Ben Sexsmith in Spectator on Taylor Swift’s pummeling into a deluxe, fashion-forward conformity.
While complaining that country singers are expected to “shut up and sing” because Dixie Chicks…:
Swift is shown to have been under at least some pressure to avoid being ‘political’, including from her own father, but the media she appears to be so vulnerable towards was criticizing and deriding her for not being political enough. Her reputation, which is so important to her, was suffering in the late 2010s because her silence on the Trump administration was held to represent ‘white privilege’ if not outright racism.
There was article after article about her ‘blinding white privilege’ and her ‘indifference to the struggles of people of color’. For Quartz, Swift represented ‘a dangerous form of white women’. For The Root she was ‘one of the most dangerous types of White woman’ (my emphasis). A Daily Beast writer said Swift was ‘the living embodiment of white privilege’.
This was the greatest pressure that Swift’s reputation faced and it is hard not to suspect that her politicization did not have something to do with answering such criticism. There is no point in complaining about celebrities being progressive. You might as well complain about the winter being cold or the tides coming in. But it is preposterous to imply a celebrity’s progressivism takes courage and iconoclasm. It is expected if not demanded of them, and Swift and her friends clinking wine glasses as they toast ‘the Resistance’ is one of the most bourgeois images of our times.
About the same time I read the article, I heard this episode of the NPR “prog media” cheerleading broadcast “On The Media”, talking (approvingly) about the extent to which celebs have to go to prove they’re “woke”, and its political ramifications.
And it reminded me of the sort of exaggerated denouncements that people issued during Stalin’s show trials – when people literally virtue-signaled to save their lives. The Modern Left is a show trial that never ends – but hasn’t killed anyone. Yet.