Taylor, What-What-What Are You Doing?

Taylor Swift has one foot in Country, the other in Pop – Okay, maybe both feet in Pop and is in the midst of closing the door on Country. Betraying your roots: First mistake. Although I have to say, I’ve never personally held that against her. Just seems like a natural progression of things once you’ve been in Top40 for awhile. It’s where the money is. And trust me, Taylor Swift is definitely getting a big piece of the pie. When an artist is in Country or Pop (or in her case both), you don’t really need to worry about where the money’s coming from. Your tours will sell out, people will buy your album on iTunes and/or CD, people buy merch, etc. You’ll probably recoup all, if not most of your costs. Why Taylor Swift pulled all of her material from Spotify is beyond me (especially when it was recently announced she would have earned 6 million dollars in a year based on Spotify streams alone?!). Plenty of bands out there touring year-round, making little to nothing have their music on Spotify. Why you gotta be so narrow-minded?

I can’t help but feel I’ve been marginalized by an pretentious, elite 1% prevented to listening and absorbing music through my favorite and most convenient/economical method of doing so – Second mistake. You’ll lose fans and followers that way. She’s pretty much lost me and been a huge fan for about 4 years.

Coincidentally, I actually had planned to listen to 1989 the day she pulled everything. And here I am saying, “she”. Ha! I bet this was all headed up and encouraged by her label, big business, etc. Now I have no plans to listen to it. Guess I’ll never know what it sounds like, Taylor. And I’m not gonna hunt for it on YouTube. What am I, 10?

For such a wonderful young woman, singer-songwriter, musician, and lyricist she sure seems to have the ideals of a white-haired old man (Dare I say, outdated record executive?).

I’m a huge proponent of music subscription streaming sites. I think they’re a great thing that really curbed a lot of illegal downloading and ended up turning a profit for artists who were originally seeing nothing, and brought profits up for artists whose income was on a steady decline. I used to download music illegally – because it was TOO EASY. How could you not? Especially in your teen years when every musical realm was just opening themselves up to you. Boot up Frostwire, Limewire and voila! How else would I have discovered The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Saves The Day, 2Pac, Biggie, etc? I heard a song, liked it, and went to find more. I hunted to complete album tracklistings. I’m a broke teenager. I can’t just buy all the albums that I want to check out. I needed to test the waters first, which is exactly what I can do on Spotify now, legally; I’m sure there’re hundreds of teenagers who are just like my teenage self – searching for more, hungry for another tune to strum on their heartstrings. And Spotify (maybe Pandora and YouTube too) is how they find it.

Let me breakdown two ways where music subscription streaming sites can be beneficial for artists (even if users aren’t paying a cent). These are things I have experienced and wholeheartedly believe:

  1. New discovery can happen within seconds – I was listening to a Spotify curated playlist and ended up listening to this track by DJ named Wax Tailor. I immediately fell in love with it, prompting me to check out his entire discography – which I thoroughly enjoyed. 
  2. Discovery does not have to be restricted to to the Spotify realm, but can result in Facebook likes, Twitter follows, concert attendance, and the eventual purchase of the physical album – This summer I fell in love with an album by band called Weatherbox (a discovery prompted by chatter via other blogs I follow). The record had such a profound impact on me that I bought a ticket to see them live AND THEN bought the vinyl record at the show. 

So maybe it in the future I’ll look for some Weatherbox merch when I have some money to spend. Or maybe if Wax Tailor comes to the States, I’ll be more likely to buy a ticket. This is how to business works now. If the music doesn’t grab me (the consumer), I move on. Why should I commit and invest in a body of work when I don’t even know if I’ll like it? Time and money are more precious now more than ever.

When I like the music or the artist and overwhelming amount, then I will buy the physical copy. If it doesn’t move me, I’ll stream it from time to time, wash my hands, and that’s that.

And Taylor, Spotify is not like stealing a piece of art! Get over yourself! Spotify is like being able to view a work of art that is in a museum, on the Internet. You can still see the painting or the sculpture without having to leave your house or spend a dime, but to experience it – well, you have to go the museum, pay the ticket price, get out of your house. Maybe if it moves you enough, you’ll buy a replica of the piece.

If I were to go to the Met Museum, I would be smart to maybe glance at a few exhibits online and make plans with the intentions to go to that exhibit – because it would be insane for me to peruse the entire museum, hoping something will grab me. There’s too many things there! Like Spotify! Too many artists, too many tracks, not enough time.

Taylor Swift may think she can be an exception because of her elite, A-list status but she just made the worst career move of her life, especially when taking into account her young fanbase. Spotify is the way. iTunes will eventually become near to obsolete and everyone (young and old) is gravitating towards these sites.

Here’s the thing Taylor: I’m not gonna buy your album. And I have 0 plans of seeing you on tour any time soon. When you remove all your music from Spotify like a grump, that’s a turn off. How greedy and self-centered are you? You have enough money as it is. Also, Spotify is not some “grand experiment”; It is a revolutionary tool that is on the road to compensating artists appropriately. The proper wages aren’t there yet. That much is clear. But the more subscribers, the more profit potential there will be in the future. The old model is dead. Stop pretending like it still exists just because you said so.

USA Today: Spotify CEO to Taylor Swift: Isn’t $6 million enough? –http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/11/11/spotify-ceo-to-taylor-swift-is-6-million-enough/18854607/

Stereogum: Taylor Swift Discusses Spotify Stance, Swiftamine Sketch –http://www.stereogum.com/1717177/taylor-swift-discusses-spotify-stance-swiftamine-sketch/news/

Defend Emma Watson

Read: Vox – The sexual threats against Emma Watson are an attack on every woman

The title of this article really says it all.

This is appalling. An outrage. A war. A clear indication that everything is not alright, especially within the arena of gender politics.

I feel gutted; I do take this personally.

Watson is not the only one being told to “get back” by misogynists who wield sexual terror as a weapon. She is in the company of many other women, all over the world, who have made the decision to participate in public life and suffered the consequences

I don’t know why others delight in this sort of thing (4chan, et al). I suppose it gives misogynist predators a false sense of power, an elevated sense of self. And although I do not condone or support the taking of nudes photos (mostly because it is the 21st century, people! As seen here and on other occasions, if you take photos on your mobile or computer device, they do have the potentiality to be discovered! Nothing is safe), if said photos are said to surface Emma Watson should not be at all ashamed, as the female body is a beautiful thing, and she is a beautiful girl.

To those who decide to view said photos if they surface, you are participating in a degradation of our culture by objectifying another. It is a violent act to view something so personal, not intended for your eyes that it is by definition a violation, an invasion of privacy. It is a degradation of yourself and the pathetic human being you have become.

Though we’ve never met, I’ve always considered Emma Watson a friend. With her involvement within the Harry Potter franchise, which I so adored at its inception (and of course am still a fan of), I feel as though I’ve grown up with her. She is only 6 months older than I am. The compassion I have for her doesn’t need to be rooted in an actual acquaintance; I will always defend her and rejoice at her triumphs.

Truth is, Emma put herself out there as a vulnerable human being by supporting He For She. And what I mean by that is, she didn’t have to do this. No one forced her into becoming a UN Goodwill Ambassador. She understood and sympathized with the global struggle what it is to be female, having experienced injustices and difficulties herself. She did this as an act of kindness. And how is she treated? Her entire message and errand of peace obliterated, by threats to objectify her body via releasing nude photos (if they exist, taken with assumed privacy).

Men (involved in this horrible scandal or who intend to view the photos if released), we have called on you to help and assist us with becoming full equals in this world, and you have disappointed us once again. The blood of this ongoing gender equality struggle is on your hands. To the “activists from Syria, to Sudan, to the Congo, raped in prison…[along with the] South African lesbians, raped to “correct” their sexuality”, this is your doing. You continue to participate in the perpetual cycle of victimizing women and bringing more discord (instead of peace) to the world.

Emma Watson makes a wonderful UN Goodwill Ambassador. If the campaign she champions is successful, she will have done tremendous good in the world. There is nothing about her private, consensual sexual life that has any bearing on the value of her work, the validity of her feminist views, or her integrity as a person. If her stolen nude photos are leaked on the internet in retaliation for her work, that will not mean that she was irresponsible or reckless, it will mean that she is brave

Women, we must hold our heads high and support each other.

Some days we are all we have to fall back on.

Another Reason To Love Emma Watson

This video has gone viral and for good reason.

I’m very glad and proud of the fact that Emma has stepped forward to address this issue – using her celebrity for good!

I think putting the correct definition of “feminism” out there is important, along with inviting men to come to the forefront, to be part of reaching true gender equality.

The video is a little longer than 10 minutes, but worth the time. It is very inspiring and moving and I give Emma a tremendous amount of credit for supporting this.

We can change the world – We’ve done it before.

If not us, who? If not now, when?


Don’t Look For Rihanna to Play the Super Bowl Anytime Soon…

“CBS and the NFL punished Rihanna for being a victim of domestic abuse”: http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/9/16/6217791/rihanna-cbs-nfl-run-this-town-controversy

Now this issue is not black and white. I mean, I don’t believe anything really is anyway.

On one hand, yeah – This is really fucked up because “CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told Sports Illustrated” that “the decision to cut the Rihanna song was made because the network ‘needed to have…appropriate tone and coverage'”. So basically a near-executive decision is made to pull out a song (which by the way, only features Rihanna. I don’t think you could technically say it’s her song) simply because she is associated with domestic abuse a.k.a. Chris Brown, which also gyps her of royalties from the commercial song placement (at least one would think – Maybe Jay-Z gets all the moolah…Who knows?)

But what if they had left the song in? Don’t you think people would have commented on the insensitivity of CBS/the NFL for not taking it out? It’s a slippery slope.

Or (I hate to say) maybe no one would have noticed at all. I mean, the only reason this is probably in the mainstream media right now is because Rihanna took to Twitter to air out the situation:

And although I sympathize with Rihanna’s situation, CBS and the NFL are businesses – big businesses. And the United States is founded on the high holy principles of corporate capitalism (which is not necessarily “right” or “excusable”, but the point needs to be made to understand both sides of this). Therefore it helps the business play it safe but not calling further attention to itself in light of the Ray Rice case. I agree that this puts Rihanna in a bad light and makes her look like she is being penalized and discriminated against for her history as a domestic violence victim, but I do not believe that was CBS nor the NFL’s intent, despite the fact they they are backers of 99.9% male dominated organization. I believe this was an attempt to cover all tracks as to not make the organization seem more insensitive and biased than it already appears to be. But in all honesty the NFL is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t, and I think this issue proves that; No matter where they turn, they’re going to look bad either way – The Ray Rice case on their side of the coin becomes more sketchy by each passing day.

UPDATE: It was just announced that CBS has dropped the song altogether –

“CBS permanently drops Rihanna song after she tweets ‘Fuck you'”: http://avc.lu/1woa1pF

With the ongoing Carrie Underwood jam, I thought the NFL was headed in more a Country direction anyway –

I Deserve An Equal Wage

Have you guys seen this?

“Republicans Unanimously Block Equal Pay Bill”: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/09/15/3567740/republicans-paycheck-fairness-act/.

Elizabeth Warren (and incidentally, my mom) shared this on Facebook today and it’s like, what gives?

I’m a woman, and you know what? There are some days I’d rather not participate in society, though I like to think that I’m getting better at getting motivated about dance of Life and all that; I’ve accepted the “getting a job” thing. But tell me: How am I supposed to feel excited or enthused about participating in my society, in my culture when my government cannot pass a bill to pay me the same wage as a man? Am I even wanted? Feels like a one-way ticket to second-class citizenship to me.

And this feels like such a dated issue, one that should have been solved YEARS, even DECADES ago.

Republicans claim (and have claimed for awhile now) that the issue of the pay gap doesn’t exist and/or “isn’t as big as the statistics say”. Even if we assume for a moment that the gap is exaggerated, there is still acknowledgement that there is a gap and the fact that there is one is too much. Isn’t there any urgency that this should be immediately fixed?

I feel a disconnect from the greying of Washington. I feel a disconnect from the hypocritical, greedy white males who are ruining this country from the inside out; They’re ruining it for everybody. And frankly, I don’t care if you disagree with everything I’m saying. This is my disillusionment, and you can’t take that away. At the end of that day, what I feel is sometimes all I have.

Is there a War on Women in this country? Maybe not a war but a definitely a distinct prejudice and fear – and it makes me ashamed to be associated with a nation so ignorant and backwards.

I’m sick of sexism. Just because I have breasts and can produce Life, doesn’t not mean I should be discriminated against. I deserve an equal wage.