Robyn at the MTV O Music Awards in Los Angeles, Oct. 31, 2011.
(Chelsea Lauren/WireImage/Getty Images)
Robyn at the MTV O Music Awards in Los Angeles, Oct. 31, 2011.
(Chelsea Lauren/WireImage/Getty Images)
Taylor and Time and Trump, Album Oral Histories, Jay-Z, King Gizzard, Goth So White...
Matty Karas, curator December 7, 2017
quote of the day
When the jury found in my favor, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself.
rant n' rave

Loaded, leading, uncomfortable question of the day: What's TAYLOR SWIFT doing on the cover of TIME MAGAZINE's "Silence Breakers" issue? Loaded because it assumes Swift is less of a sexual assault victim than other sexual assault victims, as if some sexual assaults are more OK than others. Leading because it takes for granted that you agree with that. Uncomfortable because, well, there's lots of history to unpack here about how Swift has, and hasn't, used her voice—history that can't be casually dismissed—and because this is supposed to be an uncomfortable discussion. The WASHINGTON POST's MOLLY ROBERTS, who doesn't think Swift belongs on a magazine cover with ASHLEY JUDD, SUSAN FOWLER, ADAMA IWU, ISABEL PASCUAL and the arm of an ANONYMOUS VICTIM, does a nice job of laying out both sides of the debate. On the one hand, Swift is a victim. Full stop. She confronted her assaulter in court in 2017, she spoke out sharply, she inspired a lot of women. RAINN attributed a huge spike in calls to its rape crisis hotline directly to Swift. She sent a message to men even before HARVEY WEINSTEIN and the #MeToo movement. On the other hand, Swift has been highly selective about how and when she speaks out (too often, it's "when it benefits her brand"), and hasn't been anywhere near the center of the actual movement that Time is honoring as its Person of the Year. And then there's the sensitive question of how Swift has, or hasn't, spoken out about the man who was runner-up for Person of the Year. But is that Taylor Swift's job? It's easy, in any case, to argue that the world is full of women who are more badass than Taylor Swift—including, perhaps, KESHA, who commiserated with Swift when she was in court, and who Roberts says may have been a better choice for the cover if Time needed a pop singer. Maybe. But maybe what Time wanted was one ginormous celebrity. One who would resonate with young American girls. One who might inspire them to open the magazine and learn about all those other courageous women. Maybe even inspire young boys to learn a thing or two about appropriate behavior. Maybe she isn't a silence breaker but *can* be an ice breaker. Is that enough? Will it be enough going forward?... "Gender is not a genre," says CAROLINE POLACHEK and, no, she does not want to be part of your "female, transgender, and non-binary" music festival. No matter how awesome that lineup might be... QUINCY JONES launching the NETFLIX for jazz... EPITAPH's DAVE HANSEN is the new chairman of MERLIN... Oh what a difference it made when the guys in KISS learned how to tune their guitars. Or when BIG BOI came up with that hook in his bedroom studio and decided that ROSA PARKS would be a pretty good title for it. We love oral histories here at REDEF and we could hardly help ourselves with this one. MusicSET: "Yo! Bum Rush the Studio: Album Oral Histories Vol. 1."

Matty Karas, curator

December 7, 2017