“‘I’m sorry but the old Taylor
can’t come to the phone right now.
Oh, ‘cause she’s dead.’”
—New Taylor, “Look What You Made Me Do”
We gather here today to celebrate the wonderful life of old Taylor Swift, who, at just 27 years of age, was
murdered by a faux-edgy pop song of new Taylor’s own creation (damn you, new Taylor!). She leaves behind
wavy blonde hair, an optimistic outlook, country music, a stained wood acoustic guitar, the word
“winsome,” Harry Styles, John Mayer, Jake Gylenhall (remember that one?), Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner and
five highly successful albums.
What to say about sweet, innocent Taylor, who once sung about “Starbucks lovers” and “shaking it off” and things that started “once upon a time”; what to say about the naif who made communion night after night with phalanxes of pre-teen girls and Lena Dunham; what to say about the good girl slain by the vengeful devil on her shoulder, who appears to hold grudges against Kimye and also to have watched Vertigo once.
Let us say this: you will be missed. There are not enough good girls left in pop music. Beacons of pure girlhood to rival the vixens. Being a bad girl is easy. They have all the fun. Being a good girl, however? That’s hard. Sure, Miley is trying, what with this whole “Malibu” thing, but it’s not the same. Her multitude of prior reinventions are enough to make us assume that this is just another reinvention. Speaking of reinvention: is new Taylor (aka, your cold-blooded murderer) a cop-out? Are we supposed to buy her vitriol? WHAT, EXACTLY, DID WE EVEN MAKE HER DO? The song sounds like something the good cheerleaders would cheer to in the TV movie, Bring It On 7: Goths vs. Prudes.
[At this point in our speech, John Mayer, wiping a tear from his eye, sings “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” which everyone else agrees is totally inappropriate.]
Old Taylor is dead, yes, but not forgotten. We will remember her bright smile. We will remember the way she strummed her guitar. We will remember Red, a little less so Fearless. We will remember the time Kanye stole her moment at the VMAs, and how old Taylor had the dignity to stay above the fray, until she didn’t. We will remember singing “Bad Blood” on the radio, despite our best efforts to not embarrass ourselves in front of whoever else was in the car. We will remember you.
[Tim McGraw kicks dirt over her grave, Calvin Harris puts on “Feels,” and everything pretty much goes back to normal.]