what taylor swift can learn from smash mouth

I see at the Huffington Post that the band Smashmouth is getting accolades for stepping with the commentary via tweeting — complete with apparent allusion to some song or video from their history — to the effect that if you’re supporting the “straight pride parade”, you’re one big loser.  This is thrown out there, commentary on their commentary, as though this is a pleasant surprise.  We see a bundle of tweets that “if you had told me in the 90s that Smash Mouth would be the most woke band from that era–“, a curious anachronism for a word not in circulation at the time.  (And, for the life of me, I don’t know if this word is now in the “being reclaimed from the mocking haters” stage, or if this is an un-constructed original use ignoring that it has become a term used mockingly.  Subtle by significant differences.)

But it really is low hanging fruit.  It’s something you can see the Trump supporter Kid Rock throwing out there.  Not that anyone should want Smash Mouth to be lobbing these social conciousness missiles with anything deeper, more controversial, or preachy — one offs are about all that I want from anyone.  (Unless, I guess, that’s their thing.)  But I’m stuck on the question — is there anything in Smash Mouth’s history and repertoire that implies something specifically “unwoke” (or is “awoke” enough for some people)?  We’re stuck in a Hellfire here.  Since Smash Mouth essentially lay down Party Anthems that could immediately be dropped into sports stadiums, this slices to an implied political meaning.  To “like” or “dislike” Smash Mouth is then to be slotted in the facebook algorithm so you can now see one set or another set of political ads dropped at you.  Even if you placed roughly the same lines into a woman’s mouth behind a somewhat different beat, it would now be queer inclusive bubble gum dance mix with a different set of political ads dropped.

Now we turn to the New York Times symposium on Taylor Swift, who it appears… just… can’t… win.  And, yes, the proper response in this Taylor Swift discussion should be to run the other way, but sometimes a car wreck element pulls you in — as well sorting the “angles dancing on a pin prick” distance driving a sort of political divide.  And, question… Is there an element of sexism here, where it has become required / demanded that Taylor Swift make a political mark where Smash Mouth never had to, or did Smash Mouth get in by having their hits slide in before this rule and requirement was put into place, or has Taylor Swift’s ubiquitous fame risen to a threshold Smash Mouth never had where this is a price of admission for where Taylor Swift would want to be sitting?  (The Cool Kid’s Table, I guess… some spot at the pop charts instead of the country charts?)

Is she atoning for endorsing the long time Obama-care opponent and Kavanaugh supporting Phil Bredesen in the last election?  (Yeah, I know… wise guy am I.  But we see there a basic problem with these celebrity politics.)

So, the LGBTQIA (LGBTQWERTY, if I want to be micro-aggressive… and people wonder why Biden leads in the Democratic primary) affirming video is seen as frivolous and too light (as opposed to her song career of paens to dumped boy friends as from a 16 year old girl?), or too little too late, or an obvious commercial grab in… shallow…

To be sure, commentary that met the sainted Beyonce from contributors The Nation magazine, and implied or extrapolated off of New Yorker article on when a new pr manager directed her — and the same commentary I see now listed in a litany list of “gasp” “outrageous” Paul Joseph Watson quotes on why he was deplatformed from social media…

… (note, regardless of whether he’s ultimately right in his assessment, and regardless of what other outrages are placed in the big litany list of “gasp” “Outrage” list… this is something which always bugs me about the “gasp” “outrage” controversies when shocker figure is brushed off of social media…  No, Beyonce’s message isn’t contrived, but it is stage crafted and well marketed, and worth pointing out even if they are interchangeable in construct.)

We know Taylor Swift’s never going to win that one, so perhaps it’s a matter of weather truly don’t care about what anyone, even supposed supporters, think of your messaging, or stick to the same one off lines that are the province of Smash Mouth these days.  Or, for the big LGBTQIA video — like — just drop it down to one or two queer besties?

Leave a Reply