there were a lot of references in the new video, did you catch them all? let’s take a look.
1. nils sjoberg
remember that time she wrote a song with calvin harris but used a different name? this is that name, on one of the gravestones. after releasing that she had actually written the summer hit “this is what you came for,” calvin harris, among others, threw a fit on twitter - even though it had been agreed that if calvin and taylor broke up, she could express that she had written the song.
2. the out of the woods dress
this blue dress probably looks familiar! it’s the same one she wore in the out of the woods music video, the last music video of the 1989 era. this poses the same frantic question, are we out of the woods yet? as this grave-digging taylor suggests, not yet.
3. here lies 2014 met gala taylor
at first glance, it just looks like the taylor from before laying there, but after pausing it and going back, one realizes that isn’t zombie taylor, rather 2014 met gala taylor. 2014 would have been the start of the 1989 era, and the out of the woods video was the end of it, thus: by the end of 1989 era, she was ready to “bury” it.
4. the dollar bill
if you look just next to taylor’s shoulder, you can see a good ole george washington. one single dollar bill. is this a reference to taylor’s sexual assault trial recently, and the one dollar she won then? most likely, because if you go to other shots of her in the tub that aren’t directly above her, the dollar bill isn’t there, meaning it was edited in later, which would explain how it got there so late in the game. it stands for the simple victories everyone else gets to celebrate, while she does the same things and gets flack for it.
5. et tu brute
a famous line from shakespeare’s julius caeser, “et tu, brute” means “and you, brute?” right as marcus brutus lands the fatal blow in julius caeser’s, his once-friend’s back. this is a metaphor for all the people that taylor thought she could trust, before they turned around and trashed her name.
6. the tea
probably pretty simple to grasp - the tea is hot. alternatively, she, the snake in the video, gets to serve the tea this time around, or, she gets to lay down her side of the story.
7. car crash + paparazzi
did you see what happened here, at face value? taylor was in an expensive vehicle that got in a head-on crash, but everyone just stood back and took pictures, instead of rushing over to help. is this a reference to all the times that everyone stood back, took pictures, and laughed at her when she was beaten down? yes.
8. the grammy
the grammy blends in with the gold of the car and her outfit, so it’s pretty easy to miss, but there it is, in her hand, even though the car crashed. perhaps the future is being predicted?
9. the birdcage + leg tattoo
look closely at taylor’s leg, and you can see what looks to be a snake tattooed there. not to mention, here she is entertaining in a birdcage, which is guarded. she’s trying to have fun in this prison, biting her tongue, being the girl everyone wants, but she longs to be let free.
10. robbing a bank/stream co., blind for love
besides getting major harley quinn vibes, what else do we notice here? taylor swift robbing a vault, which says “stream company.” remember that time that taylor wrote an open letter to apple music and called her money hungry, even though she was taking her music off to benefit poorer artists? yes, we do. this is what she’s referencing here. also, her shirt says “blind for love” which makes sense, because she frequently refers to herself as a hopeless romantic, someone who opens theirselves up for love, even if it means getting hurt.
11. the squad
without explaining anything else, this scene can be described as a crowd of blank faced people, staring at taylor swift, who stands upon a stage looking menacing, and impressing one message upon the crowd: u, squad. it’s reminiscent of all the times people said taylor swift was over, because her friends, fans, or sales were fake or temporary. this is like a visual representation of the comments people made about taylor forcing people to do things for her to create the image she desired.
12. fake friends
and here we have the mannequins of the girls from the prior scene, chopped up. this one is pretty straight forward, these “friends” that taylor thought she had sometimes turned out to be more fickle and “fake” than she thought. also, can we talk about how taylor’s red boots are reminiscent of kinky boots? because yes.
13. the dancers, i heart ts
before taylor enters the room, the dancers are goofing around, but the second she comes in, the jump to attention, and rip off their jackets to reveal shirts that say “i heart ts.” it’s a throwback to when tom hiddleston wore a shirt with the same message on the fourth of july in 2016, and everyone said that she had forced him to wear it. it’s the same thing as before with the squad - the world decided that she had forced all these people to love her, not that they actually did.
14. the fight for glory
every time you pause this video, you come across a different taylor. squirrel pajamas wanegbt taylor, 2015 bbma’s taylor, 2014 acm’s taylor, wanegbt red tour taylor, 2016 new years rockin’ eve taylor, sparkly guitar fearless tour taylor, bleachella taylor, ballerina shake it off taylor, 2016 vma’s taylor… the list goes on and on. here, you can see them all fighting and clawing, trying to stand on top. it reminds me of “i don’t like your kingdom keys, they once belonged to me,” and the parallels between long live and new romantics in that line alone. all those times, she thought she’d made it to a point in her career where she could be respected as much as other artists in her tier, only to harshly realize she was going to get her name ran through the mud for doing the same thing as everyone else. the fight for glory is steep, and unfair.
15. junior jewels
looks familiar right? not quite! it is the same theme of the shirt, but look closely at the signatures - they’re signatures of actual people this time around. names like ed, selena, este, lena, blake, and ryan, among others, can be seen on her shirt, representing the true friends that stuck with her through her reputation being bashed.
16. “SHUT UP!”
here, all the different versions of taylor are repeating things that the media or other celebrities had said about her, until finally 2009 vma’s taylor repeated the same thing that 2017 taylor said in an instagram post - “i’d very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” the entire time, you can hear camera shutters going off and people chatting, presumably the rest of the world watching as she got torn apart. when vma’s taylor makes this final statement, all the other taylor’s, as well as what sounds to be an entire off-screen crowd, yell “SHUT UP” before the screen goes black. this is a powerful image, and it’s supposed to be. all the times she suffered, and people told her that she was overreacting, faking it, or doing it for publicity. if you feel remorse for seeing young taylor getting yelled at, or sorrow for the taylors falling when she said “because she’s dead,” you’re doing it right.
nothing in this video was an accident.
if you’re angry at taylor for this video exposing things you said about her, or you’re repeating any of the words the versions of herself said at the end, you’re proving her point. her reputation was destroyed because people made a sport of making fun of her. and now, as taylor said, there will be no explanation, just reputation.
First, with all of this, you have to realize something that music snobs fucking hate: One Direction and the Beatles are very similar. They both got their fame because of a massive, obsessive teenage girl fanbase. The One Direction following is just like Beatlemania. Both One Direction and The Beatles wrote their own music. (Yes, you read that right! Contrary to popular belief, One Direction wrote 52 of the songs on their 5 studio albums). One Direction also are musically gifted, with albums ranging from bubblegum pop, dance, pop-rock, with many rock and indie influences. If you actually sat and listened to an album all the way through (instead of thinking you’re better than them, like most people) you might come to find the massive range of music they have. Speaking of range, One Direction have incredible vocal ranges. (Key Word: Talent). Louis Tomlinson, who is frequently argued as the worst singer of One Direction has a vocal range of A2 -D5. Zayn Malik (having been on 4/5 One Direction’s studio albums) has a vocal range of 3 octaves. Liam Payne has a range of 3 octaves, 4 notes and a semi-tone. The vocal range of John Lennon and Paul McCartney have vocal ranges of C2-D5 and A1-C6, respectively. One Direction have broken several records that were previously held by The Beatles, the most recent being “Perfect” as 1D’s fifth top 10 debut on the Hot 100 beating the Beatles’ four. They were also the first group to ever have each of its first three albums debut at the top spot. (All five of there albums debuted #1 just an fyi). While One Direction may have not preformed over the span of a decade, they managed 4 world-wide tours, 3 being stadium tours and 5 studio albums in only 5 years.
You can think about what you want about better music; that aspect is up to the listener. One cannot argue some music is better than others because all music is inherently different. There is music for all walks of life, for any mood and for any time. Music can cross time periods, borders and bring millions of people together. What you cannot argue is that One Direction have not worked hard for what they have, that they are untalented and that they do not deserve what they have rightfully earned. If you do think this you’re the one that is delusional.
Plus, no member of 1D has ever beat a woman, so no matter how good their music is, it’s never going to make the members good people.
taylor swift. she has been harrased, threatened, bullied by the whole internet for so long. she has been getting called ‘snake’ and ‘liar’for over a year now. she has been made fun of because of her body, and because someone harrased her. she became a meme, the taylor swift will sue you meme. everywhere, everytime. they didn’t let her take a breath, even thought she was on a break and had said nothing for months. her reputation had been destroyed by people who just wanted to take advantage of her fame and influence, trying to take her down. but taylor is ready to come back. she is ready to act up. taylor alison swift has risen from the dead to reclaim her reputation again. welcome to the sixth album, reputation.
People who are praising Arya for calling out Sansa:
We are on two different sides.
When I saw that scene, I was frustrated with Arya for not understanding the importance of working together - as a team. Sansa is doing her job as Lady Stark. No, she doesn’t give inspiring speeches or has scenes where she plays the typical “bad ass” in the show. Sansa is being a bad ass in her way. When Arya questions if Sansa secretly likes it - the people wanting to follow her and are frustrated with Jon - I get it. Arya only knows her sister as a girl who gets nice things.
I think we are all forgetting that Sansa hates Littlefinger as much as anyone else, that she hates rulers who don’t listen to her subjects. Sansa understands him, Sansa understands Cersei, Sansa understands people. People are underestimating Sansa and I will defend her. Through all that I have seen, I stand by her.
I was also applauding the writers for showing Arya’s weaknesses in this episode. I love Arya as much as anyone but the writers do as do every strong, well-liked person on this show: they showed her flaws. Arya doesn’t understand the importance of working with people because she has grown to rely solely on herself. Arya doesn’t understand the dynamics of Lords and Ladys and Kings and Queens - because all Arya has known people of those kind are the types of people who destroy her loved ones and herself. Arya has grown spectacularly but she isn’t done.