Chuck Klosterman on the Success of Taylor Swift, and the Word ‘Calculating’

She is pretty good, but – switch to ‘ cranky older man ‘ mode – There have been very real musicians since the late 60’s – early to middle 1980’s. So many in the mold of Lady Gaga who are ” Showpeople ” as opposed to entertainers like, say, Billy Joel, Harry Chapin, John Lennon, Dionne Warwick,The Supremes, Kenny Rogers & others I could name until the cows come home.


If you don’t take Swift seriously, you don’t take contemporary music seriously. With the (arguable) exceptions of Kanye West and Beyoncé Knowles, she is the most significant pop artist of the modern age. The scale of her commercial supremacy defies parallel—she’s sold 1 million albums in a week three times, during an era when most major artists are thrilled to move 500,000 albums in a year. If a record as comparatively dominant as 1989 had actually existed in the year 1989, it would have surpassed the sales of Thriller. There is no demographic she does not tap into, which is obviously rare. But what’s even more atypical is how that ubiquity is critically received. Swift gets excellent reviews, particularly from the most significant arbiters of taste. (A 2011 New Yorker piece conceded that Swift’s reviews are “almost uniformly positive.”) She has never gratuitously sexualized her image and seems pathologically…

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Author: danielrappletonyahoocom

Science - fiction, fantasy, horror & suspense ( But not really " nerd / geek " material ), armchair cultural anthropologist, interested in archaeology ( Although the closest I've been to an actual dig - site was Pinson Mounds outside Memphis ), & interested in the obscure, strange or sometimes things that would bore or put off other people.

6 thoughts on “Chuck Klosterman on the Success of Taylor Swift, and the Word ‘Calculating’”

  1. Why do people suck up to Taylor Swift so? I mean she’s a popstar for goodness sake. I mean is if Britney Spears hadn’t mainlined drugs we wouldn’t even know about this little girl. Having said that, she has a great marketing team and she has very smart parents the combination of the two people really underestimate the power of having a good education they are making her look like some kind of angel. No her parents went to school and studied things that will help her to understand and appreciate her position better and to capitalise on what she has. There’s so much of an emphasis on money and fame that people don’t realise that their brains behind the operation there aren’t enough smart people out there who are getting recognition for being smart is just too much T and A.

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      1. That is an interesting idea. I am familiar with the fascination with the Kennedys but I would love to read your thoughts on “the desire for royalty.” I’ll do an Amazon lookup for anyone who’s written on the subject but your version should be fascinating. x

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      2. Concise as possible – Ever since ( well, maybe not THAT long ) telling the British to pack up their gear & silently, softly steal away, we developed a subtle admiration for royalty, even after fighting to separate ourselves from it.
        I seem to remember reading that there was a move to erect a statue of George Washington dressed in the toga & regalia of a Roman emperor, but George himself rejected it. Abraham Lincoln was looked on as something of a ” messiah figure “, even though he had plenty of issues to deal with himself, & then there was JFK & RFK. 3 prominent examples. I’ll have to think of some others. Bill Gates, Steven Jobs as ” royalty “, perhaps ?

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      3. Can’t deal with the last two. It’s too soon to set them up on a pedestal. I read a textbook that said Bill Gates’ prenup allowed him to go on vacation with his ex girlfriend. I couldn’t find a reference to it anywhere else but something about it felt true. Or maybe it’s just my bad mind. x

        Liked by 1 person

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