Pop Culture Homework

Alright. I watched Taylor Swift’s video for Shake It Off. I hadn’t heard the song before, up til then. I knew it existed, somehow (read: subliminal messages from Internet) but I just hadn’t bothered until today.

The catalyst to this is my best Russian friend. He’s 31 and, like many Russian men his age, enjoys Nickelback and patriotism and cannons and, I dunno, manliness. So when he brightly, openly told me he’s been listening to “Shake It Off” on repeat, I decided it was something interesting, something I needed to hear.

As a result, I’ve cracked. I watched the video, and you know what? Taylor Swift is a CUTIE. I love all the dancers in her music video, especially the guy with the noodly arms?!, and I am perfectly fine with having little girls dress and dance and sing and talk like everything it represents. Does that include crawling through a kaleidoscopic pyramid of twerking? Yes. Because pretty much everything in this video is fun, and the parts that I didn’t like are easy for me to brush off. (Things like cultural appropriation and the petty “break down” about “something something ex-girlfriend”.)

Why is it easy for me to shake off? Because the whole video seems to be a collection of pop music video tropes. Emotive dancing, break dancing with a crew, twerking, cheerleaders bitching about ex-girlfriends, culminating with a gregarious group of frolicking humans… all stuff we’ve seen many times before in pop videos. :)

For once, my pop culture homework hasn’t made me uncomfortable. (Not like my last adventure with “Too Many Cooks.” I shudder to type it… Ya know, I’m not even going to link to that one. Oy.) So I’m kind of sorry it’s taken me so long to give this song a chance.

And I’m SO looking forward to seeing if I can make my aforementioned friend dance to it this weekend.

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