Dear John // Taylor Swift
Sunday Confession: yes, it’s Taylor Swift. For all my bluster about the current crop of twee, beardy whiners and how I want to grease a woodchipper with them, along with my unabashed love of screaming guitars and cock rock, I confess to a soft spot for girl pop. It makes no sense. The only reasonable thing for me to do is just own it. H8 me if you gotta.
I especially enjoy the winsome Miss Swift. I know there is some debate about whether she actually creates all this magnificent pop confectionary or if it’s simply another product of the Nashville songwriting machinery, but I choose to believe. She seems genuine, though as they say in the biz, once you can fake that, you’ve got it made. If there is an uncynical corner of my otherwise blackened, igneous heart, she holds it. (And not in the way you’re thinking, pervs. She’s less than half my age.)
So I’m sitting here working this afternoon, listening to her most recent live CD, and especially digging this song, “Dear John.” It’s a sad, slow, 12/8 thing. Bluesy. It wouldn’t be a stretch to hear the Black Crowes do something like it. Sharon came in to tease me about what I’m listening to, which I suppose is fair, seeing as how I walk around here spouting the same rockstar nonsense I do on the internet. She pointed out that Taylor has been recently linked (though somewhat dubiously) with Tim Tebow. Taylor has clearly made some questionable dating choices, and this would fit. I idly google it. Yep. There they are.
But there, in the article, is a link to another article and a bombshell I wasn’t ready for: she dated John Mayer and this song is about him. And, by “dated,” I mean the then 32-year-old Johnny humped the then 19-year-old girl in his hotel room and then sent her on her way. The taste of vomit rich and bitter in the back of my mouth, I took another look at the lyrics.
Dear John, I see it all now it was wrong
Don’t you think nineteen’s too young to be played with?
Your dark, twisted games when I loved you so
I should’ve known
What a bastard. Like I needed another reason to hate him. I used to think he was everything that’s wrong with the music industry. Now I think he’s everything that’s wrong with humanity. Overrated guitarist, mediocre singer, fading songwriter, vainglorious louche: that’s just the beginning of his crime spree. The real truth and the far less forgivable offense is that he’s just a completely awful person with no redeeming quality at all. Filth.