Screenshot from "Look What You Made Me Do" music video - Taylor Swift sits in bathtub, covered in diamonds, pointing fingers like a gun.

Eight Genres of Garbage Polemic About Taylor Swift

Cultural criticism is great, isn’t it? There are so many really smart pieces of longform writing floating around that present nuanced, enlightening discussions of our response to successful female businesswomen, the nature of celebrity, white feminine victimhood, the commercialization of feminism, the line between country and pop music, the role of authorial intent in interpreting art, the reasons why the colonialist fantasy of Africa as a giant theme park empty of humans still persists so strongly in the American imagination, and many other interesting issues as they relate to Taylor Swift.

WAIT JUST KIDDING. Some days it seems like the entire Internet is actually a Dumpster full of faux-intellectual schlock that stakes out a narrow yet vehement, take-no-prisoners position on Taylor Swift because somebody had a deadline that day and, well, Taylor was there. Here’s a tour of the trash heap.

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Links We Loved This Week — 8/26/17

I could not be more excited for Claire Messud’s next book, coming out on Tuesday. Here’s a post from her about her mother’s library, on Lithub.

In other news, James Cameron (who once claimed his white-savior Fern Gully ripoff didn’t win Best Picture over his ex-wife’s gritty war film because he was… too famous and well-financed?) is still an idiot, but at least now we have Patty Jenkins to call him out.

In light of the “fake feminist” allegations against Joss Whedon, a sensitive essay from Indiewire about the need for fandoms to listen to women first and their idols second.

Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler is finally coming to TV, courtesy of Selma‘s Ava DuVernay! Read our review of the trilogy here.

Q: A Cult Novel about the Protestant Reformation

Over in Italy this summer I picked up a book totally at random called Q. It’s a fat historical novel about the Protestant Reformation, written by four anonymous authors under the name Luther Blissett. Its protagonist is an Anabaptist theology student who becomes involved in various movements during the Reformation. The antagonist, a papal informer, is simply named Q.

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Links We Loved This Week — 8/11/17

Vulture has a list of Taylor Swift’s best comebacks from her testimony in a sexual assault trial (for those who missed it, she is accusing a man of reaching under her skirt and groping her butt during a photo shoot). I think my favorite is when someone asked her why the front of the skirt doesn’t look mussed: “Because my ass is located in the back of my body,” she answered.

Here’s an interesting article in the Washington Post about the culture of songwriting, competition, and collaboration in real-life Nashville. Makes you wonder what might happen if Scarlett and Gunnar’s best early songs had been put on hold by Rayna or Juliette in the first season and never released!

The New York Times has a long, in-depth profile of one of my very favorite living authors, Claire Messud, who writes about angry and disappointed women in a beautiful and precise prose style. I learned that like me, she’s never learned to cook, which just makes me more sure that she is my hero.

The new season of Rick and Morty is shaping up to be truly incredible, and Film Crit Hulk has a wonderful meditation on/appreciation of the devastating third episode.