Some will say Taylor Swift is back to her Nashville roots since it was revealed this morning that Little Big Town’s lead single, “Better Man,” from their upcoming album, The Breaker, was in fact penned by Swift. However, I would argue she never left her Nashville roots. Instead, most of us, namely the media, chose to forget her roots and put her on a pedestal so high there was nothing to do but fall.
I’ll admit, I have a more idealistic mindset when it comes to Swift than most people. I understand why the “journalists” for outlets like Star magazine have no problem turning Swift’s breakups into punchlines. They haven’t had a relationship with Swift for 10 years like I have. They didn’t sit on their bedroom floor and highlight articles about Swift to write a column about Swift’s first ACM Entertainer of the Year win for their high school newspaper. They didn’t stand outside in the Colorado cold for a chance to get floor seats to one of her concerts. They didn’t drive to Target the day of every album release and physically grab a copy from the shelf and buy it with their own money. And they did not sit in Swift’s living room as she played 1989 a month early after handpicking them to thank them for their support.
Yes, I’m idealistic about Swift, but I firmly believe we have failed her in recent years.
People always say your favorite Saturday Night Live cast is the one you grew up with in high school. For me, this is true for SNL and also true for music. I grew up with Taylor Swift during high school. I grew up with her as she went from winning country music awards to Grammy awards. I grew up with her as she sold out Madison Square Garden and became the first solo female to ever sell out Gillette Stadium. And I grew up with her as she released albums like Fearless and Speak Now that mirrored the feelings I was feeling as a high-schooler.
Today, selling out stadiums and being on the cover of Vogue is expected of Swift. In 2008, being the musical guest (no interview, no games, no skits) on a talk show was a big deal in itself. Being on the cover of CosmoGirl (when that was still a thing) was an accomplishment. It was fun watching her go from a small segment on a talk show to having an interview and performance slot, and it was fun watching her go from CosmoGirl to actual Cosmopolitan. It was new and it was fun and then all of a sudden it became a bad thing to be that popular. Seemingly overnight it became the most told (and tired) joke to say Swift only wrote about one thing — her ex-boyfriends.
Obviously, this wasn’t true at all. If you need examples of Swift songs that aren’t about relationships, I’ll give you just a few — “Long Live,” “Change,” “The Best Day,” and “Mean.” But when Taylor outgrew country music and became the biggest pop star in the world it wasn’t interesting anymore to ask her about the songs she had created/was creating for her upcoming album. It instead became enough to speculate on the subjects of these songs and standard practice to report on her relationships, Instagram posts and breakups.
Our expectations of Swift became so heightened and unrealistic she had nowhere to go but down. The human factor went out the window and people began to use her songs as clues about famous ex-boyfriends rather than talk about the real emotions and feelings these songs were written with and for. Eventually, I learned to filter my Taylor Swift news. I stopped following the blogs and media outlets I used to because they became all paparazzi pictures and soon enough Taylor Swift music news was overshadowed by Taylor Swift relationship news.
I hyper-focused on Taylor in high school (2006–2010) and learned enough to last me a lifetime, but that is when it truly felt real. Learning about how she grew up, how she started playing guitar, how her family moved from a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania to Nashville, how she landed a record deal and how she wrote songs was fascinating to me. Watching the video blogs Taylor filmed and posted to engage with fans was real and unfiltered. Now we don’t need Taylor’s perspective through her own video blogs because the whole world is already filming her 24/7, posting updates to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
More or less, we have access to Taylor Swift every minute she is not inside her own home. We know her friendships, relationships and life — or at least we like to think we do. Access takes away the human factor of people — she’s starring in some weird version of The Truman Show now.
This access has heightened our expectations to a place where she can never fully satisfy us. However, lucky for Swift most of her fans are the ones who grew up with her, like me, during the early years. We still understand her core is being a singer-songwriter — not this celebrity figure or person with a “squad.” The media, and general public as a whole, have taken away Taylor’s privacy and relationships, but they can’t take away her talent. Nobody but Taylor can claim songs like “Dear John,” “Love Story” and “Our Song” as their own.
To some, Taylor Swift penning a single for the Nashville-based country group Little Big Town is seen as a return to her roots. But what it really does is challenge our expectations of her. In recent years we’ve grown accustom to the “Taylor Swift machine” — new single, press and promo, new album, new world tour. Rinse and repeat. We’ve forgotten why we’re all really fans of Taylor — the music. Taylor never left her roots as a singer-songwriter, we just stopped caring that those were her roots.
Even OneRepublic singer and 1989 collaborator, Ryan Tedder, sees Taylor as the most talented artist we have in music today saying, “Taylor is the only artist that I’ve worked with that has the complete skillset. If she weren’t an artist, she’d be the number one songwriter in the world. If she weren’t a songwriter, she’d be the number one artist in the world.”
I’m lucky enough to have been able to hug Taylor, look her in the eyes and thank her. And at the same time she has looked me in the eyes and said, “No, thank you.” No gossip column or heightened expectations due to fame will change how I feel about Taylor Swift. Taylor is a bright light in the music industry. She might be taking a longer break from her own music right now, but I will gladly take her writing songs for other artists as a consolation prize. I love Taylor Swift for the person she is, the songwriter she is and the singer she is. I couldn’t care less about the celebrity of it all.
Writing a song like “Better Man” for Little Big Town isn’t a return to her roots, it’s a reminder she never left them.
Prompt: “I was getting over you, why did you have to come back?” or it’s been a year since you and Steve broke up. He’s moved on, you haven’t.
Pairings: Steve Rogers x Reader
Word Count: 1,414
A/N: this is the first fic i’ve posted on tumblr. please leave comments! let me know if you want to be tagged in the coming parts. i’m actually really into this story and seeing where it’ll go.
A Year. That’s all it had been. And your insides still ached when you heard his name, when you saw an article about him, or his face on the news. You supposed that was the problem with dating someone so high profile. The newspaper on the stand in the corner was an example of that. There he was, the front page. You silently cursed the writer. Why as it always the front page? You knew though. He was nothing short of front page material. Not with his strong jaw, his blue eyes, and his chiseled muscles…
Those without anchors are free to drift, and without anything holding him in place, Erik has resumed his purposeful wandering. He’d invitation enough to remain where he was; to help, to train, to protect, but his past is still too much for him to bear. It is baggage too large and heavy to leave on the institute’s doorstep, and until he can manage it properly, he will not darken said doorstep again.
He finds that while the lone lifestyle suits him, he rather misses companionship and having others he may rely on. So few had ever truly trusted him, but their willingness to work with him had been enough. There is no such companionship to be found in a world like this, where he must fend for himself and where each is only out for their own benefit.
“Hey. I know your face.” An unfamiliar voice. Erik had stopped to investigate a stand of newspapers, always on the look out for relevant news concerning those precious few he’s managed to get rather attached to, but even this much peace is too much to ask for, it seems. Erik lifts his chin and looks over his shoulder, and besides the one who had spoken, two others are clustered together, watching him.
He does have one of those faces, he supposes. Strikingly familiar and difficult to forget.
“Know what you did, too. And you’re still out here walking around, like you’re something else.” The man spits at Erik’s feet, and something in the mutant’s jaw gives a tick. He’s not afraid of these men by any means. They could produce knives or even guns from their clothing, and he could send them scurrying, or worse. One of them, in fact, does make a move; Erik’s eyes stare him down, his entire body stiffening, stance shifting. He is ready. If they are of a mind to attack him, let them come.
I watched “Look Who’s Back” (Original title: “Er ist wieder da”) in cinema with my parents today and it was one of the most intense cinema visits of my entire life. I can honest to god say it was worth it, but it was disgusting too. I am so appaled by all of the events concerning the refugees, the rise of national parties and all of those themes that were addressed that are so common nowadays. It’s like it’s the beginning of the 20th century all over again, and that is nothing but a bad thing.
Before you read: I know and understand that there is a lot you shouldn’t laugh about in this movies, and I didn’t laugh at the whole movie. If you read this, you will see that I cried, and I got angry.
Keep in mind that this movie was made (just like the book was written) to make you, me, all of us realise that we are always in danger of being manipulated and that it’s important to self-check before laughing at stuff like this. (Also, this is not spoiler-free but I kept the biggest plot twists out of it. Stuff that didn’t appear in the book.)
Request: The one where the reader was Bucky’s partner during his HYDRA years and have been living together in his apartment, dating and laying low on the radar. That is until he was suddenly brought into a mess.
Warning/s: Contains Civil War spoilers.
Author’s note: I feel like this imagine didn’t turn out the way I expected it to be. But I hope you guys like it!
Dating and being on the run with her ex-partner in their HYDRA years was awesome and tough. Awesome because the two of them are finally free from everything that had happened and isn’t HYDRA’s puppet anymore. Tough because now that HYDRA has fallen, the whole world is on to the remaining agents of the fallen agency.
(Y/N) and Bucky had finished buying fruits and other things in the nearby market and headed back before someone recognized them. While they crossed the road, she noticed Bucky turn the other way. She raised an eyebrow and followed him to the newspaper stand. She caught a glimpse of the vendor scurrying away to the crowd.
She furrowed her eyebrows and watched as Bucky pick up a newspaper from the table. She looked over his shoulder and saw a headline about the Winter Soldier and a picture of a guy that had the same features as her boyfriend.
“Okay so when you told me that you were going out to buy our dinner for last night, you were actually going to go somewhere and bomb a building?” She asked him in curious disbelief.
Bucky shook his head and pursed his lips. “I didn’t do this.” he said and looked at her.
(Y/N) searched for a hint of lie in his eyes but found nothing. She clenched her jaw and looked around. “Someone’s on to us. Well, to you.” she said. “Let’s go.”
When they returned to their apartment, they found a man with a shield standing in front of the fridge and pick up a notebook on top. Bucky and (Y/N) exchanged knowing looks and watched him silently. Bucky held her hand just in case something happens.
“Heads up, Cap. Special forces are headed on south.” They heard someone say through his earpiece.
“Understood.” The man said.
He must have felt someone looking at him so he turned around to face them. He looked at both of them before his eyes settled on Bucky. “Do you know me?” he asked.
Bucky didn’t answer for a second. He only stared at him. “You’re Steve. I read about you in the museum.” he told him.
“They’ve set the perimeter.” The guy on the earpiece said.
The man, named Steve, placed the notebook down on the counter. “I know you’re nervous.” he stepped forward. “And you have a reason to be. But you’re lying."
"I wasn’t in Vienna. I don’t do that anymore.” Bucky told him. (Y/N) squeezed his hand in reassurance and he squeezed back.
“Well the people who think you did are coming here now. And they’re not planning taking you alive.” Steve told him. (Y/N) sighed in frustration and pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Oh great, this again.” she muttered.
“That’s smart. Good strategy.” Bucky said, looking up. He looked at her and squeezed her hand. (Y/N) sighed and went to the couch and removed the seats to grab her guns and knives.
“This doesn’t have to end in a fight, Buck.” Steve told them.
Bucky had a faint smirk on his features. “It always ends in a fight.” he simply said.
“You pulled me from the river.” Steve said, raising his voice slightly. “Why?"
Bucky sighed and looked at him. "I don’t know.”
Steve looked at him with slight annoyance. “Yes you do."
Suddenly two grenades have broke the windows. One landed on Steve’s shield while the other landed next to (Y/N). Bucky’s eyes grew wide and he grabbed her arm, pulling her next to him. Steve covered the grenade with his shield as it exploded.
The windows burst open and in came the police. The three of them fought them as they raided the area. (Y/N) wounded them with her guns and knives while the two ex-soldiers punched and kicked and blocked their shooting.
"Buck, stop! You’re gonna kill someone.” Steve told him, grabbing hold of his arm.
Bucky tackled him on the ground and punched the wooden floor beside Steve’s head. “I’m not gonna kill anyone.” he told him and grabbed his backpack. He threw it on the other building next to their apartment and it landed on the rooftop.
One special force had entered the area and began shooting at Bucky. Steve stood up in front of him and blocked the bullets with his shield. Bucky threw him to the side and walked up to the man while blocking the bullets with his metal arm. He flipped him over and knocked him down.
“You okay?” Bucky asked (Y/N). She nodded.
Someone had began shooting at the door. (Y/N) looked at Bucky and told him, “Follow me.” She kicked the door open and threw punches and kicks at the special forces in front of her. Bucky jumped down on the stairs and knocked down the police that were heading up to them. Steve followed them.
Bucky grabbed (Y/N)’s waist and broke a railing and swung down to the next floor, grabbing hold of the broken railing with his metal hand. He kicked the door open and both exited. (Y/N) helped Bucky knock the police down while Steve followed them, throwing his shield to help them. (Y/N) looked up at him and nodded her head towards him.
She watched as Bucky jump over the railings and grab hold of another railing below. He yelped in pain as he did so. (Y/N) rolled her eyes. “Bucky, you show off!” she yelled and ran down the stairs to meet with him.
Bucky kicked the door open and it led to a small path and the balcony. (Y/N) looked over to him in disbelief. “Oh no, don’t tell me we’re gonna jump.” she told him.
Bucky glanced at her and smirked. “We’re gonna jump.” He said before taking her hand. He dragged her along with him and jumped off the building they were in. (Y/N) shrieked and closed her eyes, waiting for the impact of the ground.
When their feet touched the ground, (Y/N) rolled around and groaned in pain. She clenched her fist and leaned her head back on the ground, panting.
Something blocked the sunlight on her face and she opened her eyes and saw Bucky standing above her. He grinned at her.
“That wasn’t too bad, was it, sweetheart?” He asked, extending his hand to her.
(Y/N) glared at him and took his hand. “You know, I would kick your ass right now if we weren’t chased by the special forces and Steve. But I’ll do it later, after all this is finished.” she told him.
Bucky smirked and grabbed his backpack. Both of them started running when someone had jumped out of nowhere and pounced on both of them, making them lose balance. They looked up and saw a person wearing a black suit and looked like a panther.
(Y/N) wolf-whistled. “Cool suit.” she told the new guy.
The guy charged towards Bucky and both started fighting. (Y/N) attempted to help him but she was kicked by the guy with the suit to the wall. She groaned in pain and watched as both men continued fighting. A helicopter started shooting at them but only lasted for a minute before someone flew by and pushed the thing.
Bucky pushed the guy off him and ran towards the edge of the building. He jumped down and so did the other guy. (Y/N) rolled her eyes in annoyance and stood up. “Thanks Buck.” she said to no one in particular and jogged towards the ledge where Bucky jumped down.
“Excuse me, ma'am.” Someone said behind her. She turned around and saw Steve running towards her. Before she could say anything, he jumped down and chased after the two guys.
(Y/N) sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “And here I thought we’re gonna have a normal day today.” she said before jumping down, following the three guys.
When she got down to the tunnel, she saw the cars gathered around on one side. She ran towards it and climbed over. She squinted her eyes and saw Bucky take motorcycle with a car speeding behind him and a guy chasing after them far away. She walked to one of the cars and asked the driver to get out. She drove to where the three men are.
She saw someone flew above her followed by an explosion. She gasped and accelerated the car she was driving. She saw a car rolling around the place and caught a glimpse of Bucky and the other guy rolling on the ground with Steve running towards them. They were soon cornered by the special forces. A gray Iron Man suit also flew down with them.
“Stand down. Now."
(Y/N) pulled over and ran to the scene. "Bucky!” She yelled, grabbing the attention of everyone. She ran to Bucky’s side and looked around. Police forces were surrounding them with their guns pointed at her, Steve, and Bucky. Bucky held her hand and gave it a squeeze.
“Congratulations, Cap. You’re a criminal.” The guy with a gray Iron Man suit said. The police forces all circled around the three of them and pushed them down on their knees.
“uşor! hei!” (Y/N) told one of the police officers that pushed her down. (“Easy! Hey!)
Minutes later, she was locked in the same van as Bucky. Inside, she exhaled deeply and leaned her head against the van’s wall. Bucky noticed this and nudged her side. "Hey, are you okay?” he asked her.
(Y/N) nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just tired from all the running and punching and stuff.” she told him. “By the way, thanks for leaving me all alone on the rooftop a while ago. It was pretty sweet of you.” she added, snickering.
Bucky realized what he had done and groaned. He shook his head and gave her an apologetic look. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to. I—"
(Y/N) cut him off with a laugh. "It’s alright. You were being chased, I know.” she said and scooted closer to him, leaning her head on his shoulder. “I’m just glad you’re alright.” she murmured.
(Y/N) failed to see the soft smile that crept up onto his features. He dropped a kiss on her hair and rested his head on hers.
Side note: For the part where the reader spoke a different language, I used google translate. So if the sentence is wrong, blame google translate hahaha.
You sit in a deli, watching as an employee cuts slices of meat for customers in front of a Dietz & Watson sign. You’ve been there for 15 minutes. They still haven’t blinked.
Whenever you get on the subway, you notice a man sitting in one of the seats in a heavy jacket. He is in the same seat, every day. On every train at every time. Not a word is ever spoken.
Everyone goes to South Street, they say. When you ask them why, no one meets your eye or gives you a direct answer. An awkward silence ensues.
You sit on a wooden bench in Suburban Station, listening to the intercom. Your train is next to arrive on Track 4, section B. It never comes.
A gnarled hand passes you a lottery ticket from the small window of a newspaper stand. You try not to think about how the numbers form the date that you lost everything.
You walk by the empty shell of a Ritz Camera shop. You’re sure that you just heard a shutter click somewhere inside.
Visitors gaze up at the wall of skulls at the Mütter Museum. One of them is noticeably newer than the rest. Nobody mentions it.
As you drive home, you notice that the lights of a house near the end of Boathouse Row are not lit. A cold feeling of dread seeps into your stomach.
You stand in front of the Delaware River. Your bruised and blistered feet have carried you from the Schuylkill to the Delaware and back five times today. As you turn around for the sixth time, you think that maybe this time things will have changed. You are wrong.
(I came up with some more Philadelphia Gothic on the ride home today; I wanted to try for more creepy/supernatural stuff.)
There’s so much information to share about festivals that I don’t even know where to begin. I won’t spoil it for you since there’s a lot of joy in experiencing it for the first time yourself.
The Flea Market was by far my favorite festival. All these randoms show up dressed in those ugly suits (this poor woman looks ridiculous) and try to sell you their junk.
This table is a new object and you can stock it with your own creations or collectibles and sell them.
You can also trade your collectibles with the people working at the Flea Market to try and complete your collections faster.
New collection alert!
You can collect 15 snow globes. These super sketchy boxes spawn in your neighborhood and you can dig through them to look for a snow globe.
You can also collect a series of posters. There are these boxes in a few of the neighborhoods (they kind of remind me of newspaper stands? those things that you can put a quarter in to get your newspaper?) that you grab posters from them periodically.
I don’t have screenies of either of these. I was allowed a limited number of pictures and I figured those weren’t very important.
Okay but honestly the thing that bothers me the most about Regarding Dean was like… Dean was in the process of losing his memory, ran the impala into the newspaper stands and actually forgot his own name and Sam was never like “hey how about I drive”
PRE-ORDER is up for these stickers!! You get 5 vinyl stickers that measure 3" x 4" for $15.00
These stickers are meant to empower & celebrate Indigenous resistance through Indigenous Survivance & Decolonization. They are meant to help push these areas of critical inquiry in Indigenous pedagogy rather than exploring Indigenous resistance through the lens of anarchism & socialism.
They are meant for your local university, community college, info shop, gas station, coffee house, neighborhood alleyway, phone booth, newspaper stand, stop sign, or your notebook, journal, bike, vehicle, &c…. They are meant to disrupt the visual culture celebrated by white liberalism.
2 wooden dowels, the “red”/1 inch across size (Lowe’s)
Chicken wire, ½ inch hex mesh (Lowe’s)
Gorilla tape (Lowe’s)
Dowel screw (Lowe’s)
E600 spray glue
Large foam roll (Michael’s)
Brow tempura paint, a large size (Michael’s)
Silver flower spray paint (Michael’s)
Large foam ball (Michael’s)
Smaller foam balls (Michael’s)
Cardboard cake stands
Newspaper or something for some stuffing (optional)
I wanted my hammer to be taller than me, so I bought two of the wooden dowels from Lowe’s and used Gorilla glue + Gorilla tape to hold them together. Poster tubes taped together would definitely be a lighter option if you don’t want your hammer as large.
Here you can see where the tape for the hammer is
After that I just painted them brown with two coats of tempura paint and set it aside.
The entire handle, you can barely see the tape from afar
The Mallet Head:
For the base of the head of the hammer I bought chicken wire, and cut and shaped it so that it became an oval. To keep it together I just used the ends of the chicken wire and twisted them around each other. In order to insert the hammer I cut out some of the chicken wire just big enough for the handle to fit.
Then, in order to keep the handle from moving around too much, I used the excess pieces of chicken wire to form a little cubby for the handle to sit
Then I took a long sheet of foam (that I had previously painted brown) and sprayed a quarter of it with spray glue, would attach the foam and wire together in that quarter, and then let it dry for an hour. Slowly but surely I wrapped the foam around the whole piece of wire (note: I wasn’t thinking and put the two ends of the foam at the top of the hammer and cut a hole in the middle of the foam for the handle, it’ll look 100x nicer if you put the two edges at the bottom and cut the hole there so the crease is hidden)
I had to weigh down the top in order for the foam to stay put while it finished drying
Bottom of the mallet head with the hole cut out. I cut the hole and painted the foam before I attached it to the wire frame
I didn’t photograph from here on but basically you just spray the handle with the glue, stick it in the cubby, and fill out any extra space with newspaper so it won’t wobble too much. Then you take something round for the ends that is just slightly smaller than the oval (we used those cardboard cake stands and painted them brown), spray the edges, and stick them in there
“Read All About It” Newspaper Stand, Pike Place Market, Seattle, 2014.
Along with the printed newspapers and magazines they sell, newsstands are an endangered species, and few well-stocked ones still operate. I know of none in the Washington, DC area where I presently reside, and several I used to frequent in Seattle are only memories.