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PREACH IT! Taylor Swift fools (almost) everyone

Taylor-swift-vma Say! Let’s check out the headlines and see what made news at the Video Music Awards!

"Taylor Swift forgives Kanye West in a song," declared Radar this morning. "Taylor Swift absolves," the Washington Post confirmed. And via MTV, the outfit that hosted the VMAs and the celebrities in question: "Taylor Swift sings 'forgiveness' song to Kanye at VMAs."

Zowie. A trend, says I.

And also, a mystery: Because, good Lord, what MTV VMA show did these people watch? The one we saw did indeed feature Swift singing a painfully self-indulgent song while strumming a guitar stolen from a steampunk convention. But it certainly wasn’t a ditty of forgiveness. Not unless you also consider Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow to be soul mates who just had a couple of misunderstandings.

Swift’s lyrics went like this:

It's all right, just wait and see

Your streaming lights are still bright to me oh

Who you are is not who you've been

You're still an innocent

It's OK, life is a tough crowd

32 and still growing up now

Who you are is not what you did

You're still an innocent

For every carrot Swift hands to Kanye, she adds the slap of a stick. His "streaming lights" are still bright -- well, to her, anyway. Yes, Kanye is more than his sins; then again, he's "still growing up now."

Add it all up, and Swift’s "forgiveness" song turns out to be little more than an underhanded, transparent dis pulled straight from the Sarah Palin school of rhetoric: Millions of people may say you’re a loser, but not me, no sir! I just love your big ol' steaming pile of faults!

Some in the media may have been fooled by Swift's fake concession, but not the Ministry of Gossip. A full year after Kanye stole her microphone, Swift is still offering slams disguised as "forgiveness."

Which begs another question: Who is it, exactly, who needs to "grow up"?

-- Leslie Gornstein

Photo: Taylor Swift performs at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, 2010, in Los Angeles. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (22)

Kanye is a genius, Taylor is overrated! She can barely sing live.

It was a forgiveness song. You can be as nitpicky as you want, but she says it like it is. He needs to grow up...he said it himself in his twitter. Maybe you're the one who needs to grow up and stop picking on 20 yo women.

“Kanye! Kanye! Kanye,” the crowd chanted after he was done. It was the night’s only standing ovation. Strategically, if this doesn’t work, I don’t know what will. But based on the crowd’s reaction, it appears to have done the trick. It was a Kanye lovefest.

Nice point but she's right, he does need some growing up to do and it appears that he has. We all do. I think she is aware that she needs some growing up to do too. If she isn't then shame on her lol.

Listen, Taylor Swift brings so much class to the VMAs, and you just slam her? What kind of reporter are you?? She knew people would think she hates Kanye (which they would have) if she didn't forgive him properly. Well, that was her chance, and she took it FEARLESSLY. If you can't accept the fact that she's right and both you AND kanye are wrong, you're crazy.

Leslie -
You are misusing the term "begs the question." It does not mean "which raises the question."

It refers to a logical fallacy or circular argument.

Well, she's 10 years younger than him, wrote this song a year ago and managed to not fill her performance with profanity.

I'm still going with Kanye West as needing to grow up.

Hey, let's not forget that Kanye is the one that is older than Taylor here..yes, maybe the whole song isn't just about forgiveness, but can you blame her? Kanye publicly humiliates her and the world gets to see it, then she never hears the end of it even a year later. She's got people saying she's only famous because of him..she's got people cracking jokes about it all year long..it was her right to pen this song and perform it.

Let's quit expecting so much from Taylor. While she does indeed come across as a mature young woman most of the time, she still is 20 years old. What were you like when YOU were 20? What would you have done in her situation?

She says
"32 IS still growing up now."
At least that's what I heard. And how is she bashing him in any way. She's saying she forgives him and that he is still a good person. You guys obviously hold a grudge against Taylor, because this site turns everything against her. I guess she can't do anything right. Now who needs to "grow up"?

Whats all the ruckus about? She's just showing him that she forgave him!

Taylor was trying to tell people that there is reality and pain in such a "glamour" world of MTV. She silenced them all for a minute.

Those who follow Taylor know that she has true talent and writing music is her outlet. You don't know how painful the ordeal was until you hear this song.

I think Taylor was the most mature there and I absolutely loved her guitar :) much love!

Taylor Swift is such a pathetic drama queen, and she still can't sing. Taylor when ARE you going to get some singing lessons?

These fans of Taylor that think she is such an innocent and not vengeful and self-indulgent are SO naive.

Her poise, reasoning, compassion and understanding should be a lesson to us all in this age of trite, vicious, ill-informed and shortsighted attacks. If she were my daughter, I would be incredibly proud of what I had nurtured. Her parents should be. She has buried the hatchet and shown many people what patience, reason and common sense can accomplish. Those who focus on the low road in these very complex political and social times should learn from her.

I love taylor swift, I went to see her live in newark nj and she sings like she does on her records, she's a great singer .Now Kanye west is no good , he can't sing, I hate his music and i dislike the way he come across, He's not a nice man!

That Leslie Gornstien interprets the song as a diss only illustrates her sad cynicism or bitter desire to instigate controversy. I saw Taylor's song and intentions as genuinely kind and compassionate.

Taylor Rocks! She looked gorgeous and gave a stellar performance.

Kanye cant sing....

taylor is the only true classy artist out there.
it's sad that a 20 year old is the one who schools everyone in that room.
and it's sad that this website and the writer of this article is so ignorant about the whole ordeal.
people attacked the girl with irrelevant reasons when all she wants to do is bring closure to the whole issue. she's a songwriter and known for autobiographical songs, and she does need to address this one way to another and she has done it with such class and composure for a 20 year old.
i'm not even a fan but i do know when people is sincere with their actions and certainly ms. swift wins in my book.

@scarlet, tyler, peto, mt96734....thank you for stating facts and thank you for commenting in your right minds not like the writer of this ignorant article.
after that performance, i've found a new level of respect for the girl. she definitely have taken the highroad, instead of bashing him in a song which she could, she opted to being kind and forgave him. she had to address this the incident so that the media and people who hold grudges on her understands that she already forgave him.
i think what she had done is very brave and mature of her, it takes balls.
if the writer of the article had comprehend the lyrics of the song, she would know that the song is about forgiveness and she knows that everybody makes mistakes and that mistakes doesn't define who the person really are.

this kind of article really angers me with so much ignorance and unnecessary hate, jesus i'm not even a fan of taylor's.

Taylor's voice -- probably one of the few all evening that wasn't autotuned -- sounded just fine ... even better when I switched to external speakers, punching her vocals out front with more clarity.
The only time she came close to the "pitchy vocal descriptions" so favored by her detractors was at the end, on the line "every one of us has MESSED UP" too."
Her tone here was just so purposely more strident than everything else in this beautiful song that I felt it was a deliberate reference to her Grammy duet with Nicks. So this song might not just have been one of FORGIVENESS but one of EMPATHY as well.
Think about it -- who else knows what it's like to reach staggering heights of popularity and then be crucified on the internet for perceived failings.

Reading the lyrics again as a song both TO someone and FROM someone who has felt the same pain, there is even greater poignancy in "STILL INNOCENT".

"Wasn't it beautiful
Running wild 'til you fell asleep
Before the monsters caught up to you"

This song had absolutely nothing to do with Kanye and everything to do with John Mayer. "Warpath" (Battle Studies) "lunchbox days" (83) "bigger bed to climb into" (John Mayer tweet)..32 years old, mistakes (no one over the past year has been more unfairly raked over the coals than John Mayer). Do I need to go on, because I can. And what about the way the song was so pathetically performed? Clearly not a song of apology or forgiveness. It's a song of support and acceptance and love. I'm sure the powers that be had something to do with the misleading introduction to the song. They had to do something after all, what with all of the hype. No wonder the audience was left confused. I'm glad to see that you didn't fall for the fake apology. You just didn't fall for it for all the wrong reasons.. Maybe she sang this song to tell the rest of us to "grow up".

Who cares, as human beings, they both suck!


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