no need to blow your budget on a weekend getaway. In my humble opinion, getting drunk is getting drunk. Down that cheap wine, blast the album, and pretend you’re in Paris, the Maldives, or whatever.
Dear Reader, You Don’t Have To Answer Just ‘Cause They Asked You
Song: “Dear Reader”
Set that out of office email and just log off. That e-mail does not need a response right now. Your boss can wait, trust me.
I rest my case. Midnights is the sign you need to take a vacation. Go somewhere where the only sounds you’ll hear are the beats and the lyrics and the voice inside your head telling you to text your ex.
When I was 17, I was hired to work in a customer service position for the minor league baseball team in my city. It was my first “real” job and it was kind of a big deal because they’d never hired someone as young as me for the position. Basically, I was like a hostess for minor league baseball fans, so it wasn’t exactly high-stakes, but it felt important to me. I was interested in broadcast journalism and I loved sports, so I thought it would be a good entry point for a potential career in sports journalism. I took it seriously and I was good at it. I was treated well by my overwhelmingly older male colleagues. I trusted them. What I didn’t realize, until several months into the job, was that one particular colleague was convinced he was in love with me. He was 27. He was high-ranking in the organization. He had a Master’s degree. He seemed nice and never made me uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have been interested in dating him. He’d never even asked. And yet, it was a running joke in the organization that he was infatuated with me. Me? A 17 year-old girl, excited to be doing so well in her first job, thinking naively that these would be the people who would write me letters of recommendation for college and would point me in the right direction for career opportunities. Instead, I would find out later, they were presenting this man with an award for “most likely to fall in love with a high schooler” at their annual Holiday party and had the song “She’s Only 17” on the pregame music mix that blasted through the stadium as we were prepping for game days as an inside joke meant to poke fun at him. They were all in on it. With no regard for me at all. I was showing up to work thinking someone might notice my ambition, while they were humiliating me in ways I didn’t even know about. In ways I still think about. In ways that meant I didn’t ask anyone there for a letter of recommendation even though I stayed at the organization for another four years. It wasn’t harassment, really, and nothing ever came of it. Who knows if any of those men ever even considered it harmful? I was certainly in no position to tell them. I was only 17, after all.
I’m thinking about this today as I sit down to make some edits on the essay I’ve been writing about Taylor Swift and the release of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” and the Jake Gyllenhaal of it all. Just as I sat down to edit, a friend sent me a video posted by a popular, sports-themed media network, of a man explaining how crazy it is that Taylor Swift would write a breakup song about someone she only dated for three months, ten years ago. Not just her, but all of her fans, he sputtered, needed to get a grip! Like the hysterical female I am, I was triggered. Taken all the way back to being young and in spaces and relationships that pushed me into powerlessness. And then I realized—maybe 10 years ago “All Too Well” was about the scarf. But now? Now it’s about the keychain.
The “F*ck the Patriarchy keychain on the ground” line, so beautifully delivered in the 10-minute Taylor’s Version of “All Too Well,” isn’t just a cute lyrical anecdote. It’s a reminder to all of us who have ever been silenced or humiliated by a man, or a roomful or a stadium full of men, who were supposed to have our best interests in mind, but were actually actively working to dismiss us while hiding behind the walls of patriarchy that keep them safe from consequence as long as they perform like “good guys” who would never! That kind of protection only works if we either ignore the inherent power differential that comes with age and gender or we make young women out to be irrational or minimal. It works especially well for men who proclaim to be fighting the oppressive systems that they’re directly benefiting from and being protected by.
The F*ck The Patriarchy keychain on the ground? That was Jake’s. He was using it as an armor to hide in plain sight just like he did with the stolen scarf. When you are 19 and you fall for a man who is 30 and you trust that he isn’t intending to harm you because he’s kind to his sister and he makes your dad laugh and he openly acknowledges that patriarchy is problematic by carrying a keychain that declares it?! He’s one of the good ones. He should know better. When you’re 17 and you think you’re safe at work because you are surrounded by men who claim to see your potential and want to support your career because they are also professionals and from what you can tell they are some of the good ones?! They should know better. But this is patriarchy.
Living in patriarchy means that young women should put their trust in older men who seem worthy of it, and even if those men steal their scarves or steal their songs or turn them into a running joke, it’s not something to take seriously. It was only three months. It was only a joke. Why are you making such a big deal out of this? A lifetime of patriarchy has taught us that men can do whatever they want with very little consequence as long as they keep it light and also collect symbols of solidarity to prove they don’t actually mean it and as long as the women they harm are too emotional or too young to get the joke.
With the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) we not only witness a woman taking back every ounce of her power, we also get the chance to make meaning of our own experiences of patriarchy and know that whatever we felt and however we express it is real and right. At the premiere of the video for “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)”, Extra TV reporter Cheslie Kryst asked Taylor who the song was about. Taylor quickly shifted the focus to her fans. It isn’t who the songs are about that matters. It’s who the songs are for that is important, and that’s all of us. She wants us to know about her heartbreaks because she wants us to know our own. She wants us to understand that our Gyllenhaals were real and the pain and confusion we felt because of them were valid emotional responses to situations we never deserved.
I wish I’d had the 10-minute “All Too Well” experience when I was 17. Or 19. Or even 25. I wish I’d seen someone like Taylor Swift expressing every emotion about a man who should have known better and been better. It might have given me a stronger voice in times I really needed one. It might have helped me realize that it wasn’t my fault that I was young and under-experienced and more trusting than I am now. It might have been the reason I asked for a well-deserved letter of recommendation instead of walking away too humiliated to ask for anything at all.
So my point is this—Jake, you can keep the scarf. We’ve moved on. But we do need you to hand over that keychain. It’s not working for you anymore.
Image: Taylor Swift / YouTube
In case you somehow missed it, pop superstar Taylor Swift just casually released her re-recorded version of her Red album in the name of being honest. The 30-track album of course has the classic songs from the original 2012 album—but also brought out some never-before-heard tracks, and along with that, never-before-heard lyrics. In doing so, she basically gave her fans a Mad Libs level assignment, matching lyrics to moments in Taylor’s life with one J*ke G*llenhaal. The song that has taken over the majority of everyone’s life? “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”. Yes, it is over 10 minutes long, so it may be one of the longest songs with one of the longest song titles.
While Taylor’s relationship with Jake is at the forefront of most of the dialogue, there is a third party who is taking up an almost larger amount of the cultural conversation. They’ve been talked about on-and-off in the past, but this is the first time they seem to also be taking back their narrative, and more importantly, sharing their side of the story. I was beyond honored to sit down with them for their first interview in this exclusive conversation. Sure, Oprah just chatted with Adele, but ladies and gentlemen—enter Taylor Swift’s scarf.
Betches: First off, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me—I can only imagine the whirlwind of these last few days.
Taylor’s Scarf: You have no idea. I mean, literally last week I had nothing to do. Not only was “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” not out then, but also global warming has really hurt my career. It’s November and people are barely wearing scarves—it’s a tough business.
B: Ah, I can only imagine. So this really came at the right time for you. What was your involvement with the re-recordings?
TS: I mean… real fans know that while I haven’t been in contact with Taylor in almost 10 years, we’ve definitely emotionally stayed in touch. And it’s funny, people seem to keep saying that Jake Gyllenhaal inspired this entire album but like, hello… It’s me.
B: 100%. Everyone seems to be talking about you, have people reached out about their own scarf stories?
TS: My favorite thing about music is that it brings everyone together. Like, the people who have been reaching out to me, oh my god. Like, I just got this DM from someone who left an infinity scarf that they really liked on a United flight a few years back and even after calling 15 minutes after they got off the plane, they couldn’t find it? Heartbreaking. But they were happy to know that they weren’t alone, cause even Taylor Swift loses scarves.
B: Missing scarves really is a pandemic in its own way. Now, I have to ask, since you were there—what was Taylor and Jake’s relationship like in the moment?
TS: It’s so funny you ask that. Obviously she was there and remembers it all too well, but for me… I had so much going on in 2012. Like, between Kony 2012 and the final Twilight movie coming out, I was super distracted to say the least. So I can’t really recall how they treated each other, but they definitely were obsessed with me, if that answers your question.
B: That sort of doesn’t answer any question I asked. Anyway, in their infamous paparazzi shot, they seem to be carrying a bag from Union Market. Now, as a fan of that grocery store, can you tell us what they bought?
TS: I’m sorry, is this interview about me or them? I took time out of my day to talk with you and you’re asking me about grocery store orders and Twilight.
B: Well, to be fair… you brought up Twilight.
TS: Wow. Okay. You’re truly just like Jake. And I should know because i’ve been on-and-off with his neck for the past few years. I honestly wish Jake and Taylor the best, but I’d really like to focus on my career, my busy season of winter coming up, and my announcement.
B: Oh! What announcement is that?
TS: I am going to be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars! I am both excited and blessed for this new journey, and I’m ready for America and the world to see what this scarf really is capable of.
B: Well, congratulations on that—I’m excited to watch you. Any last words you want to say to the Swifties or anyone?
TS: I’d much rather take this time to show support to the real fan group in my life, the Scarfies. You guys don’t know how much you mean to me, and I love that we are able to reconnect like this. Okay, I have to hang up now, Jake is going out on a coffee run and has to wear me—he’s wearing me around his face now though, for you know, obvious reasons.
Images: Brian Friedman / Shutterstock.com
Ladies and gentlemen, she has done it yet again. Yesterday morning I woke up to Taylor Swift announcing her second surprise album of the last six months, evermore. Like many of Taylor’s fans, I’m still not quite over folklore yet, but it’s cool. I’m not freaking out, you’re freaking out.
Like all of her albums, this one really worked best when listened to completely, from front to back, so I did just that, twice, to write this. I want to preface my thoughts by saying that I am a huge Taylor stan and I do actually like the album a lot. I love literally all of her work, but I hate change, so it typically takes me a few days to process and fall in love with a new album. That said, I’m not exactly sure which ones are my favorites yet.
Honestly, and I hate to say it, but evermore is like folklore’s younger and slightly less cool sister. It’s a good album with some really great tracks, but folklore is the perfect album to cry to for no reason and evermore is just missing some of that emotion and anger. However, like all Taylor albums, there are still plenty of cathartic songs and devastating lyrics, so here are the best ones to add to your breakdown playlist.
It’s not actually a super sad song, but it’ll push you over the edge if you’re feeling a little more single than usual. It’s a really cute song that’s definitely meant to be a love song, but it is a little emotional.
Most devastating lyric: “I’m begging for you to take my hand / wreck my plans / that’s my man”
Cry vibes: 2/10
It took me three listens to, like, really get the song. Though I initially was lukewarm on it, I’ve really warmed up to it. The lyrics have major “afterglow” vibes and the song has beautiful instrumentals that make it very catchy. All in all, I’m really excited to add this to my list of songs that I have no way to relate to through life experiences but still make me cry in the car.
Most devastating lyric: “‘She would’ve made such a lovely bride / What a shame she’s f*cked in the head,’ they said / but you’ll find the real thing instead / she’ll patch up your tapestry that I shred”
Cry vibes: 6/10
‘tis the damn season
I know for a fact that this is joining my playlist of sad songs I like to scream-sing in the car. Between “the one that got away” energy and the seasonal relevance, the vibes are immaculate.
Most devastating lyric: “I won’t ask you to wait if you don’t ask me to stay / I won’t ask you to wait if you don’t ask me to stay”
Cry vibes: 6.5/10
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As a track five, we knew that “tolerate it” was going to be emotional AF. It isn’t on the same level as “All Too Well”, but it’s a heartbreaking song. Granted, I’ve never been in a relationship, but I’ve been in just enough failed talking stages to know how sh*tty it is when you can feel someone drifting or getting bored with you.
Most devastating lyric: “Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life / drawing hearts in the byline / always taking up too much space or time”
Cry vibes: 9/10
Despite literally being called “happiness”, this song is literally anything but happy, which is to be expected when it comes to Taylor. This might be her most mature breakup song yet in terms of general aesthetics, but the lyrics themselves are very self-aware.
Most devastating lyric: “When a good man hurts you / and you know you hurt him, too”
Cry vibes: 7/10
“dorothea” seems like it tells the same story of “’tis the damn season” but from the opposite point of view. It’s a cute song with a lot of the same feel as “betty”, but with an older vibe. It’s an easy listen and not her most complex or deepest work. And, tbh I hope the boy I was obsessed with in high school thinks of me the way Taylor sings about Dorothea.
Most devastating lyric: “A tiny screen’s the only place I see you now / and I got nothing but well wishes for ya”
Cry vibes: 3/10
So, Matt Berninger’s (of The Nationals) vocals are a little jarring in this song just because they’re more country than I was expecting. BUT, it works really well as a duet and is similar to ‘exile’ in that the conversational aspects are really clear.
Most devastating lyric: “Did I paint your bluest skies the darkest grey?”
Cry vibes: 6/10
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As of right now, I think this may be the strongest song on the album. In folklore, “epiphany” did an incredible job telling her grandfather’s story. In evermore, Taylor focuses on her grandmother, Marjorie. Even sweeter, both of these songs were track 13, because Taylor’s mind knows no bounds.
Most devastating lyric: “I should’ve asked you questions / I should’ve asked you how to be / asked you to write it down for me”
Cry vibes: 8.5/10
Going into this, I knew “closure” was going to be my favorite track. It’s really soothing to know that Taylor also imagines running into an ex and totally winning an argument. Stars: they’re just like us.
Most devastating lyric: “It wasn’t right / the way it all went down / looks like you know that now”
Cry vibes: 9.8/10
Both the titular track and the last one on the album, excluding the bonus tracks, “evermore” leaves me with a lot of mixed feelings. It’s not that it isn’t a good song, but I’m just kind of confused by the choices that Justin Vernon makes.
Most devastating lyric: “Can’t remember / what I used to fight for / I rewind thе tape but all it does is pause / on thе very moment / all was lost”
Cry vibes: 7.5/10
Some More Highlights
Joe Alwyn’s Writing: During the Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions special on Disney+, we learned that mystery songwriter William Bowery, who was credited for “exile”, is actually Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. Alwyn/Bowery wrote “champagne problems” and “evermore” and, apparently, is an incredible songwriter, because everything he has written with Taylor is a full 10/10.
Marcus Mumford’s backup vocals: Before the album was released, Taylor said that someone she is a huge fan of was responsible for the male backing vocals in one of the tracks. That someone was Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of Mumford and Sons, and his performance on “cowboy like me” is incredible.
Haim: When Taylor announced the album and said Haim was going to be featured in “no body, no crime,” I wasn’t really expecting them to just be doing backing vocals, but they literally sound amazing and this may be one of my favorites on the album. The main character in “no body, no crime,” is named after Este Haim. One of her sisters, Danielle, is also referenced and sings backup in the song.
@haimthebandOur dream of singing on a COUNTRY FOLK SONG with the one and only queen of storytelling, miss TAYLOR SWIFT is our second Hanukkah present to you!♬ original sound – haimtheband
At the end of the day, I am a huge Taylor Swift fan and truly believe she rarely releases bad content (except for “Me!”). Evermore is no exception to that, but I don’t think it’s as good as folklore, just because it feels like there’s a little less of the raw emotion that folklore had. That’s not to say that my opinion about the album won’t change 100 million times while I re-listen and process the tracks, but for now, I’d say it’s a solid A-.
Imagse: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com; taylorswift / Instgram (2); haimtheband / TikTok
Yesterday, I was going about my business when I got a push notification that really surprised me. My phone was chiming in to inform me that, once again, Taylor Swift has beef with Scooter Braun. I know this entire year has felt like a bizarre alternate universe and time is a social construct, but I really thought we had left Taylor Swift’s drama with Scooter Braun in 2019. But despite my initial surprise (and the eye roll that went along with it), of course I had to get to the bottom of exactly what is going on. The saga of Taylor and Scooter is still going strong, and unsurprisingly, Scooter still looks like an asshole.
But before we get into the new developments, how about a quick refresher of how we got here. Scooter Braun is best known as the manager of major recording acts such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato, but he’s also a major record executive and investor. Taylor Swift is… Taylor Swift. Duh. In 2018, after over a decade of releasing music through the Big Machine record label, Taylor signed a new recording contract with a different label. Due to the terms of her Big Machine contract, the label still owned the master recordings of her first six albums, even after she left. In the summer of 2019, without Taylor’s knowledge, Scooter Braun’s company bought Big Machine, which basically made Scooter the owner of Taylor Swift’s entire catalogue.
Taylor was livid when she found out about Scooter’s purchase, and this was when the drama ignited publicly for the first time. In a searing public statement, Taylor accused Scooter of years of “incessant, manipulative bullying,” and claimed that “my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.” Later in the year, Taylor also claimed that Big Machine (aka Scooter Braun) was trying to stop her from performing a medley of her hits at the American Music Awards, or from using her songs in her documentary Miss Americana. In her post, she invited her fans to let Braun know how they felt about these actions, and as you can imagine, the response was intense. In a subsequent post, Scooter Braun said he received death threats, and pleaded with Taylor to bury the hatchet. Ultimately, Taylor was allowed to perform at the AMAs and use her songs in the documentary, but even though that particular beef was squashed, it wasn’t like Taylor and Scooter were going to get brunch anytime soon.
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So where does that leave us now? Well, fast forward a year, and Scooter Braun has already sold Taylor’s masters to another company. Last month, all of the recordings, videos, and album art from Taylor’s first six albums were purchased by Shamrock Holdings in a deal believed to be worth over $300 million, and on Monday, Taylor Swift shared an open letter, in which she made some important clarifications about the recent deal.
First of all, Taylor makes it clear that she wanted to purchase the masters herself, and she tried to do so. But before Scooter’s team would enter discussions with Taylor or even quote a price, she was told she would need to agree to sign a permanent NDA agreeing to never say another negative thing about Scooter Braun. This request was a dealbreaker for Taylor. She says plainly, “These master recordings were not for sale to me.”
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020
Then, she gets into the stuff with Shamrock Holdings. She says she received a letter from the private equity company after the deal was done, and they told her that Scooter Braun made it clear the deal would be off if they told Taylor before it was completed. While Taylor says she was initially “hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock,” she soon found out that under the deal, Scooter Braun will continue to profit from the masters for the foreseeable future. Taylor writes that “Scooter’s participation is a non-starter,” and makes it clear that she will be moving forward with her previous plan to re-record the songs from her first six albums.
So at the end of the day, we’re basically in the exact same place as before. Taylor Swift still doesn’t have any ownership over the recordings from the first decade of her career, and Scooter Braun is still profiting off of the work of someone who hates his guts. Nothing has really changed, yet here we are (things I say about being on day 287 of quarantine).
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Images: tinseltown / shutterstock.com; scooterbraun / Instagram; taylorswift13 / Twitter
As I’m sure you’re aware by now, there’s a new Taylor Swift album! Announced just 16 hours before its release, folklore comes less than a year after Taylor’s last album, and it’s a major departure from her recent music. She wrote and recorded the album entirely in quarantine, which officially makes me feel like the least productive person on the planet. Oh well.
The album is actually pretty great, and it’s the perfect soundtrack to what is definitely the saddest summer in recent memory. Taylor Swift stans are already picking apart the hidden meanings in every little lyric, but I don’t have the attention span (or the desire) to do that, so instead, I picked out the lyrics that will make the best Instagram captions for all your summer 2020 posts.
I’m Doing Good, I’m On Some New Sh*t
Song: “the 1”
This is the very first line of the album (the song is “the 1”), and right away, Taylor lets us know she’s not f*cking around. Idk exactly what being “on some new sh*t” means for Taylor, but it’s an instant classic caption. This works for any photo where you want to convey that you’re a queen, like a beach pic or a rooftop shot. This summer might be lame, but you can still remind everyone how hot you are and rake in the likes on Instagram.
“I’m doing good I’m on some new shit” – me, on the same exact shit I was on before
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) July 24, 2020
You Know The Greatest Films Of All Time Were Never Made
Song: “the 1”
Wow, a second banger of a caption, and we’re still on the first verse of “the 1”. This lyric stuck out to be because it’s basically the 2o20 version of “you are a cinema, I could watch you forever.” If you didn’t have a Facebook album with that as the title, you’re too young to be reading this. This is definitely a caption for an annoyingly cute photo of you and your S.O., which I will begrudgingly double tap.
When You Are Young They Assume You Know Nothing
I’m still deciding how I feel about “cardigan,” but this lyric is perfect for any photo that makes you look smart. Reading a book, posing with a book, just wearing glasses, you get the idea. I wouldn’t personally use this caption, but I went to college with about 500 people who definitely would.
There Goes The Maddest Woman This Town Has Ever Seen
Song: “the last great american dynasty”
The title “the last great american dynasty” sounds like a Lana Del Rey knock-off, but I digress. This lyric is a fun general vibe that could basically go with any picture of you. It’s kind of like a modern update of “well-behaved women seldom make history,” meaning it’s only a matter of time before your middle school English teacher has it printed on a bookmark.
I Think I’ve Seen This Film Before, And I Didn’t Like The Ending
I mean, talk about a 2020 mood. This year feels like a combination of 2016, 1918 (I imagine), and every sh*tty year in between. This second film-themed option feels appropriate for any post that’s generally about 2020 being awful, which is like, most posts these days. Also, Bon Iver is perfect, so “exile” is automatically one of my favorite songs on the album.
I Want You To Know I’m A Mirrorball
The actual song “mirrorball” is pretty depressing, but when it comes to Instagram captions, the mental image of a shiny disco ball is too good to pass up. Sadly, going out photos aren’t really a thing right now, but if you’re doing fun makeup for any reason, or wearing something sparkly, this is a solid option.
August Sipped Away Like A Bottle Of Wine
August is somehow only a week away (what is time?), so file this one away to use in a month. July went by way too fast, and next month will probably be the same. This will be THE caption for any posts complaining about how another lame month has already come and gone. Summer 2020 is basically just a blur at this point, but at least Taylor found a creative way to say it.
This Is Me Trying
Song: “this is me trying”
Whomst among us cannot relate to this?? Both in quarantimes and like, always, “this is me trying” is basically my response to anyone asking me for anything. Especially in 2020, this is an ideal caption for a photo where you did the bare minimum (but still look hot). Think pajama pics, no makeup selfies, or bragging that you finally washed your hair. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
when my boss says I need to give 50% more effort pic.twitter.com/WuIpijDyAN
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) July 24, 2020
Gave Me The Blues And Then Purple Pink Skies
Song: “invisible string”
If you’re posting any kind of sunset pic, this is IT. This lyric from “invisible string” strikes the perfect balance between sad girl summer vibes and just sounding vaguely pretty, so it kind of goes with anything. Everyone loves a caption that goes with the color scheme of the photo.
It’s Obvious That Wanting Me Dead Has Really Brought You Two Together
Song: “mad woman”
There’s a rumor that this lyric from “mad woman” is about Kim and Kanye, which like, maybe. But speculation aside, this is the perfect caption if you have an ex who still follows you that you absolutely hate. He knows what he did! Or even if you’re perpetually single and the whole dramatic ex scenario is just in your imagination, it’s still kind of a fun and mysterious caption idea.
when you tell a Karen she can’t get a haircut for three months pic.twitter.com/3pn1KDl5ua
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) July 24, 2020
Happy listening, and happy captioning! This is probably the nicest article I’ve ever written about Taylor Swift, so if you have thoughts on these caption ideas, please feel free to not slide into my DMs. It’s not that deep.
Images: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
When the historians look back at the year 2020, I have a feeling they’re going to be confused. They’ll see a global pandemic, with massive lifestyle changes, economic upheaval, and great loss. But right in the midst of it, they’ll see everyone talking about something else: a video of a phone call that happened in 2016. Ladies and gentlemen, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift are taking shots at each other on social media, and I hate to say it, but this is my happy place.
As we all know, way back in July 2016, Kim Kardashian posted a video of her husband Kanye West on the phone with Taylor Swift. On the call, Swift seemingly approves West’s controversial lyric about having sex with her, despite Taylor publicly taking offense with the lyric. In case you’re wondering, I actually wrote the original Betches article about the phone call way back in 2016, so I feel like we’ve really come full circle together.
Aside from some subtle shots at each other in more recent lyrics, I really thought this feud was done and dusted, but lo and behold, I WAS WRONG! Over the weekend, someone leaked an extended video of the phone call, which provides a lot more context to what actually happened. First of all, I feel like someone needs to check Kris Jenner’s computer history, because I feel like there’s at least a 50/50 chance this leak is coming directly from her. Even if Kim Kardashian doesn’t come out of this looking amazing, there just so happens to be a new season of Keeping Up premiering… THIS WEEK. There might be a pandemic right now, but Kris Jenner is going to get her publicity, god damn it.
So let’s get into the actual video. Really, most of the conversation is pretty hard to follow, because Kanye West’s mind is possibly the most chaotic place in the world. He rambles about vibes, and how “Famous” is going to win Grammys, and how people are accusing him of bullying Nike, but the real interesting stuff boils down to a couple specific parts of the conversation.
As we knew before, Kanye shared his lyric about having sex with Taylor, and she really wasn’t mad about it. He actually told her two different versions of the lyric, one of which (“I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex”) is even more graphic than the version that made it into the final song. Taylor actually seems relieved, saying that the lyric is “not mean,” and she thought it would be way worse. But the really crucial thing here is that Kanye never asked Taylor about the line “I made that bitch famous.” He phrases it as “I made that girl famous,” and Taylor seems okay with it, but the word “bitch” never came into the conversation.
So. Where does this leave us? Of course, the Taylor Swift fans feel totally vindicated, and the Kanye West fans feel like the longer video doesn’t really change things. Honestly, I feel like most of the fans have already decided how they feel, and this video won’t change much, but that hasn’t stopped Taylor and Kim from coming for each other online. Late on Monday night, Taylor posted an Instagram story, in which she addressed the video in a backhanded way that I’m kind of obsessed with.
This is god-tier petty. Taylor basically pulled a “I’m not gonna talk about her outfit, even though it’s the ugliest outfit I’ve ever seen and I would never wear something so ugly, but I’m not gonna talk about it.” This is such a Real Housewives move, and it works. But while she’s keeping her cool, the tone of this also shows that she’s 100% not over it. She will literally be 80 years old and still mad at Kanye, and I love that for her. Oh, and the swipe up link goes to Feeding America, so she took the absolute high road. We have no choice but to stan.
In response to Taylor’s post, Mrs. Kim Kardashian West had some THOUGHTS. She popped up on Instagram stories and Twitter, posting a series of messages addressing the situation. First, she dragged Taylor for “reignit an old exchange”, saying that it feels “very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now.” Okay Lady Liberty, cool it with the grand statements. Y’all are both tweeting about something insignificant that happened years ago.
.@taylorswift13 has chosen to reignite an old exchange – that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2020
After reiterating that she didn’t even want to address the new leak, she flat-out accused Taylor Swift of being liar. She is adamant that no one ever claimed that Taylor approved the use of the word “bitch”, and that the actual issue was that Taylor’s publicist said that Kanye didn’t call her to ask for permission in general. This seems like a technicality, but there’s no argument that the phone conversation didn’t happen. I just sat through it for 20 minutes—you’re welcome.
To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that “Kanye never called to ask for permission…” They clearly spoke so I let you all see that. Nobody ever denied the word “bitch” was used without her permission.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2020
One of Taylor’s big claims about the video has always been that it was somehow edited to manipulate the truth. Kim reasserts that she didn’t edit the video in any way, she just chose a few clips to post on Snapchat “to make my point.” Damn, this has been going on for so long that Snapchat was still a relevant social media platform when it all started. While I agree with Kim that the full video doesn’t really change the narrative here, choosing 30 seconds of a 20-minute video is, in and of itself, editing.
I know Kim is more familiar with the Facetune variety of editing, but this is like TV show editing. Just think of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. After filming them sitting around eating salads for 100 hours, then the EDITORS go through the footage and find 40 minutes of watchable content. Kim, you of all people should know how this works!
I never edited the footage (another lie) – I only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point and the full video that recently leaked doesn’t change the narrative.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2020
She also hit back at Taylor’s “illegal recording” claim, saying that all artists document the process of putting an album together. She points out that Taylor Swift recently released a Netflix documentary full of the same type of footage, which isn’t a bad point, I guess. She also claims that this video would have gone “in the trash” had this whole drama with the phone call’s existence not started in the first place.
Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive, however has never released any of it for public consumption & the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied & forced me to defend him.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2020
That’s cool, but doesn’t change the fact that recording the call in the first place was illegal. However, unless Taylor is going to sue Kim and Kanye for recording her without her consent, I don’t see why we have to keep bringing up that issue—the video already is out, it is what it is, and nobody can unring that bell.
This will be the last time I speak on this because honestly, nobody cares.
Sorry to bore you all with this. I know you are all dealing with more serious and important matters.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2020
To finish things off, Kim declared that this is the last time she’ll speak on this, “because honestly, nobody cares.” My initial instinct was to agree that no one cares anymore, but then I realized that I just furiously typed 1,000 words about this. What can I say, I still care! But if we’re being real, this should probably be the last time we talk about this, because there are truly so many more important things happening in the world. I know that Kim isn’t one to sit back and let people talk sh*t about her, but it just seems like she should really stop adding fuel to the fire.
So, will Kim and Taylor finally actually put this to rest (along with Kanye)? I’m hopeful, but nothing would surprise me at this point. At the very least, I expect Taylor to have one thinly veiled dig at Kanye on each of her albums until the end of time, and I also expect Kris Jenner to drop more breadcrumbs of drama in the future, because that’s just how she rolls. It just feels right. Will this be the last time I speak on this? Tbh, probably not—stay tuned!
Images: Dejui Eiraqius / YouTube; taylorswift / Instagram; kimkardashian / Twitter
The Grammys were like, four days ago, so normally we wouldn’t even be thinking about them anymore. We’ve got the Super Bowl this weekend, and then the Oscars after that, so yeah, it feels like the Grammys were six months ago. But you never know when messy drama is going to strike, and today there’s some Taylor Swift/Grammys messiness that we absolutely must talk about.
As you’ll know if you watched the Grammys on Sunday, Taylor Swift was not in attendance. There were reports that she was going to make a surprise appearance to perform her song “The Man,” but it apparently wasn’t meant to be. Because Taylor Swift was never actually announced as a performer, there was no announcement made about the cancelation, but people still speculated about why she chose not to show up. Initially, many thought the reason was likely tied to former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, who recently filed a legal complaint against the Academy, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment (more on Deborah Dugan in a minute).
But a new Page Six report suggests a much slimier reason for Taylor Swift’s conspicuous Grammy absence. According to multiple “music insiders,” Taylor didn’t go because they wouldn’t promise her that she’d win. This year, Taylor was nominated for three Grammys, but the one she supposedly really wanted was Song of the Year. A Page Six source says that her team “called and wanted to be assured that she would win the Grammy. And while it wasn’t an explicit demand, they certainly were fishing to find out if Taylor was a winner.” What’s more, the source claims, “It was understood in the conversation that if she’s not winning, she’s not coming to the Grammys.”
Another source backed this up, saying “It’s widely known in the industry that called to find out if she was getting a Grammy, they wouldn’t tell her, so she didn’t go. It’s not uncommon to want to know. And everyone knows Taylor loves to win, win, win.”
When I first read these quotes about Taylor’s DL phone call, I felt like it was pretty shady behavior. I mean, just go to the Grammys, what else are you doing that day? But thinking about it more, I kind of understand why she would do it. Let’s be real, Taylor Swift is a busy woman, and she doesn’t really need the Grammys at this point in her career. She’s already won Album of the Year twice, and I’m sure the novelty of walking a red carpet has fully worn off. It’s understandable that she wouldn’t really feel like going if there wasn’t something ~in it for her~.
Okay, yeah, so we all know Taylor Swift loves to win, but who doesn’t? To me, the most telling part of these quotes is the bit about how “it’s not uncommon for an artist to want to know.” Of course everyone wants to know if they’re going to win an award before they sit through a four-hour music industry circle-jerk, but what kind of bullsh*t awards voting process is this, if all the artists feel like they can expect to find out (or even influence) the results before the show happens? I thought the only people who were supposed to know ahead of time were like, two accountants with briefcases handcuffed to them?
This report about Taylor Swift comes at a time when the processes surrounding the Grammys are already under intense scrutiny. Last week, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan filed a huge complaint against her former employer with the EEOC. Along with shocking and disturbing sexual misconduct allegations, she also detailed the corruption within the Grammy systems. According to the complaint, board members have “secret committees” which decide nominations, often favoring artists with whom they have personal relationships. She also accused these committees of prioritizing artists who they want to perform at the Grammys, even if they didn’t get the most votes.
If all of this is true, it doesn’t seem that crazy that a major artist like Taylor Swift would be able to pick up the phone and get some advance info. For what it’s worth, a rep for Taylor fully denied the report, saying that “These statements by anonymous, unidentified ‘sources’ are absolutely 100 percent false and laughable. She just didn’t go to the Grammys. You guys need to calm down.” LOL, leave it to Taylor Swift’s publicist to troll us with a TS lyric in a statement like this. Bravo, I’m impressed.
Personally, I believe the phone call rumor, because I just love a good scandal involving Taylor Swift and a supposed phone call. In all seriousness, given everything we’ve heard about the Grammys behind the scenes, it doesn’t even seem that crazy that artists might do this. If I was going to put myself through the torture that is sitting through the entire Grammys in person, and not being able to switch to Netflix, I’d want to make sure it was going to be worth my while too. Don’t hate the player, hate the absurdly long award show!