A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Taylor Swift has a new album out. Coincidentally (nudge/nudge wink/wink) she launched it right after a boatload of media attention over a lawsuit she had against some guy who allegedly grabbed her ass four years ago. According to the evidence, a DJ in Denver decided it was open season on one of the most famous bums on the planet, and as the cameras rolled, he copped a feel. You can’t actually see him do it, but Swift maintains he did. For my money, given Swift’s reputation for musical revenge, that was a pretty stupid move. In fact, if he actually did it, this guy’s got to be the dumbest dumbass of the century! Of course, if he didn’t do it — well — nobody really cares about that because Swift was always going to win the lawsuit anyway. Why? Because Taylor Swift; that’s why! Think about it. Any ruling against Ms. Swift’s allegations would have unleashed a Social Media tsunami. The Internet mob would have risen up in holy indignation and dragged the judge through the cyberstreets by his cojones. The members of the jury would have been hunted down and put to the lash. Jobs would have been lost and reputations ruined. (We’ve seen it before.) Honestly, death threats would have been the least of that jury’s worries. Fortunately, none of that happened. What happened was the judge and jury made the judicious decision, dodged a digital bullet and walked away. Team Taylor generated a pile of free publicity and put their client back on the celebrity A-list. Taylor Swift became the reigning queen of Tweenie Girl Power. The DJ from Denver slithered away into the ooze of obscurity from which he came. And — oh, yeah: Ms. Swift is about to haul in a shedload of cash from her latest kiss-and-yell musical adventure.
Personally, I think the DJ from Denver is as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo. I also believe Swift should have sued him for a lot more than a symbolic dollar just to teach him to keep his hands to himself. After all, nobody know how many non-famous bums he’s squeezed over the years. However, as everybody knows, Swift and her people are masters of media manipulation, and the timing of this whole sordid affair is as suspicious as a smoking gun. So, call it what you will, but for me, using publicity from a sexual assault as a marketing tool to sell records is a despicable way to make money.