Taylor Swift Overcomes Cult of Personality and Industry Monopoly to Top the Charts

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Written by: Kaz Nuckowski

Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poet’s Department was met with mixed reviews from critics and broad commercial success when it debuted on April 19. “All 32 songs on the extended album charted on the Hot 100. That’s one third, dedicated to just one person,” said one critic from Copy Magazine. “It’s no wonder when all 860+ of iHeartRadio stations vowed to play the entirety of her album upon release… I’d hate to imagine what she paid them.”

Swift’s fans, who dub themselves “Swifties,” have praised the album as her “most vulnerable work yet.” One fan on Reddit, u/lavenderhaze1234567890, voiced: “taylor’s a self starter. she worked her way up to the top from nothing. if anyone knows what it’s like to be raised in an asylum, it’s her fans. people just hate to see a girlboss winning.” 

Some parents have raised concerns over Swift’s relationship with her fans in wake of her ever-growing fame. One Pittsburgh parent, Jessica Maurice, said, “I worry for my teenage daughters. My oldest just recently got suspended for sending death threats to a classmate who didn’t support her ‘Gaylor’ theory. A public figure who isn’t criticizing the extreme culture of harassment among her fans is a poor role model. And in my opinion, if someone says several times that they’re straight, then we should probably trust them. My wife and I are, as you can imagine, both gay, so… reliable source. We raised our girls on George Michael and Janelle Monáe. We expected they’d have better taste in the people they call ‘gay icons’ — that is to say, celebrities who have actually spoken up about LGBTQ+ issues or are queer themselves. Our daughters, like so many impressionable young people, are being hurt by this woman’s behavior. She’s not saying anything about it because it’s making her money.”

Another parent, David Whittlemore, agreed. “She’s using her fans’ devotion to pad her bank accounts. We have four different versions of most albums — maybe I’m a bad parent for spoiling my kid. I want them to be happy. But I just don’t have the money for a Target Red Circle Taylor’s Version From The Vault Extra Special Edition of every record that only has one more song on it.”

After the release of The Tortured Poet’s Department, a significant cohort of “ex-Swifties” have become more vocal. “I draw the line at comparing her upbringing to an asylum,” said Naomi Bennett, who recently joined r/SwiftlyNeutral, a forum partially geared towards ex-fans. “Everyone was jumping at the chance to defend her. I was too… before I remembered that she’s a billionaire and can hire real lawyers instead of relying on a mob of 20-somethings, lol.” Bennett continued, “She grew up immensely privileged. Her parents moved to support her career and got her music lessons in NYC. Tell me how that kind of opportunity can be compared to an asylum. We should have left the ECT machine crown back in the edgy 2000s horror flicks.”

Distribution Lieutenant at The MQ

Kaz Nuckowski is a Copy Editor for the Muir Quarterly. They are usually found in Half Dome laughing and encouraging students to share their wit or giving their own suggestions to make everyone else laugh. Never doubt Kaz and their skills because they will surprise you, especially when the spread has a comic open and they are feeling inspired!

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