March 5th, 2013 might just go down in history as the day the internet experienced a schism. The line has been drawn in the sand and the people of the internet have taken sides. In one corner, the fans of whiny “my daddy paid a lot of money and now I’m a star and deserve to win all the prizes” Taylor Swift, and in the other corner, the incredibly talented and witty and good looking fans of two women who possess similar qualities, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
What has prompted this bad blood between the factions? Well, let’s head back a few months to the night that the aforementioned Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the Golden Globes.
In case you needed a reminder, Taylor Swift lost to Adele and wasn’t too thrilled about it. See, Ms. Swift is not used to not winning and it took her a minute to process this new sensation. Not only that but she was the butt of a joke. Did you catch that? She, Taylor Swift musical princess, was the butt of a joke. So, you can sympathize that she had a rough night. There have been many times I’ve been the butt of a joke that I’ve had to take to my bed for days so the fact that sweet Taylor was able to sit there, fighting through the pain like a brave soldier, is inspiring.
The joke? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had the audacity to comment on Taylor’s very public dating life. Here’s the thing, the image put out (that word choice will be funnier in a minute) by Swift and her people is that Taylor’s a bit of a ho. Okay, maybe not a ho ho, maybe the Disney princess version of a ho, but she does seem to get around. Weirdly, she seems to have a thing for Nickelodeon boy band types, and she’s gone through her fair share of them.
Now, before everyone gets all up in arms about how “I DON’T KNOW HER LYFE!!1!!”, you are right. I don’t, and neither does Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, but a big part of the whole celebrity thing is, the public only has what you put out to go off of and that is what Fey and Poehler made a joke about.
So joke is made, two months pass, Adele wins an Oscar, all is forgotten. Except it isn’t. Apparently, Taylor Swift has some inside knowledge on the afterlives of our favorite funny girls. Brace yourself, for this is some deep stuff right here.
[quote]“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people,” Taylor Swift tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Nancy Jo Sales on the subject of mean girls in general and in response to an incident at this year’s Golden Globes, where Amy Poehler and Tina Fey mocked her highly scrutinized love life. “Because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’” –VF Daily[/quote]
I missed the press release but apparently Taylor Swift is now the voice of today’s feminists. Our new anthem is now one of many of Taylor Swift’s empowering songs about either a.) wanting to date a boy b.) being broken hearted because said boy has left or c.) wishing all types of ill will upon boy’s new girlfriend.
Yes, this is exactly who should lead a new generation of women. This is the voice they should be following.
Or… and I’m just spitballing here, they could turn instead to someone like Amy Poehler whose YouTube channel, Smart Girls at the Party, is filled with empowering things for young women as opposed to pining over a boy.
That’s right, Amy Poehler has an entire YouTube channel geared towards advice for girls that goes beyond how to properly cry over a “lost love”. Not only that, when she heard about where she will spend all eternity?
[quote]”Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff. ” –THR[/quote]
That is how you respond to someone saying something badly about you. Tina Fey? The same Tina Fey who has been very active in women’s rights issues? Who wrote an entire movie about bullying? She pretty much said what everyone else is thinking.
[quote]”If anyone was going to get mad at us, I thought it would be James Cameron, I did not see that one coming. It was a joke. It was a lighthearted joke.” –ET[/quote]
A joke. Of course there are some who thinks it’s hypocritical for Fey to make Mean Girls and then joke about Taylor Swift. Does this new Taylor Swift version of feminism mean that we aren’t allowed to make comments about another women ever? In addition to the joke about Michael J. Fox’s son, they also said that maybe Swift take some time to focus on herself, advice pretty much every 23 year old needs to hear. Especially a 23 year old that still has an “I’m Rick James bitch!” attitude.
I think we can go ahead and call this internet battle over. It has been won. Surely there’s a Harry Potter vs. Twilight argument out there that hasn’t been hashed out yet.
Best part of the entire situation? Somewhere Katie Couric is sitting at a desk wondering, “how the hell did I get roped into all this?”
If you care to get a glimpse of what the “other side” is saying, check out this collection of tweets Uproxx put together after the Golden Globes. A preview of the eloquence:
Recently, rapper Kanye West decided to express his love for current girlfriend Kim Kardashian by writing a song about her called “Perfect Bitch.” Kardashian said she was not offended at all, and in fact was honored to be called West’s perfect bitch. But many fans and critics have not felt the same way. After all, is it really appropriate to call your girlfriend a bitch?
West divulged his thoughts on Twitter about the use of the word bitch, its connotations, and how who says it affects its meaning. He tweeted, “I usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes… Is the word BITCH acceptable? To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a bitch even if it’s endearing? Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word?” He went on to say how it’s usually unacceptable for a white person to call a black person a nigger, but that from black to black it’s an endearment, and he wondered if bitch could be the same way: “Perhaps the words BITCH and NI**A are now neither positive or negative. They are just potent and it depends on how [they] are used and by whom? #FREETHOUGHT” [Huffington Post].
However, West then asked if people would consider it appropriate to call their mothers bitches or their fathers niggers. He said that when asked about the swearing in his songs, he was initially offended that someone would question his art, but the situation sparked him to think seriously about the topic. He revealed that he tries to “use profanity as a tool and not a crutch. I’m not tweeting to say what we need and what we don’t… I just wanted to think out loud with you guys today…” [Huffington Post].
Now I will admit I know nothing about Kanye West other than many of his songs seem vulgar and overly sexual. Case in point: he makes my blood boil when he ruins (yes, ruins) Katy Perry’s otherwise captivating and funky “E.T.” music video by floating around in a space ship while grabbing his crotch. I also know he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs in 2009 because he thought Beyoncé deserved to win instead, an act which may be causing him to be tied to his seat this year, literally. There may be positives to West, but since the media tends to prefer spreading scandalous news as opposed to beneficial, I haven’t heard much else about him.
However, the news of West’s monologue with himself over Twitter actually caused me to also stop and ponder not only his ability to think deeply beyond the typical lyrics of a hip-hop song, but the use of swear words in my own life. I would have to agree with West that hip-hop has indeed made many more vulgar words acceptable in everyday language, but I also believe he’s sniffing the right trail when he says that it entirely depends on the intention behind the person using the word.
For example, when I was in England, I became familiar and comfortable with hearing the f-bomb because its use is roughly equivalent to an American saying damn. Also, I heard the word shit a lot from my extended family and from farmers I knew — it wasn’t a heated, crass expletive, but merely a regular old word used every day to accurately describe the state of affairs. I’d also much rather hear a happily married couple say they want to screw each other than hear a philandering, non-committal man say the same about a random girl in a bar.
Unlike West, though, I feel we do need restrictions. We definitely don’t need lots of rules; we only need one, and that is to consider others’ feelings and preferences above your own. If you are in the room with your grandmother and she does not put up with even the smallest of swear words, just don’t swear. It’s simply not worth the risk of her berating you for hours, and it’s certainly not worth ruining a relationship over. On the contrary, if your friend likes when you call her a devious little bitch, and no one else around would be offended, go right ahead.
According to my rule, I think West should have saved the name-calling only for moments between himself and Kardashian. If they feel comfortable with him calling her a bitch, that’s their decision, but they can’t expect everyone in the world not to be upset. However, I appreciate his honesty in trying analyze the linguistic significance behind the word’s usage, or any cursing in music, for that matter. Not many popular artists tend to show such insight, so my hat’s tipped to West.
The notion that adults can enjoy films intended for a younger audience is another reason that cinema lets parents breathe a deep sigh of relief. Through companies like Pixar and more specifically through films like Up, TRON: Legacy, Finding Nemo, the Toy Story trilogy, and more, the idea that kids’ movies are solely for children is a thing of the past. No more are the days of those stupid My Little Pony flicks invading the household of every toddler across America. Now, animated movies are so well made, they’re sometimes even nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were on Sunday and as usual, it is always the weirdest collection of people you can put into one arena. Ranging from country stars, to rappers wearing what they obviously woke up in from the parties the night before, Super Bowl champions delivering the worst line readings from the teleprompter, and why not – CBS stars to further the ratings of the ‘Can’t Be Sober’ to watch network (seriously, I don’t need another CSI, Two and a Half Men, NCIS person shoved down my throat if their shows are predictable, unfunny, and worst, unoriginal, but that’s an argument for another day).
The big stories of the awards were obviously Adele completely sweeping through her six nominations with six wins, including being the youngest person to win Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year during the same year. She was definitely the story that night performing “Rolling in the Deep” in her first public performance since her vocal cord surgery that threatened her rising career. And damn. She brought the house and obviously no one was stopping her that night. Not even snot.
Kayne West also took home four awards including Best Rap Album for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (which is epic in my opinion) and even won for his collaboration with Jay-Z on their Watch the Throne song ‘Otis’. The Foo Fighters also dominated their categories and took home four awards including Best Rock Album. Also the best speech that was not self-serving, just telling artists to just hone their craft, make mistakes, and just play. Making ‘Wasting Light’ in Dave Grohl’s garage definitely showed that you don’t need a high tech studio and tools to make a great album, just the desire to rock out.
There were a couple of polarizing moments in the Grammys such as the return of Chris Brown. Because only in America can you beat a woman (before the same awards show three years ago), break windows on Good Morning America, have your delusional teenage fanbase defend your actions (don’t EVEN get me started on that), and then win a Grammy and dance your way to America’s hearts once again…
Although that son of a bitch can dance, I will give him that.
Nicki Minaj is crazy. Looking at the very 90s controversial Madonna-esque performance (or would be a rip off of Lady Gaga’s rip off of Madonna, I can’t keep track these days) of her new song performing as her alter-ego ‘Roman Holiday’, she definitely went for shock value and being a water cooler topic. I thought it was meh, but only because Nicki Minaj is everywhere.
And that’s not a good thing considering some of her rap lyrics come off as borderline lazy and stupid. Again, I digress. Katy Perry debuted her new song about Russell Brand that will surely be dominating iTunes very soon, Taylor Swift did her best impression of the Taylor Swift surprised face at the end of her ‘Mean’ performance, Bruce Springsteen can still dominate a live performance, and the Beach Boys performed on their 50th anniversary with Maroon 5 and Foster the People.
Obviously the performances of the night in my opinion, belonged to Adele, Coldplay & Rihanna (just because I’m a Coldplay slappy), and Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s rendition of the Dolly Parton song (it’s like Inception up in here) ‘I Will Always Love You’. She owned that performance. Absolutely amazing. Granted I wanted to hear ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ but probably felt inappropriate at the time. Also Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt killing the Etta James tribute with the song ‘Sunday Kind of Love’. It is really cool to see these award shows and watch artists collaborate together because it truly is about the music. It encompasses what Dave Grohl says, of just going out and just playing to your hearts desire. There’s no lines in genres, sometimes good music is truly good music no matter what type of sound comes out, you just have to enjoy the moment. On that note, enjoy the performances below and be glad because the Grammys were long (three and a half hours, oy) and this is easier to just embed these videos so you can get the cliff notes version of what I just broke down for you.