Opinion & Editorial

Non-Swifty’s take note: Music is ‘the’ thing

I am one of the millions of Americans infuriated that I couldn’t get tickets to see Taylor Swift. If you’re reading this and you’re also angry about how everything unfolded this last week, it’s okay. So am I. Our feelings are very valid, and I can assure you that you aren’t alone. 

Don’t worry, this isn’t another rant about how awful Ticketmaster is, I’m sure you’ve seen enough of that. This is a notice to all of the non-Swifty’s who don’t understand our broken hearts. 

“It’s just a concert” they say, mocking us.

It’s not just a concert.

Music is rejuvenating in ways that most concert-goers can’t put into words. This feeling

dates to the days where people couldn’t disappear with headphones wrapped securely around their ears in order to get their fix of musical therapy. In order to listen to music, people had to lug themselves into their community and it was there that they bonded, celebrated, and took part in remarkable, connected, orgasmic group releases that even the kids could enjoy.

Even as technology catches up with our sensibilities, we still find ourselves escaping into the depths of our communities – except now we’re piling into stadiums with thousands of people … most of whom are complete strangers to us. The parking is always atrocious. Everything is overpriced. The seats are small and we have to do that awkward “groin-to-face” interaction as we squeeze past one another in chairs that were made for quality, not quantity. Everything is loud.

The next day you’ve lost your voice, sleep, and a huge chunk of money. And maybe your hearing.

Why do millions of people still pay for this experience then? Especially if we do possess the power to just listen to music from all over the world in the comfort of our own homes?

If you’re a music lover, you already know the answer. 

The energy given to us by the performers we love – and the fellow fans that love them – can do months of healing that is sometimes more effective than therapy.

So if you don’t particularly like Taylor Swift, please just replace her name with a performer or a band that you really love and just understand that everyone deserves a chance to step outside into a community of people they feel safe around and celebrate life joyously as they embrace one of the few universal truths we have left. Music is healing. Music is necessary. Music saves lives. 

I can’t speak on behalf of other Swifty’s as to why they love Taylor. All I can tell you, is why I do and hope you can understand through my words why we’re a little pissed off. 

I could write a whole book detailing my thoughts on every single one of her songs starting from her breakout self titled album “Taylor Swift” and ending with the latest album, “Midnights,” that came out Oct. 21. (Which by the way, I already know all the lyrics to forward and backward.)

But for the purposes of this article, I’ll jump straight to the point:

Taylor’s love of life and love is infectious. Her universal lyrics that connect straight to her heart come straight back into ours and it is worth way more than any drug known to man. 

I compare the love I have for her to the love my father has for The Beatles. My father has done a lot of wrongs in my life, but the one thing he did right was give me his love of music. 

Specifically, music that makes you fall in love with life again. Music that can change the world. 

It’s worth noting that Taylor Swift is beating records that at a certain point had been held by none other than The Beatles themselves. 

So if you’re someone who LOVES the Beatles but doesn’t understand my generation’s obsession with Taylor – realize she is all four Beatles in one marvelous, awkward, authentic, beautiful woman. 

I remember when I first heard her voice. It was February of 2007 and I was in 5th grade, dreaming about the big wild world that still awaited me. I laid in the grass, dreaming about my one true love as I listened to “Teardrops on My Guitar” on repeat. 

A couple years later I did a presentation on the love stories that take place in the Renaissance Era. I worked on that presentation for hours, annoying my best friend with pleas of “just let me go through it one more time.” Playing gently in the background of that presentation, which I proudly got 105% on, was Taylor’s “Love Story” – a perfect hit romanticizing none other than the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. When I think of that song, I think back to that day. 

I spent middle school crushing on boys that chose my friends over me. And I couldn’t blame them, either. My friends were glorious people. And alone in my room I sang “You Belong With Me,” empathizing with what it felt like to be on the outside looking into a relationship you wish was yours. 

When 1989 came out in the fall of 2014, I had just entered college. I was alone in a new place surrounded by people that would become, for better or for worse, an unchosen family of peers that had one thing in common: we all had big dreams for the uncertain future. And here was Taylor, giving me the 1980’s vibe that got me through the breakup with my high school sweetheart, the loss of my innocence, and the beginning of a whole new life. 

In 2016 it was an off year for many people. Taylor herself was just coming out of her year-long hiatus from the world after being cyber bullied. Thankfully, that year also marked the beginning of what is now her greatest love story of them all. 

In the winter of 2016 the presidential election happened and my father left my family on Christmas Day. To this day, I still go back and forth on which incident felt worse. 

But I had my second great romance, a bright future ahead of me, and a Taylor Swift album to give me the strength to keep going.

In 2019, I had been out of college for a year. Right when one big romance was about to end, another great romance entered and swept me off my feet. Who knew that all this time when I was looking at other boys, wishing they were with me, there was a young boy staring at me with those same longing eyes?

The Lover album became the soundtrack to the beginning of my own great love affair. One that will, hopefully, age well past this article. 

But even if it doesn’t, Lover reminds me that life can take a lot of things away from you, but it will never take away the feeling of a great love – especially the requited ones. 

In 2020, at our absolute lowest, Taylor gave us not one, but TWO albums filled with beautiful fictional stories that had a better character arc and depth than some Netflix shows.

And now, in 2022, in what will forever be known as one of the worst years of my life (I won’t go into detail but I can tell you this, it *definitely* was worse than 2016. That much I know for sure) … Taylor didn’t just give me her 10th album. Taylor gave me a look into her soul and gave me a big giant hug through her lyrics to say “It’s okay. I have millions of dollars, all the clothes I can want, the love of my life, a bright future ahead of me, good friends, good pets, an amazing mom … and I, too, still have dark midnights where I hate myself.”

Not only has Taylor and her music been there for me, but through the years I’ve come to realize we have many things in common. Her favorite number is also the day she was born. (Hers is 13; mine is 16). She is just as obsessed with her cats as I am with my dogs. (She has Olivia, Meredith, and Ben – all named after fictional characters. I have Beast, Pinocchio, and Lady – all named after Disney characters).  We both love Christmas, musicals, storytelling, and the smell of a fresh new journal page. We both have crippling anxiety and depression. We love thrifting with our mothers, hanging out with our brothers, and making other people smile through our words. 

In the past two music videos alone, she got to do burlesque alongside Dita Von Teese, the queen of burlesque. This is coincidentally the same year I began doing burlesque. She also directed a comedic skit starring Mike Birbiglia – one of my favorite comedians who also is known for his storytelling abilities. 

I can’t read the journal entries she released in her “Lover” deluxe albums because they remind me so much of my own. If you want to hurt a writer, show them the stuff they wrote when they were younger. 

The music video “Me!,” co-starring my favorite male artist Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco, is literally a look into my soul. Butterflies, bright colors, rainbow everything, references to musicals and movies, the cheesy dances, the marching band, Brendon Urie getting down on one knee and offering a newborn pet …

I watched that music video on repeat for, I kid you not, a week straight. Never before had any piece of art reflected my heart in such an accurate, gorgeous, glorious way. 

I am convinced Taylor and I would get along just fine. In fact, I would actually go as far as to say I think together we could rule the world. 

She is to the music industry what I’m hoping to become for the film and TV industry. 

And I get it. As my partner has reminded me many times, “A lot of people think Taylor Swift would be their best friend.”

And that’s my point. 

Every person you have seen, stranger or not, has struggled with not getting Taylor Swift tickets and acted like their lives depended on it …

It’s because for *many* of us it sort of felt that way. 

As you can see, Taylor holds a special place in my heart. She’s my muse, my inspiration, my role model, and has saved my life more times than anyone will ever know. 

Now times that by about 13 million angry people around the world. 

So please, be kind. 

Do not say “It’s just a concert.” 

We know it’s literally *just* a concert. 

But we were basically told we couldn’t see our best friend next summer. So yes, we’re going to be pretty upset for a while. But after some time, we’ll be okay. Because at the end of the day we have each other: a network of Swiftys from all walks of the world who can all agree on one thing. We just want to get together and celebrate our queen who is not a narcissist, a drama queen, a diva, a snake, or any of the other hurtful things people have called her over the years. 

She is a good writer with a whole lot of love to give to the world. It’s love that many people could really use right now. 



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