An Assignment For Mark Guarino, Who Will Probably Be Called A “Good Dude” By A Friend But Who Comes Off As A Big Ol’ Sexist In This Salon Piece About Taylor Swift
The indulgence of last decade produced enough pop trash to fill a trailer park in East Peoria: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ashley Simpson, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Kelly Osbourne, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff and even back benchers t.A.T.u, M2M, Hoku, Skye Sweetnam, Brooke Allison, Willa Ford and many others. The hubris was so high, record contracts were even slung to professional partygoers Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, who were both paid more for their brand than they were for whatever babble they purred into a microphone.
Today, most of these former lip-syncing product pushers are hovering on either side of age 30 and already long past their expiration date, leaving reality television and game shows the only shelves that will hold the weight of their baggage. Time is always a cruel leveler, but what is more telling from the last decade is the overnight rejection of so many of its key touchstones, from Britney Spears to George W. Bush, the tramp stamp to the luxury SUV, rap-rock to screamo, the Osbournes to the Palins.
(From your Salon piece.)
Mark: If I were your editor, which I clearly am not, I would have bracketed the above paragraphs and asked you the following questions:
1. Why are you only holding up female pop stars as the examples of “trash”?
2. What does “trash” mean here? It’s unclear. Do you mean that the songs are enjoyable for their own sake and didn’t have Deep Meaning behind them? What songs that were popular during this period weren’t trash? Were any of them performed by women?
2a. You know that record labels putting out novelty albums by celebrities isn’t really a new practice, right?
2b. Are you the type of guy who didn’t really “get” “Since U Been Gone” until Ted Leo highlighted its similarities to “Maps”?
2c. It’s “Ashlee.”
3. How are the “tramp stamp” and “luxury SUV” parallel in your construction of bad ’00s trends? Why, if rap-rock and screamo are just as bin-sendable as the aforementioned pop artists, did you not call out specific examples of those bands in said laundry list?
BONUS QUESTIONS BASED ON THE REST OF THE PIECE:
1. Did you notice that your group of “a-listers” who collaborated with Taylor Swift on “Red” was all dudes?
2. Do you really think that most records produced by professional musicians in professional studios and promoted with substantial amounts of money aren’t somehow “calculated”? Please include the names of three indie PR companies that email you a lot in your answer.