Friday, November 5, 2010

"Wasn't It Easier in Your Lunchbox Days?"

For the most part, I don't like Taylor Swift's music, and I want to say that up front. I do, however, think that she is pretty much the classiest girl in the whole wide world. And there is no greater proof of that than a very specific song from her new album, Speak Now: "Innocent." 

More specifically, the proof is in everything that led up to the debut of the song at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards show back in September. In the summer of 2009, Kanye West did a shitty, shitty thing to Swift (who, by the way, has never done anything to hurt anyone, as far as I can tell) when he crashed the stage during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video and not only stole her thunder but insulted her, as well. Swift took it like a trooper, recovering to perform later that night and keeping her head high. West was subsequently lambasted in every venue possible. And yet Swift chose to take the high road and refrained from lashing out.

Image by Angela George via Wikipedia.

Of course, everyone expected her to make some kind of a statement about the situation. So this year, she proved that she was the bigger person when she gently--and somehow very lovingly--chastised West onstage. (She looked completely lovely all the while, as it happens.) The grace Swift has shown is enviable, and I hope that all of her young female fans will look up to her as an inspiration and carry themselves the way she has should they ever encounter tough times. Indeed, in one sweeping gesture, her behavior almost--ALMOST--makes up for that of all the other young female musicians who were unable manage holding themselves to higher standards (I'm looking at you, Britney)

But back to the song. It's very nice, both light in its treatment and heavy in its message. The one line that stands out to me the most is, "Your string of lights is still bright to me." In a way, it's a recommendation not to try to be a constellation in the sky but the simple lights that might adorn someone's room, because it's more important--more accessible. This is a humbling thought, indeed, but still soothing. If only we all had Taylor Swift on our side, life might be more manageable--after all, she seems like a fantastic cheerleader.

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PS I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my best guy friend!

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