What if they had a Culture War and Tay Tay didn't turn up?
I am sorry to inform you that there is no war between Taylor Swift and Donald Trump. This makes me sad because T/Swift is Rome at the height of her power. Everyone who goes to war with her loses. Trump, on the other hand, is more of a Caligula-shaped mound of Velveeta-cheese-sweating Spam with delusions of cognitive adequacy.
What he does have, though, is a barbarian army, and it’s this horde of fuck-offs and misfits that has unfurled the war banners and marched into battle. A battle which Tay Tay has declined to attend because she is a very successful businesswoman in the middle of a world-record-breaking stadium tour and a delightful highschool-toned romance with a star football player for the Kansa City Chiefs who happen to be playing in the Super Bowl next week.
This is Tay Tay’s brain on Donald Trump.
Conversely, Trump’s rapidly accelerating neurological collapse caused his seething resentment to overwhelm his shitweasel cunning when Swift snatched away Time Magazine’s Man of the Year Award from him.*
*(In his decaying mind, it will forever be the Man of the Year Award, not some weirdo trans ‘Person’ of the Year nonsense).
But he’s been so focused on holding his farts in while he sits next to Alina Habba at his E Jean Carrol trial that he hasn’t actually burped up one sulphurous word about the world’s number one pop star.
It’s been all of his minions, all the way down, as Tay Tay tours the world, saving one city after another from post-COVID malaise and her beau, Travis Kelce, storms towards the Super Bowl.
Kelce, who looks like somebody shaved most of a grizzly bear and put him in a comically tiny toy football helmet, was already a minor villain in the Extremely Online Right’s metadrama for coming out in favour of vaccination and Bud Light Beer. Swift, meanwhile, long ago enraged the worldwide incel clown posse by looking like their ideal Aryan wet dream trad wife but growing into a lucid nightmare of female empowerment.
She didn’t have to endorse Joe Biden to earn her place in Fox News’ 24/7 Two Minutes of Hate. She just had to be Taylor Swift.
As Noah Berlatsky explains in his Public Notice newsletter.
… The right hates lots of people. The reason they want to hate and talk about Taylor Swift, in particular, is exactly the same reason everyone else wants to talk about Taylor Swift. When you are extremely popular, articles and news reports about you (like this one!) are also likely to be very popular.
Swift was one of the most well-known people on earth before she met Kelce. Now she’s even more famous. If you post a tweet making outrageous claims about Taylor Swift, or film a segment making even more outrageous claims about Taylor Swift, you are likely to attract a lot of potentially monetisable eyeballs.
And potentially monetisable eyeballs are the Super Bowl of rightwing disinfotaiment.
Whether you’re the demon symbiote fastened onto the brain stem of Rupert Murdoch’s withered undead corpse, an enthusiastic human centipede like Vivek Ramaswamy, or simply one of the unknowable number of angry keyboard warriors ardently stroking their pump action yoghurt rifles, Taylor Swift does not present as a threat. She seems an opportunity.
But the opportunity is a mirage, and the illusion leads to your doom.
Just ask Trump’s office hot lawyer, Alina Habba. She has already transitioned from MAGA Cinematic Universe superbabe to the next episode’s villain.
While it might look like the worst are full of passionate intensity and the best lack all conviction, perhaps what’s emerging is a consensus that the best, or even just the mostly normal, lack any interest in Trump’s fever swamp dreams of authoritarian restoration. His Army of Darkness thrills at the prospect of going to war with Swift, the NFL, Disneyland, Budweiser, with whoever and whatever gets crosswise to their weird, white nationalist obsessions.
But what they’re really doing is going to war with the dominant culture, and as the late Iain M Banks told us so many times, ‘Don’t fuck with the Culture’.
It never ends well.
As for T/Swift, if she even notices D/Trump and pens a song about him, it’ll probably be some snarky little ditty entitled, “Please don’t make me roll my eyes”.