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Enough of the Swift scourge! MAUREEN CALLAHAN slams Taylor as a money-grabbing, narcissistic, wannabe poetess and says this intellectually stunted, clichéd new album commits the worst sin of all

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Enough of the Swift scourge! MAUREEN CALLAHAN slams Taylor as a money-grabbing, narcissistic, wannabe poetess and says this intellectually stunted, clichéd new album commits the worst sin of all

Call it the Tortured Audience Response.

 

A global marketplace carpet-bombed by Taylor Swift must now endure another album, another promotional cycle, another round of score-settling with ex-lovers and a level of navel-gazing that makes J.Lo seem modest.

Then again, Swift never has had a sense of humor about herself, has she?
So here we are, weary of the Eras tour and movie, the Taylor and Travis show, Taylor on the cover of Time as 2023’s Person of the Year, the re-release of two older records last year, Taylor at the 2024 Golden Globes — expressing grave displeasure after a joke about her overexposure — and Taylor at the Grammys, just months ago, appearing to snub terminally ill legend Celine Dion in her haste to grab her trophy.

Swift allowed no breathing room for gratitude that evening, no moment to have her record-breaking achievement sink in, or at least display a little bit of propriety.
Nope, just a hasty pitch for her latest project on free network airtime while feigning complete disbelief that she — little Tay-Tay! — had actually won another award.

It seems Taylor Swift is most inspired not by true artists but titans of commerce. Per the immortal ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’, she must ‘always be closing’ on yet another transaction.

‘I want to say thank you,’ Swift told her fans, ‘by telling you a secret I’ve been keeping from you for the past two years.’

This latest Grammy, accepted seconds prior, was already in Swift’s rearview.

‘My brand-new album comes out April 19,’ she continued. ‘It’s called “The Tortured Poets Department”. I’m going to go and post the cover right now backstage. Thank you, I love you.’

Surely, I am not alone in needing a good, long break from the Tracy Flick of tepid pop.

We have reached peak Swift, the cultural water table oversaturated, soaking us with her narcissistic runoff and bilge. So many meanies, so many revenge tracks, so much endless griping and score-settling.

Enough! Make it stop! No wonder there’s a stubborn conspiracy theory that posits Swift as a CIA psy-op who controls everything from the Super Bowl to the 2024 presidential election. She could have been used at Gitmo to break terrorists.

Swift is a scourge, responsible for, among other things: The unforgivable trend of friendship bracelets on middle-aged women; charging tween and teenage fans thousands of dollars for tickets; cynically announcing new albums and then suddenly issuing multiple other versions with just one or two added tracks, knowing her fans will pay the price — or, as with ‘TTPD’, announcing there’s actually a double-length edition just hours after its release.

In other words, another marketing ploy to bilk fans who bought what they thought was the whole thing.

On Thursday night, Swift first dropped at least four different versions of ‘TTPD’, starting at $12.99 each.

Then, after the clock struck midnight:

‘It’s a 2am surprise,’ she wrote. ‘Here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.’ Signed off with a heart emoji. Of course.

Total cost for every single version of ‘TTPD’, as of this writing, comes in just shy of $200. And that’s to say nothing of the overpriced merch (a hoodie goes for $75) on her official site.

Taylor became a billionaire last year. But this gambit, so typical of her, isn’t just about money. It’s a way of dominating the charts, breaking sales records — rigging the system, really.

It all feels patently unfair, especially for an artist who is extremely limited. Not for nothing did her peers remain unmoved as she collected that record-breaking Grammy this year.

Swift has been making music since 2006, but in all that time, she has not grown beyond a few, very myopic subjects: Famous ex-boyfriends (almost always terrible), her own victimization — for such a powerful woman, she’s never at fault, never an architect of her own misery — and middle-school mean-girl stuff, with Kim K her head nemesis.

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