Welcome to Target Practice where bad popular songs of the past and present get shot. What does it take to be a good ally? It’s pretty simple, actually. Being supportive of members of a marginalized group, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation. religion, etc., is kinda obvious, but letting these marginalized groups have a voice is just as (if not, more) important. Because it can get annoying when someone from a privileged group speak on those groups’ behalf. I bring this up because Pride Month was last month and today’s Target Practice was released during that time and it has generated editorials because of the way it offered to show support for the LGBT+ community. This is Taylor Swift’s You Need To Calm Down.
You are somebody that I don't know,
But you're taking shots at me like it's Patrón.
And I'm just like, "Damn!
It's 7 AM."
I see we’re now rehashing Shake It Off territory here where Taylor is calling out haters. Do I really have to retread what I said in that song here? Also, the line “taking shots like Patron” needs to die a slow and painful death.
Say it in the street, that's a knock-out.
But you say it in a tweet, that's a cop-out.
And I'm just like, "Hey!
Are you OK?"
Raise of hand: how many of you believe that Taylor could knock anyone out?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
And I ain't tryna mess with your self-expression,
But I've learned the lesson
That stressing and obsessing
'Bout somebody else is no fun.
And snakes and stones never broke my bones.
Have you, though?
So, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh!
You need to calm down.
You're being too loud.
And I'm just like,
"Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh!
You need to just stop.
Like, can you just not step on my gown?
You need to calm down."
Pot, meet kettle.
You are somebody that we don't know,
But you're coming at my friends like a missile.
Why are you mad
When you could be GLAAD?
(You could be GLAAD.)
And now we’ve reached the part of the song where Taylor pays lip service to the LGBT+ community. First off, “why are you mad when you could be GLAAD” is such a facepalm-inducing dad joke of a line. Second, I have mixed feelings about this. While having one of the biggest pop stars in the world support the LGBT+ community can only be a good thing (hell, the music video features various LGBT+ celebrities in it), how genuine is it in context of this song? It seems like Taylor is comparing people saying mean things about her online to what the LGBT+ community has to go through. A straight white woman comparing her issues to that of the LGBT+ community. Yeah, that’ll go over pretty well.
Sunshine on the street at the parade,
But you would rather be in the dark ages
Just making that sign.
Must've taken all night.
You know what’s funny? In the music video, the anti-LGBT+ people are depicted as stereotypical rednecks protesting because those are the biggest threats to the LGBT+ community, not Christian fundamentalists who considers homosexuality a sin, not political pundits like Ben Shapiro or Steven Crowder who make a living off tearing down marginalized groups, and especially not the current GOP who are trying to undermine equality through legislation. It must feel so good to go after low-hanging fruit.
You just need to take several seats
And then try to restore the peace
And control your urges to scream
About all the people you hate
'Cause shade never made anybody less gay
Shade never made anyone less gay. Nor has it made anyone more clever in this case.
And we see you over there on the Internet
Comparing all the girls who are killing it,
But we figured you out.
We all know now.
We all got crowns.
You need to calm down.
………. I got nothing.
This song needs to calm down. Here’s the thing: I can get behind the idea of not spending too much time on people you don’t like and I applaud Taylor for having the backs of LGBT+ people. But the fact that she compared the negative criticism she’s received to what that community has to deal with on a daily basis is a nonsensically bad way of being an ally. It reminds me of when major corporations co-opt Pride Month and change their profile pictures on social media to rainbows, not because they give a shit about the issues that affects them, but because they want woke brownie points. I can’t say whether or not Taylor herself is being genuine, but I don’t get that looking at the song itself and the accompanying music video. Then again, as a straight person, I can’t speak for the LGBT+ community. Their opinion on this matter is more important than mine’s. All of this is more interesting to talk about than the song itself, but it’s basically Shake It Off part 2 without some of the annoying elements. It’s not bad, but it’s flimsy and kinda mediocre. Next Target Practice, …
SONG OF THE WEEK
Freedom-Beyonce ft Kendrick Lamar