Wednesday, January 31, 2024


It can’t last, so let’s all ride this MAGA Declares War on Taylor Swift thing to clicksville while the iron’s hot, shall we? Here’s a rare midweek freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, with a ripped-from-today’s-headlines account of the anti-Swift nerve center at Mar-a-Lago. Strictly for laffs! 

As I repeatedly remind you folks, conservative politicians and political writers have entirely abandoned policies and even normal constituent service in favor of lunatic culture war crap like this. Entertainers most of us think of as That Guy In that Movie or That Girl on Spotify are to them as demons sent to Make Everything Woke. This goes for the rightwing intelli-ma-lectuals like Victor Davis Hanson as well as humble clickbait farmers (“The Top 5 Most Overrated Liberal Comedians”), but also for bigtimers like the New York Times' David French, one of those conservatives who liberals simps think is OK, and author of a hair-raisingly weird Prince obituary (“For conservatives, Prince was ultimately just another talented and decadent voice in a hedonistic culture. He was notable mainly because he was particularly effective at communicating that decadence to an eager and willing audience…”).

I didn’t think this Swift thing could get any nuttier but I hadn’t counted on Rod Dreher. I’d more or less stopped paying attention to him since his nervous breakdown and departure from The American Conservative, but my attention was called to his latest Substack item, “Among the Swifties” – and if you sense a reference of Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs there, claim your prize because Dreher does indeed compare the young female fans of Taylor Swift to the soccer hooligans in Buford’s book:

Here is Buford himself, reflecting on what he learned about crowd dynamics by watching a thug leader he calls “Mutton Chops” at work…

This is interesting. It says that we cannot entirely blame Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, or any other “leader” who holds sway over a crowd; the crowd’s latent desire for someone to create them manifested in those individual figures being propelled to leadership. Don’t misread Buford here; he’s not absolving crowd leaders of their actions…

Someone should ring Buford and ask him if he absolves Taylor Swift of her crimes. 

To put it in Buford’s terms: there was a huge crowd of young females who shared a common emotional experience (“the collective female unconscious”) that settled on Taylor Swift, a supremely gifted creator of pop songs, as their leader. Taylor Swift played her role, of course, but Buford would say that Swift was summoned by the latency within the crowd that would later become Swifties.

I bet Dreher imagines “Swifties” as rampaging Valkyries doing Wokeness to the innocent. The thing’s full of howlers, with patented Dreherisms like his regret that he cannot experience the “liberating pleasure of ego death” he imagines sports, Swift, and Trump fans enjoy – “The only time I’ve ever had that experience as part of a crowd was at the U2 concert in Baton Rouge…” The jokes just write themselves! Nonetheless I had a go at REBID, if you can use a chuckle, however mordant. 

UPDATE. Finally realizing that maybe this has all been a terrible mistake, some of the conservative Shuck Troopers are trying to turn it around. Washington Times:

We're not nuts, you're nuts! Well, on their readership it could work. Also Erick Erickson is trying his insufficient best:

Never mind that it hurts Donald Trump. Never mind that it makes the Republicans look deeply unserious. Never mind the political fallout. On a day that Cori Bush has been targeted by the Justice Department, a Democrat progressive targeted by Joe Biden's Justice Department, we're all having to talk about the Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce thing because of what these idiots have done online. 

Oh, I'm sure none of them will mind that the Swift Purge is distracting from the fact that the DOJ, which conservatives constantly accuse of being politically weaponized against Republicans just because they did some so-called "crimes," is investigating prominent Democrats like Bush and even charging Democratic Senator Robert Menendez as well. Screening out inconvenient facts is as important to their whole paranoid vision as the manufacture of lunatic fantasies.

UPDATE 2. Lol, I forgot that conservatives have been raging at Swift for at least ten years now. Here's my 2013 post on the Power Line proto-Catturd Hindrocket doing close analysis of Swift wearing a onesie -- is it a comment on Pajama Boy?? And get a load of all the anti-Swift articles at rightweing rat's nest The Federalist: Imagine going to an editor with a pitch like "Taylor Swift’s Disappointing Arc Is Generationally Representative" and having her slam the desk and cry, "THAT'S GOLD, JASHINSKY! GOLD!" Finally, lest we forget: Mark Hemingway's sad boomer review of Swift. Now that's funny! 

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