So Taylor Swift, your Best Friend Forever, wants you to like the Diet Coke Facebook page so you can hang out with her more. I, for one, am scandalized by this betrayal. I find myself reminiscing: Remember the good ol' days when we bickered blithely over whether she and her pal Katy Perry were feminists or not? When even questioning whether Beyoncé ruled over everything the light touches (and for that matter the shadowlands and maybe even Mordor) was an offense punishable by social pariahdom and probably a lot of Tumblr GIF flack? Back then, everything seemed so much simpler, you know?
Wait, JK, no they didn't. Because Beyoncé announced in December that she would be getting paid $50 million to get her face on a bunch of Pepsi cans that you know she's not actually going to drink. Because Taylor Swift named her album Red and none of that even made sense ("Loving him was red"? Come on.) until you considered that the deluxe edition of the album was sold exclusively at Target, whose logo is a ginormous RED bulls-eye; Diet Coke's logo is also red. Because once upon a time there was another "good ol' day," and it looked something like this:
And then there was a more recent "good ol' day" and it looked like this:
DO YOU SEE THOSE DIET COKE CANS IN HER HAIR?
WHAT ABOUT THE MIRACLE WHIP IN HER HANDS???
And what about America's ex-BFF?
Because celebrities, no matter how cute or talented they are, make most of their money by selling shit to the proletariat (that's you, dummy), because love them with reckless abandon and do whatever they say.
But maybe we thought we had a deal here, with Tay Tay. Maybe we expected that, as Videogum aptly rage-sploded, since she's got a Twitter account and posts videos of her idiosyncratic cat (which probably cost a lot of money and came from a kitten mill BTW) like every other human with Internet access, that she was more our friend than Beyoncé or any celeb who didn't do that stuff?
You know how people say the music industry is changing, and major labels are doomed, and blah blah blah? Well, obviously—even more obviously now, with this "extraordinary news"—that's just as ridiculous a notion as the one where we assumed Taylor Swift was a super humble, totally down-to-earth girl who was Just Like Us. All major labels had to do is hire a shitload of 25-year-old digital natives and have them solve the Internet/Social Media problem for the whole company. Just because artists aren't selling tens of millions of records anymore doesn't mean superstars like Tay and Bey (and the execs who signed them) aren't still flusher than this weird toilet-themed restaurant Anthony Bourdain went to in Taipei. They've been knocked down a rung, sure, but so have we all.
Now, to be clear, I'm Team Bey forever and ever until the end of time, even though it seems as though she will never stop being a bitch to Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, because at least she announces her celebrity in a way that says "Yes, I Am Beyoncé and If You Don't Like It You Can Kiss My Hundred-Million-Dollar Perfect Ass." But then again, it figures I would say that because it's the same Coke or Pepsi battle in which people have been taking sides literally since the late 1800s when both companies were founded, just with different faces attached. (It's also probably been well focus grouped and determined that Beyoncé people are more likely to prefer Pepsi, and vice versa for Taylor Swift and Diet Coke?) Also, you know that celebrities get paid for Tweeting shit, and you shouldn't be surprised if the Scottish Fold Society of America (possibly not a real society) pays Tay Tay per video she posts of her dumb cat, right? Really, what did you expect?
See that? That's Joan Crawford, the Beyoncé of the '50s and '60s, sippin' on Mountain Dew because her husband was the CEO of PepsiCo.
In brief: Skynet is here; they've been here since Google. Androids are real, and though we love them dearly, we also must accept that Tay Tay and Bey are probably more machine than flesh, just like anybody who suggests you pick this brand over that brand of equally garbage soda. Beyoncé's image is the Untouchable Goddess archetype; Taylor Swift's image is the Doris Day Girl Next Door archetype—the Internet has just made the latter, which requires more illusion than the former, 200% easier to pull off. But the "surprise ending" here is that people with lots of money will probably have you by the gonads until you're in your grave.
Devon Maloney only uses swears where she's 90% sure her grandma won't read it. She's already a lost cause with her mom. She Tweets - @dynamofire
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