Red girl gone bad


Hell had come to our house. The punctuated salvos of my mom’s screams drowned out my sister’s soft sobs, as the Taylor Swift posters were ripped off sis’s bedroom wall, leaving their torn corners stuck to the wallpaper with tape. “This is ARMAGEDDON!” Mom sat down on the bed and deleted the Taylor Swift songs from my sister’s iPad one by one. “This will be THE DEATH of us ALL!” Mom grabbed the Taylor Swift pillow off the bed and stormed down the stairs and out the door, presumably to the dumpster behind our apartment, a hailstorm of howls marking her path.

Sis just sat on her knees, hands to her eyes, muttering “Why? Why?” But we both knew the answer to that question.

…………………..

In a major left turn, Taylor Swift celebrates her 25th birthday on December 13, 2014 by following her album Red with Red Witch. Produced by Marilyn Manson, Swift sheds the good-girl-grown-up-right persona with no hope of going back. Shockingly, the music isn’t released on CD, only name-your-price digital and limited edition 180-gram vinyl. More shockingly, the music actually sounds like Marilyn Manson produced it.  Song titles include “Scabby”, “The Trouble Is Me”, “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down”, and “25”.

But most shocking of all is the cover art: Taylor Swift all in red, surrounded by three Robin Thicke clones. Numerous charred pieces of meat and decapitated baby dolls are draped over their bodies.

…………………..

The reaction is furious.

Rush Limbaugh: “Menstrual slut!”

…………………..

Anderson Cooper: “What do you think of Taylor Swift’s new record?”

Kanye West: “Holy fucking shit”

Anderson Cooper: “Any second thoughts about rushing the stage at the VMAs?”

Kanye West: (nods head up and down solemnly)

…………………..

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly announces that all Taylor Swift CDs are being pulled from Best Buy outlets, even though Red Witch wasn’t released in CD format.

…………………..

Larry Flynt offers Swift $50 million to pose for Hustler.

…………………..

Swift starts the Red Witch Rising tour in England, but show after show—Norwich, Derby, Newcastle—is cancelled.

…………………..

Pitchfork gives Red Witch its first non-numerical evaluation: “Bad karma”. No comments accompany the review.

…………………..

A twelve year-old girl with leukemia dies, and her mother claims the death is a Taylor Swift-inspired suicide. Sky Ferriera and King Diamond form a one-off tribute band, the Taylor Swift Suicides. Jimmy Fallon books them to the Tonight Show. They perform a Replacements cover, “Bastards of Young”.

…………………..

The Red Witch Rising tour makes it to the U.S. At the first gig in Dallas, a picture is taken with the stiletto heel of Swift’s red shoe in the mouth of a cowboy. The remainder of the tour is cancelled immediately.

…………………..

The U.N. Security Council unanimously condemns Red Witch. More importantly, the Nashville Metro Council passes a binding resolution prohibiting Swift from any commercial activities within the city limits.

…………………..

NetNanny.com releases software that scans and purges hard drives of Taylor Swift mp3s. Afterwards, unlabeled red cassettes start to circulate with Lil Wayne-produced remixes of Red Witch tracks, allegedly called Tha Red Witch II, although no one really knows since all you get are unlabeled red cassettes and most people don’t have the gear to play them.

…………………..

So, as my mom is out by the dumpster, I pop my copy of The Red Witch II into dad’s old portable cassette recorder. I grab sis and we hold onto each other as if in the throes of hurricane-force winds. And we dance.