Would love to hear your Shawn thoughts!
Anon 2: I'd be intrigued to hear your thoughts on Shawn (saw that in your hashtags recently)
Thanks anons - being asked for my opinion is my favourite thing.
An anon introduced me to this podcast a while back - asking about the Gryles episode - which I enjoyed, even if I obviously disagreed with a lot. Then @42mins started listening and she told me about the Shawn episodes, but at first I didn't realise it was the same podcast. I've now listened to quite a lot of the podcast and I find it really interesting.
For those who don't know, Shawn (a pseudonym) is a guest on the 'what I will say' (used to be called Swiftgron Nation). The story is that she dated a female popstar, and contacted the podcast to say 'yes these things happen'.
The story Shawn's telling is very much of a love smited by an evil music industry. She was there for her ex. She didn't want to break up with her ex. There was trickery, abuse and blackmail.
What I find most interesting about the way that she's telling her story - is that you get a view of another alternative peaking through. For example, Shawn says that her ex's number was changed by her team, to make sure Shawn couldn't get in contact with her ex. The ex has no agency in any of the stories Shawn tells.
I find Shawn an unreliable narrator in a very real way. Who wouldn't rather tell a story about how the bad music industry kept you apart, rather than acknowledge that your ex doesn't want to be with you? Because the way Shawn talks ellides very simple facts, like the fact that her ex could contact her any time if she wanted to.
Shawn could be making this all up - and not be who she says at all, but if so I'm very impressed at her grasp of psychology. It's the unreliability of her story that makes me think that she's telling us the story as she understands it. (I feel the same way about the way she talks about the industry, the way she talks is more authoratitive than the answers - that makes perfect sense to me as someone who has had her experiences). Basically the biggest pointer to me that she is who she says she is, is how unreliable her answers are.
I'd be really interested in what other people make of her.
I have some other thoughts from the podcasts - some of which are just fandom things that annoy me (the whole 'what relationship problems would a straight, white, cis, rich woman' is as absurd as it is tedious. I also find the very literal lyric interpretations, and the huge role that plays in the stories people tell based on assumptions I don't share. It does make me think that fans would have no idea who Taylor dates). But the one's I'm most interesting are about Taylor's storytelling - and how that intersects with her celebrity.
I hadn't realised how lightly Harry got off - how much everyone who goes out with Taylor regrets it and the stories she tells about them.
Partly I think it shows how expert Harry's response of 'she's a really good songwriter' is. And how much that response is based in his own strength (which isn't telling stories, but leaving space where other people can tell stories). Harry's approach disarms her stories, and means he hasn't been defined by them. (When even Maggie Gyllenhaal is like - shut the fuck up about the scarf already. The only other person who has got off OK is Joe Jonas, but that's because he has a wife who is much cooler than him and can say 'ha ha this is hilarious).
And the other thing is what an interesting and attractive story Taylor's relationship with Joe is. (I'm not making any claim to it's truth or not. I've no idea. I still think 'London Boy' lyrics are too bad for her to be in a realtionship with Joe logic is sound, but I will agree that there may be more compelling evidence out there). And what a skill it is to be able to tell interesting stories about yourself.
I think one of the pointed aspects of Louis and Harry's careers is that neither of them have been able to tell a story about themselves as interesting and appeallingas the story that Larries tell about
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