Sunday, January 26, 2014

Taylor Swift as a Countercultural Icon?

Taylor Swift was definitely a special artist for me. I didn't notice it back when I first learnt about her, but I did notice it as soon as early 2009, when she first became popular worldwide. There was something that made her different, although I couldn't quite pinpoint it.

Then in 2011, Amity Shlaes, writing in Bloomberg (Read here:, proclaimed Taylor to be a 'Counterculture Icon for Teens'. I personally think she put it quite well in that article. Most music was "anti-parent, or at least parent-free", Shlaes explained, and that "most parents have assumed there was nothing you could change about this dynamic". At that end of the article, having examined Taylor Swift's pro-family style and her popularity, Shlaes concluded that "maybe the professional entertainers held sway too long".

Taylor Swift is what a popular cultural icon should be like, to me, and to many other people. Of course, there will always be those who prefer people like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Rihanna and the like, but to me, it's just normal human nature to prefer someone like Taylor Swift over them.

So do I agree that Taylor Swift can be seen as a Countercultural Icon? Yes and No. What she does can seem countercultural at times, compared to the 'norm' out there. But then, it's probably because the 'norm' has been distorted. Rather than being countercultural, I suggest that Taylor Swift represents a return to what normal everyday people desire to see in their entertainment scene, taking back power from those who have too long controlled the scene and think they know what's best.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When Spice Girl Mel C Turns 40

Spice Girl Mel C, who recently had her 40th birthday, told the Daily Mirror that "having a healthy lifestyle, drinking loads of water, and sleep" are key to maintaining her health and appearance.

I'm way younger than 40 myself, but I guess I have to agree with that.

When asked, she also said Emma Bunton was the best kisser in the Spice Girls. Which was quite interesting. I have always thought that Emma was the best singer of the bunch, but I have never thought about her being the best kisser.

Anyway, here's some of Mel C and Emma's latest work (which unfortunately did not even enter the UK top 100 - shocking, isn't it?)

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

How a Tweet got One Direction's Liam Payne Misunderstood

I don't watch things like Duck Dynasty, but many people do, and many are big fans of the show. Which is understandable - some people do like that sort of thing. One of them is One Direction's Liam Payne, apparently.

After Willie's father, Phil, made some anti-gay comments in an interview with GQ magazine last month, praising Duck Dynasty's people in public has become a no-no in some sections of the community. Recently, Liam tweeted to Willie Robertson, saying 'huge love to you/your family huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold'. This did not go down well with some sections of the internet. Some people went on and on about how disappointed with Liam they were.

Liam clarified himself later. "Being a fan of someones show and the way they still hold a family together doesnt mean i am ok with all they say," he wrote. But some people still weren't satisfied.

I am heartened to see people take a stand against homophobia, as always. But I think in this instance some people have gone a little bit overboard. I mean, I do trust that Liam didn't mean to support homphobia, it's hard to believe otherwise really. So why are some people not letting this go? It's as if nobody can say anything remotely controversial nowadays (except when it relates to drug use). It's sad, really.

Equally saddening is some people's picking on Liam's use of the 'buzzword' family values. I mean, I understand that the fundamentalist right version of 'family values' wasn't exactly gay inclusive, but haven't we moved beyond that? Family values can be inclusive of everyone, and that is the kind of family values I subscribe to myself. Indeed, it is family values that are driving me to put marriage equality at the top of my political priorities. Please don't hate on 'family values' just because some people have distorted it.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Even the French Agree With Me About the Wrecking Ball Video

The French media regulator CSA have voiced their concerns about two recently popular music videos: Work B**ch by Britney Spears, and Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. They believe that those videos are inappropriate for young viewers and should not air before 10pm.

When I first voiced my criticism about Wrecking Ball's video and how it made me unable to enjoy the song anymore, some ardent Miley fans were calling me a puritan. With the French media also have voiced their concerns now, I guess the 'puritan' accusations are no longer valid, right?

I used to be a fan of Miley's work too (and also Britney's work). But you just can't support whatever things someone does just because you like them.

Actually, I would like to remind Miley that she can do so much better than what she is doing now:

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Direction's Louis Talks Friendships

Do you cherish your friendships? The boys from One Direction look like they certainly do!

"I think life's too short. If you start a friendship and you're happy with it, what's the point of losing it over something that's probably petty," One Direction's Louis Tomlinson said recently.

I think that's a pretty good way to put it. We need to make an effort to make our friendships and other relationships work, and part of it is not letting it get tied up in petty things.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Go 90s, Go 90s!

When I say I miss the 90s, I really mean it. In fact, I have felt this way all through the last decade. Here's an article from 2012 about just that:

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