On Taylor Swift, Damon Albarn, and Men Too Cool for School
I'm GenX, and when I was going through my father figure stage, Boomer men were not unfamiliar to me. Younger boomer men, but boomers all the same. I can confidently say I know two generations of men quite well.
In my experience, they all think their music is so much cooler than whatever I might be listening to. They hate anything they believe the unwashed masses have discovered. Or, perhaps it would be better put; they hate anything they believe the perfumed masses have discovered.
In other words "chick music". It's kinda like "chick flicks" you know? If chicks like it, it can't be any good.
When I went to high school you either listened to cool music, or you were dismissed as a "f*g". Yeah, that slur was in wide use back then. Fun times? Not for some people.
I can compare a long term relationship with a boomer, and one with an older Gen X, and both of them had very different taste in music, yet to me it was the same. In both cases it wasn't anything I'm interested in. With the notable exception of Tom Petty, who is musically like the one ring to rule them all.
I mean, does anybody in any generation not like Tom Petty?
Men kind of imprint on high school, when you didn't dare step out of line. It's funny how when you're in high school you think you're a real rebel, but in truth, most would never dare not conform. This is mostly just a pain to cisgendered, straight kids, but it can have deadly consequences for those kids who don't conform simply by existing as their true selves.
For me, it was just a pain. In High School I loved Disco, and this was in the late 80's so you can imagine how that played. "Disco Sucks!" was the mantra of the day.
Men are so cool, they only find other men cool. Women can never be cool. (see also, Peepaw Sanders and Hillary Clinton) Women's music, women's art, women's tv shows, and of course, women politicians and the uncool women who like them. Women are good for decorating the music videos they like to watch though. The less clothes they are wearing, the better. If you want to get a good feel for what the men of my generation like about women in music, just google ZZ Top videos.
I speak only of the two aforementioned generations, I don't know about Millennials and Gen Z. I don't think these hard and fast rules apply with them, and I hope my general impression is correct. Because if it is, you're evolution baby and I'm happy to see it.
Let's take a look at this week's "cool guy".
His name is Damon Albarn who said words in an interview with the LA Times, here.
LAT: You think a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude?
Albarn: Name me someone who’s not.
LAT: She may not be to your taste, but Taylor Swift is an excellent songwriter.
Albarn: She doesn’t write her own songs.
LAT: Of course she does. Co-writes some of them.
Albarn: That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great. And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.
In fact, Swift writes all her own music. I believe there is an idea in the music world and among some listeners that when an artist has "cowriters" it means the songs are basically ghost-written and the singer gets an unearned "writing credit". Maybe that is true of some artists, but it famously is not true of Swift.
But let's take a look at one of Albarn's twisted phrases:
"A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother."
That should be "two really interesting songwriters are" because Billie and her brother make two people, not one, which means they are, that's right, cowriters.
So how does what he's saying here make any sense? It doesn't of course. But it is a great way to employ the misogynist's favorite old trick; let's she and her fight.
Always setting women against each other.
Of course, Albarn's music too is cowritten. Why is that not mentioned? I can only assume the answer is what it generally turns out to be; Penis.
For whatever reason this older man has decided that Taylor is uncool and Billie is cool. Why? I don't know, why do men do anything? They certainly never bother to explain their criteria and on the rare occasion they attempt it, it comes out making no sense like: "A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother."
It's best not to question them and just tell them to shut the fuck up and lower that shit they call music. After decades of actually giving weight to men's musical opinions and trying to understand why I didn't like what they thought was great, that's what I do. Lord knows none of them tried understanding the music I love.
Now when asked if I like some old man music shit, I simply say "no" which I have learned is a whole ass sentence.
And when invited to a concert I don't want to attend I also say no. I go see the music I love with friends, or even by myself. I don't care. Music is my joy, and I don't need, or even desire, a man's stamp of approval on it.
Sometimes the best way to get rid of a man is to put on Queen Donna Summer. Once they leave you can dance around your house by yourself, ensconced in pure joy.
Anyway, I never heard of Albarn and I was told that as Gen X I simply must have. Nope. Never heard of him. Finally someone said he was far more popular in the UK.
Oh okay. But, you see, and let me put this in terms even a man will understand:
I am an American Girl.
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