Tayler Swift’s “Blank Space”: A society of “players” destroying the hopes of young women

I don’t often engage in cultural/social activities but when I do, I enjoy them for the observations. If left to my own devices I would happily shut myself up in my home and read books from now until the end of the universe several trillion years from now and I wouldn’t bore of that activity one minute during that entire duration. But occasions do arise where opportunities for observations across the fabric of civilization can be observed and I take them so not to become so absorbed in thought that sight of normalcy is lost—but retained for the benefit of intellectual exercise. On such occasions I typically drink Guinness beer specifically because it is well-known that it is the life blood of the giant Finn MacCool in one of my favorite novels Finnegan’s Wake. I’m not a beer drinker by any other indication other than it is a way to assimilate with the culture at large—so for me to make such a compromise there has to be roots into a mythology that means something to me—and in that great novel Finnegan and the events following in his wake were driven by the lifeblood of Dublin, Ireland itself—Guinness beer.

So I was having one of these cultural exercises in a very nice restaurant. The company was good, the events of the evening were stimulating and purposeful but my eyes and ears were fixed on a stunning blond woman playing the piano across the room at the bar. Males loomed near her as women feigned admiration. It was a catchy game that persisted most of the evening just under the silent roar of a thousand conversations. But I heard her music even from the distance of twenty-five table tops and the barrier of a private room with a stoic view out into the world of fine dining. With the life blood of Finn MacCool arriving routinely to my fingers I listened to this young women carefully to assess the tap-root she was cultivating—filling her tip jar with a lot of money.

So why didn’t many of the women around her rip her off her bar stool and hang her on a cross right there in front of everyone? Such a crucifixion would have been the dictates of their jealousy as their men were fixed on the starving artist dressed as a nymph from ancient Greece. It was because she was singing songs inspired by contemporary pop culture which spoke of a lot more than an attempt at eye candy. The images were contrasting—in one hand which spoke to the males in the room, the piano player was a sex symbol inviting herself to be planted with the DNA of the male on the highest peeking order rung—so the fantasy of the males was to be that one who would gain such an advantage and status. But to the females, the songs the young girl sang were about issues most of them were having at that very moment with their own efforts at love and everlasting matrimony—or the hope of securing a mate willing to turn over their life to the doormat of “WE.” One particular song uttered from the young girl’s vocal exchanges was a dedication to Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” The girl sang the song with such conviction that she actually dropped a tear off her high cheekbones to fall into the lap of a sparkly dress. I could see the shiny tear even from my great distance, and it was painful to watch.

Like beer I don’t participate much in regard to pop music. The only time I listen to an FM radio or new music CD is when I pass by someone who is thus listening. I never choose it on my own simply because there is no room for it in my very busy life. I don’t like to think about the kinds of things that musical artists want me to think about in their music because often it involves love lost, love desired, or in the case of minority music these days—whose hoe someone wishes to bitch slap back into the stone age. But when it comes to Tayler Swift, I do lend an ear because behind her work is a struggling young woman trying to find all the things that 99.999999999999999999999% of females universally want as 12-25 year old girls—love and respect. Yet, women like the protagonist in the Tayler Swift song “love the players, and you (men) love the game. It is impossible to not look at any mass collection of human beings and see this struggle playing out between men and women, where women believe they can make a bad guy good for a weekend only to find the “Starbucks” lovers of their boyfriend wanting secretly to be next in line to fix the bad boy yearnings within their own loins. So they call the old girl in line “insane” as if they could hope to do better. It’s the fantasy of most women, either redeeming a bad boy into a good boy, or stealing away one from another women—and its not always sex that they’re after–but the mind.

There are many men these days who don’t wish to grow up to be the hero of Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, or the latest Clint Eastwood film—but just want to be “players” from the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise. Young men these days want to be players—those specifically who play the field of females teasing them with serious relationships to get access to their sexuality only to throw them into their reserves like a fish caught upon a lake to either be completely devoured, or thrown back into the lake after their sport is done complete with scars from the hooks torn out of the female’s mouths.

In the music video to “Blank Space” you can tell before the song turns south toward tragedy that it’s headed toward a cliff of just another broken relationship. Tayler Swift is in trouble because the man she wants to love is playing on his phone as her head is in his lap. I thought this was a particularly powerful metaphor to the modern problem of “players” playing women for the sport of ruining their lives. From my vantage point of hearing the Tayler Swift song “Blank Space” from the neophyte at the piano bar there were a lot of phones out even as a perked up goddess sat across from them at a dinner table with fine wine poured into glasses lit like glittering treasure discovered after centuries of concealment. For those pathetic men, there should have been nothing better or more interesting than the woman in front of them with their make-up put on just like a model from Nordies. Yet the phones were out texting nobody something of even smaller importance.   Perhaps the intended targets were a new would-be girlfriend, a secret homosexual yearning for their best bud, or even a mother who can’t surrender her bosom to the arms of another—younger woman.

Now that I thought about it, this whole cell phone deal is a major cultural problem. Nice young women who deserve the utmost respect from their potential mates should not have to put up with the shared attention of a douche-bag dude who won’t put their phones away long enough to spend time with their dates. If a man is texting someone else in the presence of a beautiful young woman who is interested in him—she’s wasting her time because the guy doesn’t want to be a husband, or even a dedicated lover. He just wants to be a player which is just a new kind a fishing that men have invented for themselves now that real fishing as a sport is losing its luster in the right of passage rituals often passed from one generation to another. Since most young men don’t even know who their dads are these days—they have no man to show them how to put a worm on a hook to participate in the game of catching fish—so they have turned the human need to their sexual outlet of snagging up females—playing—with them, then throwing them back.

The young girl singing was not crucified by the other females because she was singing about the pain most of the women were already feeling—but were politely covering up. It was easy for me to see since I have no desire to assimilate into that culture with any measure of approval—but always have an eager ear toward the next page of a book I’m reading comfortable from my favorite reading chair. I felt for the singer at the piano bar as well as the female listeners in the vast audience. But more than anything I felt for Tayler Swift who wrote and performed the song obviously from personal experience. Even with her fine looks, wealth, and talent—many of the men she is meeting as young saplings are nothing but players still addicted to their broken childhoods and their guardians of the breast milk waiting too long to pull the tit from the mouth of an insecure child. Abused from birth—those players have nothing to offer nice girls like Tayler Swift, or the girl singing one of Swift’s songs at a piano bar in Cincinnati on a cold weekend evening. By the appearance of the occupants at the many tables between my Guinness beer and the weary eyes of the singer were many players serving as nothing more than ornaments to their dates as their phones were out texting nobody about nothing as a would-be goddess stared at them broken-hearted across a table of immaculately prepared food and wine.

Even though I don’t do it often I enjoyed the blood of Finn McCool and like the wake from that great Irish novel by James Joyce—I sat there and watched a generation wash away before my eyes from the perennial uttering of a lounge singer. Sure it was sad, but then again, that’s why I don’t do that kind of thing very often. I wish young ladies like Tayler Swift had the opportunity to have something besides their latest mistake. But unfortunately society isn’t making anything but “players” these days.

Rich Hoffman

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