from the Rolling Stone cover on then nineteen year old Taylor in March of 2009, smack in the midst of the inescapable pop culture tornado that was Fearless. And, I mean, I told you she’s a weirdo.
"The Very Pink, Very Perfect Life of Taylor Swift," this piece is called. I can vaguely recall reading it in the dentist’s office and being happy to find myself annoyed, pleased to have further evidence that Taylor Swift was a frilly nerd not worth my Extremely Cool and Sophisticated attention. I was not the kind of teenager looking for a pop starlet who had never drank because she wouldn’t be able to lie to her parents about it and spent her free time pouting about not having the right dairy products for her afternoon snack. And the article really does paint a picture of Taylor that is not immediately flattering. The words “hyper self-controlled perfectionism” are used to describe her. We’re told that she is polite, hard-working, and extremely responsible, but these traits do not a teen idol make, and all three are the type of descriptor that can turn from positive to negative depending on the audience. More than that, a disarming self-seriousness emanates. Even some seemingly innocuous asides, present in the article, probably, only to remind us that Taylor Swift Is A Good Girl, such as the way she “matter-of-factly” insists she never believes any of the gossip about celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton because, “you should never judge a person until you know the full story,” smack of a very actively calculated sense of decorum that is out of line with what the culture expects of a cute young girl who sings catchy pop songs about boys.
Today, looking over the very same words, I’m endeared. The dogged intensity and seriousness with which Taylor Swift, real girl, approaches the publicly personal project that is Taylor Swift, pop star, is at times worthy of an eye roll, but its proven power is not to be blown off. Swift’s image and art alike are decidedly “soft” : girly and emotional, messy in terms of the lines of private/public, a kind of mess that is coded female, kittens and cupcakes and songs littered with musings about love, yet all of it arises from a place of neat, thoughtful planning and constructing. The existence of these two opposing sides within a blonde girl in a sparkly dress makes plenty of people uncomfortable. Nobody bats an eye when a male musician is described as obsessive or controlling about their work. Well, of course, he’s an artist.
In that vein, the following quote was particularly striking to me. “Her parents also prized success in the real world: They even gave her an androgynous name, on the assumption that she would later climb the corporate ladder. “My mom thought it was cool that if you got a business card that said ‘Taylor’ you wouldn’t know if it was a guy or a girl,” says Swift. “She wanted me to be a business person in a business world.” ” So much of what some find repelling about Taylor Swift’s public image relates immediately to that which has driven her to the heights from which she can now wink knowingly down at them. A serious dedication to frivolity. An intense devotion to the tiny, whimpering whims of her own heartbreaks. You don’t become Taylor Swift by being a smiling waif, although sometimes you might play one. Taylor did climb a corporate ladder, only hers was more like a trapeze in the center of a media circus, upon which she has twirled and flipped, abandoning neither the hyper-controlling geek or the flower-picking girly girl that exist within her, and in this way, has achieved exactly what her parents wished for their infant daughter when they gave her her name. It’s just that she decided her business would be being Taylor Swift, and that, with a few lilting choruses and a silver guitar, the world would be hers.
let’s face it, faramir is the only one doing any actual governing in middle earth.
boromir is always sneaking out of council meetings to meet his men down at the pub and drink, throw dice and swap stories; he’s not really equipped to handle a peacetime Gondor, because his knowledge is mostly about strategic defense and holding territory, so he reverts to “soldier” which is where he’s happiest anyway.
aragorn doesn’t really know what to do with himself if he’s not an unwashed vagabond on a horse so he’s always like TAXES WHAT ARE TAXES LET’S GO RETAKE ARNOR GIVE MY LOVE TO ARWEN SEE YOU IN TEN YEARS
and arwen is…pretty supremely uninterested in governing, she’s got her work cut out for her trying to encourage the arts in gondor. Most of her time is spent with her salon, where she helps cultivate poets and musicians and weavers etc, and they all look to her as this ethereal untouchable queen muse, like faerie queene-style elizabeth I or something.
and every time faramir asks for eowyn’s help she laughs a little hysterically, she’s like DO YOU REALIZE HOW DIFFICULT MEDICAL SCHOOL IS I HAVE A MIDTERM TOMORROW GO AWAY THIS HEALING THING IS SO MUCH HARDER THAN SLAYING THE WITCHKING THAT JUST INVOLVED AIMING THE POINTY END IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
so it’s just faramir.
sitting there with a dead look in his eyes.
muttering about how pelendur had the right idea.
My mum doesn’t believe me that its more common than she thinks
Never have, never will. I knew when I was 10 that I never wanted children. I’m going to be 45 in May, and I have never once wanted them.
Ditto. And add one more for my non-Tumblr friend who doesn’t want them.
Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, on writing magic. (via theticklishpear)
you don’t have to write about sex in your fanfic. it’s not a requirement, don’t let anyone tell you it is. your ship doesn’t have to be physical to be intimate. if you want to write fluffy one shots, you make those fangirls squeal. if you want to write angsty heart breakers, bring on the tears. write what you love and what you’re comfortable with. but never let those comments people make, about how T and G rated fics aren’t worth their time, sway your inspiration.