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The Study of Swiftology

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  • Ugh this has to be a dump and run, I have no time no time no time to do a proper birthday morning post . . .

    Taylor did the Jingle Bell Ball in London last week:

    Not a fan of that romper personally!

    There was a Joe sighting at the show:

    He must have kept a low profile, otherwise. The only notable thing that happened was that Taylor did London Boy for the first time in concert, and naturally, the London crowd went wiiild. She also did Christmas Tree Farm, which has been stuck in my brain for five days straight.

    Last night, she accepted the Billboard Woman of The Decade award:

    Hoo boy, this speech. It was VERY LONG. She called 'em all out!

    “I want to first thank Billboard from the bottom of my heart, for this honor, and for naming me as their woman of the decade. So, what does it mean to be the woman of this decade? Well, it means I’ve seen a lot. When this decade began, I was 20 years old, and I’d just put out my self-titled debut album when I was 16, and then the album that would become my breakthrough album, which was called Fearless. And I saw that there was a world of music, and experience beyond country music, that I was really curious about. I saw pop stations send my songs Love Story and You Belong With Me to #1 for the first time. And I saw that as a female in this industry, some people will always have slight reservations about you: whether you deserve to be there, whether your male producer or cowriter is the reason for your success, or whether it was a savvy record label – it wasn’t.

    I saw that people love to explain away a woman’s success in the music industry, and I saw something in me change due to this realization. This was the decade that I became a mirror for my detractors: Whatever they decided I couldn’t do is exactly what I did. Whatever they criticized about me became material for musical satires or inspirational anthems, and the best lyrical examples I can think of are songs like Mean, Shake It Off, and Blank Space; basically, if people had something to say about me, I usually said something back, in my own way. And this reflex dictated more than just my lyrics. When Fearless did win Album of the Year at the Grammys, and I did become the youngest solo artist to ever win the award, with that win, came criticism and backlash in 2010 that I’d never experienced before as a young, new artist. All of a sudden, people had doubts about my singing voice, was it strong enough, was I a little bit pitchy? All of a sudden they weren’t sure if I was the one writing the song because sometimes in the past I had had cowriters in the room. At that time, I couldn’t understand why this wave of harsh criticism had hit me so hard. I believe a popular headline back then was “a Swift Backlash,” which is clever – you gotta give it to them. And now I realized that this is just what happens to a woman in music if she achieves success or power beyond people’s comfort level.

    I now have come to expect that with good news comes some sort of pushback, but I didn’t know that then. So then, I decided that I would be the only songwriter on my third album, Speak Now, and that I would tour constantly, work on my vocals every day, and perfect my stamina in a live show. I decided I would be what they said I couldn’t be. I didn’t know then that soon enough people would decide on something else I wasn’t quite doing right, and the circle would keep going on and on, and rolling along, and I would keep accommodating, overcorrecting, in an effort to appease my critics. They’re saying I’m dating too much in my 20s? Okay! I’ll stop and just be single – for years. Now they’re saying my album Red is filled with too many break-up songs? Okay! I’ll make one about moving to New York, and deciding that really my life is more fun with just my friends. Oh, they’re saying my music is changing too much for me to stay in country music? Alright, okay, here’s an entire genre shift, and a pop album called 1989. Now it’s that I’m showing you too many pictures of me with my friends. Okay, I can stop doing that too. Now I’m actually a calculated manipulator rather than a smart business woman? Okay, I’ll disappear from public view – for years. Now I’m being cast as a villain to you? Okay, here’s an album called reputation and there are lots of snakes everywhere.

    In the last 10 years, I have watched as women in this industry are criticized and measured up to each other and picked at for their bodies and their romantic lives and their fashion. Or have you ever heard someone say about a male artist, “I really like his songs, but I don’t know what it is. There’s just something about him I just don’t like?” No – that criticism is reserved for us. But you know, I’ve learned that the difference between those who can continue to create in that climate usually comes down to this: who lets that scrutiny break them, and who just keeps making art. I’ve watched as one of my favorite artists of this decade, Lana Del Rey, was ruthlessly criticized in her early career, and then slowly but surely, she turned into, in my opinion, the most influential artist in pop. Her vocal stylings, her lyrics, her aesthetics. They’ve been echoed and repurposed in every corner of music, and this year, her incredible album is nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys because she just kept making art. And that example should inspire all of us, that the only way forward is forward motion. That we shouldn’t let obstacles like criticism slow down the creative forces that drive us. And I see that fire in the newer faces in our music industry, whose work I absolutely love. I see it in Lizzo, Rosalia, Tayla Parx, Hayley Kiyoko, King Princess, Camila Cabello, Halsey, Megan Thee Stallion, Princess Nokia, Nina Nesbitt, Sigrid, Normani, H.E.R., Maggie Rogers, Becky G., Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Billie Eilish, and so many other amazing women who are making music right now. Female artists have dominated this decade in growth, streaming, record and ticket sales, and critical acclaim. So why are we doing so well? Because we have to grow fast, we have to work this hard, we have to prove that we deserve this, and we have to top our last achievements. Women in music, onstage, or behind the scenes, are not allowed to coast. We are held at a higher, sometimes impossible-feeling standard. And it seems that my fellow female artists have taken this challenge, and they have accepted it. It seems like the pressure that could’ve crushed us made us into diamonds instead, and what didn’t kill us actually did make us stronger.

    But we need to keep advocating for women in the recording studios, behind the mixing board, in A&R meetings, because rather than fighting to be taken seriously in their fields, these women are still struggling to have a chance to even be in the room. We now find ourselves fully immersed in a vast frontier that wasn’t around last decade, and that is the streaming world. In music, we’re always walking hand in hand with technology, and sometimes that is so awesome, like how now we’re able to just drop a song that we made yesterday. I’ve spoken out in the past about the future of revenue flow for creators, songwriters, and producers who are being left behind due to these rapid shifts and changes. I still don’t think that record contracts or producers’ agreements have fully caught up, and I hope that in the next decade, we can keep searching for the right solution for producers, songwriters, and creators. Don’t you?

    Lately, there’s been a new shift that has affected me personally, and that I feel is a potentially harmful force in our industry. And as your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up. And that is the unregulated world of private equity coming in, and buying up our music, as if it is real estate, as if it’s an app, or a shoe line. This just happened to me without my approval, consultation, or consent. After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in a deal I’m told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital, and the Carlyle Group. To this day, none of these investors have ever bothered to contact me or my team directly, to perform their due diligence on their investment, on their investment in me, to ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, the music I wrote, videos I created, photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs.

    And of course Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale, or even when it was announced. I’m fairly certain he knew how I would feel about it, though, and let me just say that the definition of the toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, ‘But he’s always been nice to me!’ when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their right to own their music. And of course he’s nice to you. If you’re in this room, you have something he needs.

    The fact is that private equity is what enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could ‘buy me,’ but I’m obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back, and who would show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times and I will never ever forget it, like ever.

    But to conclude, I will say that in 10 years, I have seen forward steps in our industry. In our awareness, our inclusion, or ability to start calling out unfairness and misconduct. I’ve seen the advent of social media, the way it can boost the breakthrough of emerging artists. And I’ve seen fans become more engaged and supportive than ever before. I’ve leaned on that support, and it has kept me in a place where, no matter what I always wanted to keep making music for them. I was up on a stage in New York City in 2014, accepting Billboard Woman of the Year, and I was talking about the future of streaming, how we needed to make sure that the female artists, writers, and producers of the next generation were protected and compensated fairly. This was before my record deal with Universal last year that would contractually guarantee that the artists on their roster be paid upon any sale of their Spotify shares, un-recoupable, so thank you for that. This speech I’m referring to was on my 25th birthday, and I’m about to turn 30 tonight!

    But my exact quote during this speech was, ‘I really just feel like we need to continue to try to offer something to a younger generation of musicians. Because somewhere, right now, your future Woman of the Year is probably sitting in a piano lesson, or in a girls’ choir, and today, right now, we need to take care of her.’ I’ve since learned that at that exact moment, an 11-year-old girl in California really was taking piano lessons, and really was in a girls’ choir. And this year, she has been named Woman of the Year, at the age of 17. Her name is Billie. And those are the stories we need to think about every day as we do our jobs within this industry. The ones where people’s dreams come true and they get to create music and play it for people. The ones where fans feel a connection to music that makes their day easier, makes their night more fun, makes their love feel more sacred or their heartache feel less isolating. The ones where all of you in this room stand as an example for someone else in the next generation who loves the same thing that we love: music. And no matter what else enters the conversation we will always bring it back to music.

    And as for me, lately I’ve been focusing less on doing what they say I can’t do and more on doing whatever the hell I want. Thank you for a magnificent, happy, free, confused, sometimes lonely, but mostly golden decade. I’m honored to be here tonight, I feel very lucky to be with you, thank you so much.”

    — Taylor accepting Billboard’s Artist of the Decade Award on December 12, 2019
    (as a note! I swipe a lot of the speech transcripts from cages-boxes-hunters-foxes on tumblr. I did NOT type up all gazillion words of this speech myself.)

    (Now errybuddy side eye Ed and Shawn for a moment!)

    The crowd DID NOT seem to know what to do with this speech, although they did give her a standing O at the end.

    This quote!

    Should probably be noted that the only songs that played during the award montage were ones from Lover, which suggests that either she couldn't get permission this time from Koots to play older stuff, or didn't even bother to ask. She walked up to The Man, which was appropriate.

    with Jameela:

    I almost slipped and typed 'Tahani'.


    with Billie, the Woman of The Year:

    Just as Taylor shouted out Billie, Billie did the same:

    Reactions to her speech:

    Oh, but then there's Koots' fave TMZ . . . :

    “One female exec in the room said afterward, "The night was supposed to be about inspiration, but it turned into another, 'poor little Taylor Swift.' It's hard to watch someone who's had such incredible privilege ... to complain about their own personal issues."

    . . . guess who was also apparently in the room that night? Two of Kooter's employees, both 'female execs'. So . . .

    She also did a Billboard Woman of the Decade interview for the mag:

    One evening in late-October, before she performed at a benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Taylor Swift’s dressing room became -- as it often does -- an impromptu summit of music’s biggest names. Swift was there to take part in the American Cancer Society’s annual We Can Survive concert alongside Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Camila Cabello and others, and a few of the artists on the lineup came by to visit.

    Eilish, along with her mother and her brother/collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, popped in to say hello -- the first time she and Swift had met. Later, Swift joined the exclusive club of people who have seen Marshmello without his signature helmet when the EDM star and his manager stopped by.

    “Two dudes walked in -- I didn’t know which one was him,” recalls Swift a few weeks later, sitting on a lounge chair in the backyard of a private Beverly Hills residence following a photo shoot. Her momentary confusion turned into a pang of envy. “It’s really smart! Because he’s got a life, and he can get a house that doesn’t have to have a paparazzi-proof entrance.” She stops to adjust her gray sweatshirt dress and lets out a clipped laugh.
    In 2020, Swift will embark on Lover Fest, a run of stadium dates that will feature a hand-picked lineup of artists (as yet unannounced) and allow Swift more time off from the road. “This is a year where I have to be there for my family -- there’s a lot of question marks throughout the next year, so I wanted to make sure that I could go home,” says Swift, likely referencing her mother’s cancer diagnosis, which inspired the Lover heart-wrencher “Soon You’ll Get Better.”

    Question marks. Ugh.

    In the weeks following this interview, Braun said he was open to “all possibilities” in finding a “resolution,” and Billboard sources say that includes negotiating a sale. Swift remains interested in buying her masters, though the price could be a sticking point, given her rerecording plans, the control she has over the licensing of her music for film and TV, and the market growth since Braun’s acquisition.

    During a wide-ranging conversation, Billboard’s Woman of the Decade expresses hope that she can help make the lives of creators a little easier in the years to come -- and a belief that her behind-the-scenes strides will be as integral to her legacy as her biggest singles. “New artists and producers and writers need work, and they need to be likable and get booked in sessions, and they can’t make noise -- but if I can, then I’m going to,” promises Swift. This is where being impossibly famous can be a very good thing.

    “I know that it seems like I’m very loud about this,” she says, “but it’s because someone has to be.”

    LOUD. I do like that about this era. She's so damn loud.

    Aw, she still really loves tumblr:

    Meanwhile, you’ve found a way to interact with your fans in this very pure way -- on your Tumblr page.

    Tumblr is the last place on the internet where I feel like I can still make a joke because it feels small, like a neighborhood rather than an entire continent. We can kid around -- they literally drag me. It’s fun. That’s a real comfort zone for me. And just like anything else, I need breaks from it sometimes. But when I do participate in that space, it’s always in a very inside-joke, friend vibe. Sometimes, when I open Twitter, I get so overwhelmed that I just immediately close it. I haven’t had Twitter on my phone in a while because I don’t like to have too much news. Like, I follow politics, and that’s it. But I don’t like to follow who has broken up with who, or who wore an interesting pair of shoes. There’s only so much bandwidth my brain can really have.

    Taylor as the Mama Bear in the industry:

    "People who aren’t active fans of your music, who like one song but love to hear who has been canceled on Twitter. I’ve had several upheavals of somehow not being what I should be. And this happens to women in music way more than men. That’s why I get so many phone calls from new artists out of the blue -- like, “Hey, I’m getting my first wave of bad press, I’m freaking out, can I talk to you?” And the answer is always yes! I’m talking about more than 20 people who have randomly reached out to me. I take it as a compliment because it means that they see what has happened over the course of my career, over and over again."

    Andrew Lloyd Webber loves Tik Tok! No, really!

    You need to keep your influences broad and wide-ranging, and my favorite people who make music have always done that. I got to work with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the Cats movie, and Andrew will walk through the door and be like, “I’ve just seen this amazing thing on TikTok!” And I’m like, “You are it! You are it!” Because you cannot look at what quote-unquote “the kids are doing” and roll your eyes. You have to learn.
    . . . Andrew says that they’ve made musicals cool again, because there’s a huge musical facet to TikTok. [He’s] like, “Any way we can do that is good.”

    I do think about it [starting her own label or management company] every once in a while, but if I was going to do it, I would need to do it with all of my energy. I know how important that is, when you’ve got someone else’s career in your hands, and I know how it feels when someone isn’t generous.

    Ahem, Scott B.

    Re-recording her masters:

    I think that we’re working off of an antiquated contractual system. We’re galloping toward a new industry but not thinking about recalibrating financial structures and compensation rates, taking care of producers and writers.

    We need to think about how we handle master recordings, because this isn’t it. When I stood up and talked about this, I saw a lot of fans saying, “Wait, the creators of this work do not own their work, ever?” I spent 10 years of my life trying rigorously to purchase my masters outright and was then denied that opportunity, and I just don’t want that to happen to another artist if I can help it. I want to at least raise my hand and say, “This is something that an artist should be able to earn back over the course of their deal -- not as a renegotiation ploy -- and something that artists should maybe have the first right of refusal to buy.” God, I would have paid so much for them! Anything to own my work that was an actual sale option, but it wasn’t given to me.

    Thankfully, there’s power in writing your music. Every week, we get a dozen synch requests to use “Shake It Off” in some advertisement or “Blank Space” in some movie trailer, and we say no to every single one of them. And the reason I’m rerecording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on. I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials. But I only want that if I own it.

    Do you know how long that rerecording process will take?

    I don’t know! But it’s going to be fun, because it’ll feel like regaining a freedom and taking back what’s mine. When I created [these songs], I didn’t know what they would grow up to be. Going back in and knowing that it meant something to people is actually a really beautiful way to celebrate what the fans have done for my music.

    That's a clear gauntlet thrown down. She's sending the message to all of these licensee requestors to not give up . . . just hold on and she WILL start saying yes again only AFTER it will not create profit for Koots. That's not what Carlyle Group will want the requestors to see. Smart.

    Ten years ago, on the brink of the 2010s, you were about to turn 20. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time?

    Oh, God -- I wouldn’t give myself any advice. I would have done everything exactly the same way. Because even the really tough things I’ve gone through taught me things that I never would have learned any other way. I really appreciate my experience, the ups and downs. And maybe that seems ridiculously Zen, but … I’ve got my friends, who like me for the right reasons. I’ve got my family. I’ve got my boyfriend. I’ve got my fans. I’ve got my cats.

    Using the word boyfriend unambiguously in print! Guess that kontract was renewed!

    But no, cry the kays!! b/c hand reasons!

    Makes total sense to me!

    So this was interesting! CBS did an interview with the main Carlyle dude:

    Carlyle Group co-CEO Kewsong Lee is confident in the private equity firm’s recent investment in Taylor Swift’s back catalog via Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.

    “I’ve got every confidence in the world that it’s going to turn out to be a successful investment,” Lee told CNBC host Wilfred Frost on Wednesday's (Dec. 11) episode of Squawk on the Street.

    . . .

    During the CNBC interview, Lee largely skirted Frost’s direct questions on the Swift dispute, noting he isn't “involved in the day-to-day of all of our portfolio companies.” When Frost quoted a tweet by Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- in which the Democratic presidential candidate said Swift “is one of many whose work has been threatened by a private equity firm" -- Lee also declined to directly address it.
    Probs not loving the impression that this asset is going to be worth approximately $0.00 in a year! Tay's done such a good job of getting that message out there.

    The fact that the CEO of a major private equity firm has to defend himself on this issue is probably why Taylor went ahead and called out ALL the investors in her speech. This is how she is going to get them to the table to negotiate. They don't WANT to be put into a defensive position by the media on this AT ALL, and that's where she's cornering them.

    Um . . . :

    Okay! will do a birthday round-up maybe tomorrow? If I'm lucky to have time? As far as Birthday Watch 2019 goes: Gigi, Lily Aldridge, Abigail, Martha, Kennedy, Antoni, JVN, Ash A., Selena, Lena, Claire, Todrick, Kelsea Ballerini, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer have all already reported in as Birthday Cheerleaders. Nothing from Karlie!

    Claire came through with the cutest of pics so far:

    Taylor is performing in NYC at the Jingle Bell Ball, but she's opening instead of closing . . . presumably so she can throw a Thirtay Birthtay Partay in Tribeca tonight. Fans have already filmed bodyguards carrying lots of balloons into the apartment building.

    Really really really hoping for bday pics!

    Last edited by ophy; 12-13-2019, 02:47 PM.


    • I don't think her speech was complaining at all. I thought it was interesting and she gave a look back at her decade and also made a point to note what her intentions are moving forward. As someone who sits through an annual awards banquet, it seemed pretty standard (except we have no women in the industry so the ones who win are just like super grateful and don't actually have the power to call out the men in the room. SO KUDOS, TAYLOR.

      I love Loud Taylor way more than any earlier incarnation.

      My guess is Karlie Kloss could never be brave enough to give a speech that speaks truth to power.
      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


      • Loud Taylor is fantastic. I loved the speech, loved her calling out the investors, loved her giving shoutouts to all of the female artists. She has power and she’s using it. Which again: why would the Kays believe that someone this into being loud and living her best life be hiding her wife because of some “bearding contract”? IT DOESN’T ADD UP.

        I like the rompers, but mostly I am fascinated with the thigh high boots she is wearing all the time. Her legs are like a mile long and I am envious because mine are like short tree stumps.

        I think it's more likely that she just got bored and moved on. And that they likely weren't all that close to begin with and the "OMG besties" front they presented was short-lived if not largely exaggerated
        I think the OMG besties being exaggerated is spot on. It was performative and Taylor and probably some of them, are over it. I don’t have an exact quote, but it feels like Taylor has hinted about that being the case.

        I get the Karlie defense, and maybe Josh is better than the rest of his family, but I would want to see any sign of rebellion, even a small one, to not consider her part of the Trump Problem.
        Last edited by vanessa; 12-15-2019, 06:44 AM.


        • I agree that a lot about the squad days were highly performative! Taylor has basically said as much, and that she regrets it now. Nowadays, though, it's really fucking hard to figure out who she is still close to. They have to be such a ninja about it.

          Taylor's bday performance at the Jingle Ball in NYC:

          I like this a little better than the London romper, but not a lot better!

          The cat cake!

          That hat!!!!

          Halsey filled Taylor's JBB dressing room with balloons:

          Gigi, Martha, Cazzie, Abigail were at the show:

          But of course, the real festivities happened after the show . . .

          Taylor and Abigail leaving the JBB:

          So the Thir-Tay Birth-Tay Par-tay was at a restaurant, not her apt:

          New York, NY - *EXCLUSIVE* - Camila Cabello attends Taylor Swift's 30th birthday bash at Oscar Wilde restaurant in NYC. Many celeb guests were in attendance including Gigi Hadid, Halsey, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds, Martha Hunt, and Joe Alwyn. The big group of friends all met up around 10pm at the restaurant and left around 2 am.

          Blake and Ryan leaving Oscar Wilde's:

          Camilla arriving:

          Camilla leaving:

          So it was THAT kind of partay. And errybuddy got a hat?!

          Paps did not take/sell pics of everyone who came and went, which makes me think there might have been another way in and out.

          We did get a few inside pics . . .

          A 2nd cat cake!

          Otherwise, mostly just photo booth pics, tbh.


          Halsey's entry into the circle of trust is interesting to me! Hopefully she's not a John Mayer sleeper agent!

          Antoni and JVN:


          Squad (Martha, Gigi, Jari, Abi, Ash):

          I think the dark haired guy is Antoni's boyf?

          Taylor's backup singers:

          And members of her band:

          There's some debate about whether or not Joe really made it or if he's still in London working. His latest movie hasn't actually stopped filming yet, and some of the cast are working through the weekend. Austin and Andrea were both spotted in the background of some partay insta stories, but not Joe yet. Paps said he was there, but the fandom is skeptical unless they see pics. It was like that after the NYC NYE party they threw last year, too . . . people insisted Joe wasn't there until he was finally spotted in the background because he wasn't included in any actual group pics. I don't think he'll ever be front and center in any group pics from any event they do, b/c that's like, the OPPOSITE of how they roll . . . and unfortunately, the restaurant lighting was a lot dimmer at the birthday party so it's really hard to see who is and isn't there.

          Joe has Christmas Carol promo to do in NYC in a couple of days, though. And Taylor is doing Cats promo in NYC those same days, so maybe they will be spotted out and about. Of course, she's made that a lot harder now that her new garage is finished at her apartment! The garage made it's debut this weekend. The NY paps are probs grumbling about that.

          In Big Machine news, Koots has been DMing fans (WHYYYYY) again to say that he has reached out to Taylor to offer her to buy ALL of Big Machine, but that she's refusing to meet face to face.

          Okay so 1) it's still way creepy that he's DMing rando fans, especially with business negotiation details, 2) it's VERY unlikely that Taylor is going to buy all of Big Machine b/c why would she want to? That would also mean SHE would be paying to own other artists' masters (Thomas Rhett, Danielle Bradbury, Florida Georgia Line, etc.) which is NOT what she wants, 3) Tying her masters to the sale of the entire record label is just a way to get her to waaaaay overpay for her own masters, 4) this seems like just another trick to make Koots look like the good guy and make Taylor look like the bad guy. I don't think anyone thinks he is serious about this.

          Koots also posted this yesterday:

          (Plato obvs did not say that. Koots is just real dumb.)

          Despite errrything, I'm still hoping she re-records!

          Back to birth-tay stuff:

          Cazzie gave us a new pic of Benji, and I am a sucker for the not-so-smol prince:

          So did Lily Aldridge:

          And called Taylor her ride or die:

          So I guess they are still friends?

          And Jaime King's husband posted this pic:

          It's a throwback, so I don't know if it suggests that they are still friends or not, but! Taylor said in a recent interview that her friends with two kids (and the ages matched up to the same age as the King kids) were staying with her at her LA house a few weeks ago, so Swifties think they still hang out, but just on the down low.

          Meanwhile, Karlie, the one friend we KNOW was discarded like a wilted flower DID post a birthday post on the 13th . . .

          . . . for somebody else.

          (Karlie also posted a bunch of pics from holiday parties this weekends, which goes to sho she was in NYC, but NOT invited to Taylor's shindig big surprise.)

          But the kays say, hey! it's all good . . .

          The 'easter egg' about Project R. is -I think! - because PR is doing a Cats related episode? and for some reason they think Taylor made that happen for her wife even though the production company behind Cats and NBC is the same? #corporate-synergy And somehow that is also related to the big door pic from the Cats set that Taylor posted?

          . . . but none of the trivial stuff matters, because you know, they will always have EVERY SINGLE COLOR A PERSON CAN WEAR to keep their faith strong!

          Last edited by ophy; 12-15-2019, 10:04 AM.


          • Scooter DMing random fans is hella weird. Doesn’t he have PR people to tell him how this works? (Rhetorical question; he must, but they are bad at their jobs).

            unfortunately, the restaurant lighting was a lot dimmer at the birthday party so it's really hard to see who is and isn't there.
            I count on Swifties to do a frame by frame analysis of every vid posted and let us know for sure. I am sure the Kays will see Karlie’s feet in one of them. I kinda want them to find Joe in the pics so that the cray will amp up for my amusement.


            • That 2nd cat cake is terrifying.


              • I clapped at her Billboard speech. She was so specific about calling people out and I LOVED it. And his response to fans on DM is cringey. Like she's supposed to be grateful that she's being offered the chance to buy her masters, but only if it means that she has to overpay for them and they come with a product that she doesn't want the headache of managing? They're basically asking her to buy *their* problematic investment so they can wash their hands of all the drama and still enjoy a massive pay day and are mad that she's not willing to negotiate within the setting they're asking for. I mean, if they held one of her cats hostage and she was allowed to buy it back, but it came with SO MANY OTHER CATS, LIKE EVERY OTHER FUCKING CAT oh and also, it would cost her half a billion dollars, why would she agree to that?

                Karlie posting about someone else's birthday on Taylor's 30th was a giant FU. I don't know how else that's supposed to be interpreted. And I do agree that whatever happened between them was different and separate from the other friend dumps Taylor's gone through from her 1989 days. I kind of wonder if maybe their friendship cooled with that party Karlie threw at Taylor's and then ended altogether with some other scenario. Like maybe Karlie was trying to insert herself in the Taylor/Scooter drama by acting as a go between. It doesn't seem like Taylor cares that much if her close friends stay friends with people she doesn't like as long as they don't try to persuade her to like that person also. But if Karlie was actively trying to get Taylor to end her feud with Scooter, that's a deal breaker. That would make me cut ties, for real. And it would explain why Karlie seems over it, too.


                • Cats premiere is tonight in NYC, fyi. I wonder if Taylor is going to bring Benji and the ladies to the carpet?

                  I would like to see it.

                  She's been sharing cute bts stuff today.

                  Not sure when red carpet pics will happen, but I'll bet Cats twitter will be LIT tomorrow.

                  Hey! Taylor will be headlining Glastonbury next year:

                  This caused DRAMZ because 1) you had to buy tkts way in advance, before the headliner was announced so Swifties can't get tkts now and 2) the Glastonbury crowd is apparently not the most TSwift-friendly, according to people online? It'll probs be fine, though.

                  So Swifties DID try to analyze every shot to find Joe . . .

                  But then he was papped still filming in London yesterday:


                  The film wrapped today and he should be on his way to NYC right now for other promo duty, but yeah, totes suck that he had to work through her birthday.

                  Star Mag used that as an excuse to say that they had split, but Gossip Cop was quick to refute it -- so at least Tree! is still earning her keep:


                  Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn are not taking a break. A phony tabloid report claiming they are is false. Gossip Cop has investigated the story and can bust it.

                  Joe's been liking Taylor's posts and whatnot, so most Swifties didn't buy what Star was selling anyway.

                  Other things coming up!

                  Might see Taylor at . . .

                  Jan 5: Golden Globes (LA) (Beautiful Ghosts is nommed)
                  Jan 23: the netflix doc Miss Americana premieres at sundance festival
                  Jan 26: Grammys
                  Feb 2: BAFTAS
                  Feb 9: Oscars

                  Here's the description for Miss Americana:

                  Like she's supposed to be grateful that she's being offered the chance to buy her masters, but only if it means that she has to overpay for them and they come with a product that she doesn't want the headache of managing? They're basically asking her to buy *their* problematic investment so they can wash their hands of all the drama and still enjoy a massive pay day


                  It's absolutely ridiculous that they think anyone is gonna buy that as an acceptable solution to the quagmire they landed themselves in. Taylor's $$$ is not going to bail them out. As long as she can just run out the clock until re-recording time, she's holding all the cards!

                  I also think that Koots thinks that Taylor fans are stupid?

                  . . . this in reference to the "When your friend buys Taylor Swift" post when the deal was announced -- errrybuddy in fandom saw that he reposted that to his insta story, so . . . . and oh hey! here's a screenshot:

                  SO I GUESS YOU ARE 'THAT PERSON', KOOTS.

                  I mean, even the most impartial person has to have noticed that there have been lots of receipts that Koots has been attempting to gaslight the world, and none that prove Taylor has. Even if nobody is 100% transparent and honest in business dealings, it's really not hard to figure out who is on the side of the angels here, duh.

                  O-kay, just a toe dip into some kay stuff . . . the rival kween who was the first really major kay to come right out and say that k'lor was kaput has backdated the kaput-ness to a whole year ago (which contradicts what her 'sources' were supposedly telling her all year, but wevs.)

                  It's causing major dramz because now rando kays are MAD that so many of the majors 'misled' them for so many months post-break-up.

                  New! timeline! from the rival kween:

                  Could you do a timeline ? I’m so confused about when they first broke up and for how long and when they got back together and for how long. You said they broke up after the engagement or wedding?

                  They broke up/separated in late October 2018. Got back together(ish) briefly in June 2019, Broke up for good in early July 2019.

                  Okay, if you say so!

                  It’s only fair if you tell us some things Taylor did to cause the breakup instead of letting people blame Karlie

                  Yes, it’s fair. (These elements were vetted beforehand). I won’t give more details so please don’t ask:
                  Tay broke many promises made to Kar over time, about big stuff and small stuff. She was very demanding, jealous, insecure, stubborn, she made mistakes also out of anger, and it hurt Kar a lot over time. Tay’s known anxiety and paranoia got worse over time, which made things more complex for Kar to deal with on a daily basis.

                  I think the resistance of people to believe you could come because so many kaylors follow other blogs that also have sources and nothing has been said about the break up. So they are either lying, ignoring it or just don't know about it yet, but people get protective over the blogs they follow. To me what you say makes a lot of sense but I want to see how other blogs I follow react before I fully believe something.

                  It’s fair, Anon. And i understand it. Once again, it’s about explaining what is allowed to be. Ultimately it changes nothing to the big picture anyway that only a part of Kaylors believes it or not for now. Time will show, no matter what.

                  And contrary to what some people still try to push, i’m really far from being the only one knowing about the real situation, i’m just part of the very few who have been explaining publicly about a part of the behind the scenes, for the past year or so.

                  The others might be lying liars who lie, but not this gal! SHE ONLY SPEAKS TRUUUUTH.

                  But yeah, there's real anger out there towards the others:

                  I can't believe [former kween who flounced] LIED to us all about the girls being together + okay after October 18th & that they were working together to find a solution & that Taylor was okay with Karlie trying to salvage her own career! Taylor was NOT okay with it at ALL apparently. Or else they wouldn't of been estranged since the first 'wedding' & Taylor wouldn't kind of blame Karlie for the masters situation & keep letting her fans attack her despite the breakup in July being mutual. YIKES, no wonder [former kween who flounced] left us!

                  But! former kween defended herself by pointing fingers where they rightfully belong . . . at Karlie:

                  I found out the day before the album came out and it threw me for a loop because for over a year we had been fed that things were fine. So not only did it take me a hot second to process everything, I also wasn’t allowed to say anything. Plus I really didn’t want to be ~that~ person that started a bunch of drama the day the album came out. It would have ruined the experience for everyone else like it did me, rip. Also let’s be honest, y’all wouldn’t have believed me anyways, and whether y’all believe it or not still, you know Karlie continuing her shit with Josh was/is weird and it wouldn’t have happened if the girls were still together. Because newsflash, they’re not, and haven’t been for a long time.

                  This is also the reason I went MIA. I felt guilty for not being able to say much and I refused to post/pretend like everything was okay, so I hoped some of you would figure it out if I went MIA.

                  Also if y’all want to blame anyone, blame the people on Karlie’s team that have been feeding blogs on here a bullshit narrative about how the girls are fine. It wasn’t until I was told some of what went down that I realized Karlie and her team have been stringing us along for more than a year.

                  As for how the actual kween is handling things, she's . . . well . . . :

                  Someone posted on their blog on Tay’s birthday that Kaylor broke up. They also said they are never getting back together. How would they know that?

                  taytaysbeard answered:

                  Anyone posting that on Taylor’s birthday, of all days, has an agenda. A day her fans jumped on social media to celebrate Taylor’s 30th birthday, and someone wants to rain on the parade. Insert eye roll emoji. Sounds like an anti, or a Jerk/Scooby troll.

                  And, if this troll is honestly claiming to know the future of a relationship they are not involved in, I would question their sanity. Just yikes!

                  Fortunately I follow good people on tumblr who care about Taylor (and Karlie) and the other people in this community. So I have not seen such a post. But if you are accurate, this person is not a Kaylor, Taylor or Karlie fan. They also do not care about people in our tumblr fandom. They have a motive to sow discourse … on a day we wanted to celebrate. Seems we have had our share of blogs like that of late. Gee, I wonder why.

                  You know you can blame Koots for a lot of things, but it's REALLY hard to imagine he's to blame for this one.

                  Karlie posting about someone else's birthday on Taylor's 30th was a giant FU. I don't know how else that's supposed to be interpreted.


                  And the real actual truth behind the real actual breakdown of that BFF-hood (whatever that truth is) is definitely more interesting than whatever fanfiction the kays are coming up with now to explain away the not-real breakup of a not-real couple they have all based on not-real sources.

                  Last edited by ophy; 12-16-2019, 05:36 PM.


                  • Karlie posting about someone else's birthday on Taylor's 30th was a giant FU. I don't know how else that's supposed to be interpreted.
                    There is no other rational way, but I bet the Kays have some story about the girls having to hide their love or something.

                    And the real actual truth behind the real actual breakdown of that BFF-hood
                    I really want that truth!

                    The move to blame it on “Karlie’s team” is brilliant, IMO. It cannot be disproven and it saves face for the former rival kween. “We weren’t delusional freaks; Karlie’s team lied to us!” It’s the best possible way out of this mess the kweens have created.


                    • I still totally believe we'll know all in a few years. Somebody will spill.
                      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                      • LOVE THIS DRESS.

                        (I do not know why her lip was a bit swollen.)

                        IT HAS POCKETS.

                        Apparently, it's Oscar de la Renta.

                        You can see the shoes here.

                        Meh. Too matchy!

                        Overall, I am digging the whole riotous colorful maximalistisc-ness of that ensemble. It's a much of muchness that seems appropriately theatrical for the event. I might be influenced by the fact that the ogirl haaaates almost everything anybody wears to any event, but totally fell in love with this.

                        I like Tree!'s dress too:

                        Other than Jason Derulo, the rest of the cast went colorless and drab last night!

                        Frankie's dress is pretty, though.

                        Dunno what to say about Jennifer Hudson's 'Widow who just dumped arsenic in her third husband's tea' dress.

                        Idris yum.

                        Bits and pieces from the carpet:

                        Lin-Manuel, ha:

                        I think I went a little bit more than everyone else. I was really shall we say enthusiastic about the whole thing, I was watching on set, I was in rehearsals all the time, and they were like, ‘You know, these aren’t mandatory! She’s just coming in every day, all day.’ I think they were like, 'What do we do with her now? She’s just sitting on set, taking up a director’s chair. She’s still there. She’s saying she wants to do cat school again.

                        — Taylor to E! News on spending lots of time on set

                        I just think, I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently, turning 30 and having it be the end of a decade and all these things. And honestly. I’m so happy right now, it’s crazy. And I never want to jinx that, but I think one thing I’ve really learned is to really be there when you’re happy. Let happiness happen. Don’t let happiness become something where you’re like, ‘Oh, but what’s going to go wrong?’ I’m actually just allowing myself to really sit with the happiness.

                        — Taylor to Access Hollywood on what she’s learned rounding her 30th birthday

                        (When you see glowy happy Taylor like this HOW could you ever think she's a gal going through a devastating break-up from a sekrit wife of many years instead of a woman in love with her non-sekrit boyfriend?? HOW.)

                        Speaking of! Joe made it from London in time for the premiere, so that was special:

                        We got only ONE pic of them last night, as they were leaving:

                        I am not mad about the color of his ensemble. Purty. Would like more pics, though! I suppose it's possible there was an afterparty and some pics will leak out, dunno. We didn't get pics of them arriving at her apt afterwards because of that [email protected]*&ing garage.

                        I do love the fact that Taylor has become so close to the Queer Eye guys that they sit with her friends and family.

                        Antoni and Jonathan both look UHMAZING.

                        So I guess the good news is that the premiere went well, and Taylor and Joe sat together! for the first time during at any event or screening (usually it's for his films, and he sits with his cast) and the bad news is that Taylor and Andrew Lloyd Weber's song Beautiful Ghosts didn't make the short list for the Oscars even though they got nommed for a Golden Globe.

                        Technically it was released the day the submissions closed, though, and the movie missed the Oscar's deadline completely. I guess it's possible that it could be nommed in the next cycle. If it was just flat out snubbed . . .? Obvs they could/might snub Taylor, but would they snub ALW?? He's been out there doing promo like mad, it's not like it's just a TSwift production.

                        Even 'Catchy Song' from the Lego movie got on the shortlist, and it's lyrics are like . . .

                        So I'm going to assume this was a deadline issue, and that's it.

                        The worst part of all is that we might not see Taylor do anything Oscar related in 2020. Joe's movie Harriet might get noms for Cynthia Erivo, but that could be all. So he might not be going to anything this time. We got spoiled with all The Favourite content last awards season.

                        This awards season will probs be way more dull for Swifties.

                        If you are wondering if the movie itself is any good:


                        This is entirely irrelevant to CATS, but this bit from Selena about how Taylor and Andrea reacted to her new music is very sweet:

                        “I played some of it for Taylor. I was with her when I played her some of it. I’ll never forget when I did play the video for “Lose You To Love Me“ and “Look At Her Now“, at her house, with her parents - and it was one of the coolest experiences because I’ve been friends with her for over a decade, and love her family as well.

                        So I was like, ‘You wanna just maybe see the video,’ and she’s like, ‘Amazing! Of course!’ It was so hysterical, she started turning every single light off in the kitchen, and her mom is like, ‘It’s not that intense Taylor…’

                        And then she played it, and her and her mom just started crying, like just tears and tears, and all the sudden the video stopped, and it’s gonna make me cry thinking about it because it wasn’t just about how great the song was, which is a lot coming from her, it was just that they had been on that journey with me, intimately. And they were crying because of how proud they were for me stepping into a whole new era of my life, and it not involving horrible things - the abuse, the emotional chaos. It felt like I had a huge sigh of relief, and to see her and her mom feel that way - it was very sweet. It’s like an older sister and an aunt proud of their family.”

                        – Selena Gomez on playing Taylor and her family some of her new music

                        I really do think part of why Taylor hates Koots so much is because of everything Selena went through with Justin. He's Justin's manager, but also kind of his guru and mentor and one of his closest friends. Jelena insiders have always said Koots has enabled all of Justin's worst and most dickish behavior for years (and used their relationship for headlines over and over -- even when Selena was at her most vulnerable, and even when Justin's public cheating left her totally humiliated again and again). It must have been really stressful for Taylor to watch Selena keep going back into that abuse and manipulation and not be able to do anything to save her.

                        I mean . . .if the friend you feel most protective over has a total asshole for a boyfriend and the person with arguably the most influence over that boyfriend was always like, "You fucked over Selena again with some rando model? Sweet! Lemme call TMZ and send a pap to her house to get pics of her crying!", you'd also hate them both with a burning fiery hate.

                        Sample of TMZ Jelena headlines . . .

                        "Justin Bieber calls Selena Gomez 'a drunk'"

                        "Is Selena Gomez just using Justin Bieber for publicity?"

                        "SELENA GOMEZ 'EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWN' IN HOSPITAL Now Receiving Mental Health Treatment"

                        "JUSTIN BIEBER, SELENA GOMEZ: His Hailey Baldwin Chat LANDED 'EM IN COUPLES THERAPY"

                        "JUSTIN BIEBER can spot an opportunist from a mile away … at least now he can, and the opportunist is SELENA GOMEZ."

                        "JUSTIN BIEBER: TOO BAD, SELENA ...It IS Too Late To Say Sorry"

                        I mean, you just KNOW Koots was behind quotes like this:

                        JB sources tell TMZ ... Selena's been trying to contact Justin since the social media war went nuclear Monday night -- but Justin's not responding. We're told he feels like his ex won't let go, and she's constantly looking for ways to insert herself in his biz.

                        TMZ report that "Bieber and his friends are laughing at Selena's 'bad influence' claims, because they say she's always the drunk at the party. Bieber acknowledges he gets wasted, but whenever he had parties Selena was downright competitive ... smoking as much weed as the guys and sometimes outdoing them. They say she was also HEAVY into booze. We're told Justin believes Selena's parents are behind the blame game, because they HATE him. He thinks they are fueling Selena's anger and making him a scapegoat. Justin says he's happy he's no longer with Selena because she's just too high maintenance ... and out of control."

                        So gross. You wouldn't plant things like that about a person you actually ever cared for.

                        Taylor loves Selena, there's no way she wouldn't get indignant on her behalf for all of that. But of course that's not Taylor's story to share, so she might never add that to her list of 'why Kooter is a terrible human being' publicly.

                        Speaking of dress pockets, the kays have a 'theory' . . .

                        Taylor looks so cute posing confidently with her hands in her pocket… reminds me of someone.

                        Also, the Kween has ALWAYS said that Taylor would NEVER bring a beard to the CATS premiere or any other major career event, so the kays are flailing over Joe being there last night.

                        Toe was not at her birthday he was busy filming in London, despite what the articles and gossip mags want you to think. He’s promoting a Christmas Carol today on talk shows in NY. After the spilt rumors started flying they HAD to have stunt last night or things would have gotten out of hand. Believe me when I say they are not happy the Oscars didn’t work out. They were banking on one of them getting the other there with Harriet and Cats. We could be seeing more spilt rumors around Oscar time.

                        Taylor looks more happy with other people on the premiere than with her so called boyfriend and yet toes can't see that, instead they happy seeing their photo which Taylor obviously look sad in it ‍♂ please, like they're too blind to see what's in front of them.. They'll only see it if the break up news came, now who's the fake fans here jk

                        I think Taylor deliberately looks that way with him. I really feel like the end is near … the blue is very interesting… the transparency of his absence at her birthday, and that taking a break article. Hopefully the turn of the decade befalls the facade.

                        he is wearing all blue. by the way i wanted to thank you that after pride month did not pan out that you did continue to be open about the possibility that he would be kept around through the awards season. today felt extra predictable because of it.

                        Yes! A mutual just tipped me off to the blue too. Good thinking anon! ☺️

                        Beards wore blue on their last outing with Taylor

                        Every time Joe wears blue (which is his fave color, so . . .) they like to remind the world that BLUE = CONTRACT ENDING, even though he's worn blue maybe a dozen times in the past three years and yet! contract still seems intact.

                        But wait . . . was it BLUE or was it . . .

                        Mail online described toe’s suit as teal - interesting?

                        This is super interesting because Karlie posted this few days old rather randomlater gram today.

                        So this one is a twofer! It's both BLUE for 'bye bye beard', and TEAL for 'Joe is just a stand in for Karlie'. That's smart.

                        Holding hands with your boyfriend as you leave your Big Budget movie premiere really IS a great way to sell a break-up narrative!

                        I still totally believe we'll know all in a few years. Somebody will spill.

                        Yep . . .

                        The move to blame it on “Karlie’s team” is brilliant, IMO. It cannot be disproven and it saves face for the former rival kween. “We weren’t delusional freaks; Karlie’s team lied to us!” It’s the best possible way out of this mess the kweens have created.

                        . . . and yep.
                        Last edited by ophy; 12-17-2019, 10:50 AM.


                        • Taylor's dress is super glam and dramatic and I think it's perfect for this premiere, but it's also a little bit grandma's fancy couch in her formal living room that we are not allowed to touch. That said, I will endorse just about any dress with pockets so I'll never be mad at this one.

                          And for such a complicated and long running scam as Kaylor would have to be, you'd think the two teams would communicate better. If they could manage to coordinate social media posts and let Karlie know to post a latergram of herself wearing the same color that Joe would later wear to Taylor's premiere, you'd like to believe that they could figure out whether Taylor and Karlie are still, like, actually together before they send any updates to random bloggers?

                          I still totally believe we'll know all in a few years. Somebody will spill.


                          • (I do not know why her lip was a bit swollen.)
                            Well, Joe had been in London while she was in NYC and they were probably reunited the night before, so of course that swollen lip is from wild sex.
                            Or a cat claw.

                            I like the fabrics on that dress a lot, but it could have been a more interesting design, gown-wise.

                            Joe is pretty much made to wear blue, so I am not sure I get the link to Karlie, but okay, sure.


                            • She kept her hands in her pockets is an Old Hollywood euphemism for lesbian?

                              Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                              • The reviews of Cats are epically bad. I had no interest in seeing it until I saw how genuinely awful it apparently is; now I am fascinated. A few reviews thought Taylor was better than the film, but a lot of them did not.