The end of ‘Hiddleswift.’ Or … did it ever begin?

Alright, so I’ve been itching to talk about this topic ever since the news broke two days ago.

The end of yet another Taylor Swift relationship. This time, with English actor Tom Hiddleston, probably best known as the bad guy in the Avengers movies.

The unlikely pairing began their relationship shortly after Taylor broke it off with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris. 

I try my best not to even spend a second of my day thinking about celebrity relationships, but it’s hard to totally ignore Taylor Swift’s personal life given the media frenzy it attracts — the singer herself recently decried the fact that she’s become a “national lightning rod for slut shaming.”

And, full disclosure, I have blogged about it before on this blog.

But even so, I couldn’t help but think that something did not feel right about this new romance, cutely dubbed as “Hiddleswift.” (Side note, I’ve already figured out what my Taylor Swift relationship nickname would be — Swiftgrad. It only makes sense if you know my last name.)

Hiddleswift.jpg

For one, he’s nine years older than her. Which — while notable — is nothing crazy. But still. Ask any 35-year-old how much they have in common with today’s 26-year-olds.

Second, Hiddleston is a stoic, refined dramatic actor. Taylor is a glamorous international pop star. Tom Hiddleston should be dating, like, Kate Middleton’s cousin or something.

Taylor should be dating, well, someone like Calvin Harris.

But the heart wants what the heart wants, right?

Well, maybe I wasn’t so wrong to carry such suspicions. Shortly after their breakup went public on Tuesday night, I was made aware that there are actually conspiracy theories out there suggesting that the relationship was all one big hoax.

And I don’t mean a couple crazy people posting on Reddit. There are actually extensively-researched articles that go into explicit detail to provide evidence why Swift and Hiddleston staged the entire thing.

The theory is that Taylor — fully aware of her reputation and the media’s tendency to exploit her love life — planned with Hiddleston, a talented actor, to pretend to be in a relationship, with the goal to include the footage of them together in her next music video, which would be a parody of all her past relationships.

The thinking is that Taylor was using the paparazzi for her advantage, and letting them do all of the work for her.

What makes the theory so convincing is that the articles point out that the photos of Hiddleswift together are eerily similar to old photos of Taylor’s past relationships.

Similarities include the setting, her wardrobe, the poses, etc.

I know it’s out there and even a little far-fetched. But could you blame Taylor for wanting to have a little fun with the media, after all they’ve put her through?

With that, the Weinblog officially endorses this theory. Forget Trump-Clinton, this is the most pressing question our country faces right now.

I hope we find out the truth Swiftly.

If Ted Cruz can pick a running mate, why can’t I?

Ted Cruz is not going to be president of the United States.

And this isn’t a desperate plea from someone who is in denial — it’s a fact. It is mathematically impossible for Ted Cruz to obtain the prerequisite number of delegates needed prior to this summer’s Republican National Convention.

Amazingly, this incontrovertible truth did not stop him from becoming the first presidential nominee to choose a running mate in Carly Fiorina on Tuesday.

Never mind Fiorina’s clear incompetence to be second-in-command of our country when you consider her track record as a failed business executive and perennial liar regarding a fabricated video that brought unfair controversy upon Planned Parenthood late last year.

Cruz Fiorina.jpgNever mind that Cruz is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to name a running mate before earning his party’s nomination.

Ted Cruz picking his vice president is as meaningful as if I declared myself eligible for the NFL Draft. It’s as meaningful as if I decided I have the ability breathe underwater.

And it’s as meaningful as if I picked my own running mate for the presidential nomination.

Heck, if Ted Cruz is doing it, why don’t we all do it? It could be a fun little Internet game. Choose your running mate. People could play it right after “Choose Which Disney Princess Best Represents You.” And if you can’t think of one, then I’m sure there’s someone in the world with way too much time on their hands that can create a Running Mate Generator.

It’s purely hypothetical and unrealistic, but hey, Ted Cruz just set the precedent. (And no, Ted, that’s precedent with a “c”, not an “s”.)

My decision was an easy one. I select Taylor Swift. And just like that, she’s officially off the board and ineligible to be any one else’s running mate.

How perfect of a choice is she? She’s perfectly amiable, smart, she’s an economic Taylor Swift USA.jpgpowerhouse unto herself, is adored by people of all religions, ethnicities and skin colors, and I don’t care how much you deny it, there is at least one Taylor Swift song for everybody. She’d be the ideal diplomat and representative.

Plus, as a political tandem, you’d get to spend every day of your life alongside Taylor Swift. How cool is that?

I dare the unbound delegates to resist the pull of T-Swizzle. I dare you.

We already know she could handle the pressure. Just watch this recently video filmed by Vogue where she answers 73 highly personal questions in rapid succession. Not once during the unconventional interview does she waver. She answers each question with poise and confidence — which includes one shockingly honest moment when Taylor acknowledges that she became “a lightning rod for slut shaming.”

That’s the type of aplomb and veracity that this country needs. And yes I used a thesaurus to come up with those two words.

Most of all, Taylor is a unifier. She doesn’t degrade immigrants. She doesn’t race bait or mock disabled people.

Taylor, let’s make America great again.

Because we are never, ever, ever … losing an election together.

Grammys 2016: The Force of Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar Awakens

For a show that exists to honor the best in music for the past year, the 58th Annual Grammy Awards did not seem all too interested in giving out, well, awards.

Of the 81 awards disseminated by the academy on Monday, only eight happened live on television. The rest of the three and a half hour broadcast was filled with performances.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Acceptance speeches are widely considered the most boring part of an awards show.

Taylor Swift Grammy winBut there are just so many artists and bands who  won Grammys, who, for all intents and purposes, may as well have not existed on Monday because their category didn’t make the live show.

Consequently, anyone who doesn’t stay up to date with music but only tunes into the Grammys officially thinks the only musicians that exist right now are Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Meghan Trainor and the Weeknd.

But I digress.

Anyway, like any awards show, there was the good and the bad last night.

The talk of the town are the first two people I mentioned above. Taylor Swift, who became the first women to win Album of the Year twice, and used her speech to not only empower young woman, but to apparently throw some serious shade at Kanye West. 

Taylor, I’m on your side. But when you publicly shame Kanye, it does not go quietly. The man may be a musical genius, but mentally, he’s not all there. Keep Selena Gomez and the rest of your female posse close by. You may need it.

The other highlight was Kendrick Lamar, whose 2015 release “To Pimp a Butterfly” swept all the rap categories but fell short on Album of the Year to Swift’s “1989.” But what people will remember most was his spellbinding, socially conscious performance, which will probably upset the same white people who didn’t like Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance last week — which, might I add, Saturday Night Live hilariously chimed in on this weekend.

Kendrick Lamar Grammys2.jpg

What people also will likely remember was Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie, which frenetically rushed through 10 of his songs in a matter of minutes. While ambitious, the whole thing seemed too chaotic and over the top, which, apparently was the same sentiment expressed by David Bowie’s son.

And what gives with Justin Bieber’s performance? It was his first time getting to perform nationally in the Post Everybody Hates Bieber era (which, correct me if I’m wrong, is somewhere between the Jurassic and Pleistocene era on the epochal timeline), and they took his song that is grounded in electronic, computer-made sound and instead performed it with actual instruments? It changed the entire complexion of the song.Lady Gaga Bowie2

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the mess that was the Hollywood Vampires. That was just scary.

But let me say this. The Grammys seem to be obsessed with medleys, unusual artists pairings, and experimental performances. It’s the Grammys, so they want everything to be unique.

And that’s what made the performance by the Eagles, joined by Jackson Browne, singing “Take it Easy” as a tribute to the late Glenn Frey so special. They simply sang a classic song, from start to finish, telling people to take it easy in an era when people are no longer physically capable of taking it easy.

It was the most honest, sincere and heartfelt moment of the night, in my mind.

On that note, I can’t think of any better way to pay tribute to their tribute by spending the rest of the evening taking it easy by pulling my own Eagle.

That did not come out right at all.

I’m on a quest to prove I have a better chance of dating Taylor Swift than winning Powerball

More than once last week I was asked the question of what I would do if I were to win the Powerball jackpot, which, as of this writing, stands at an all-time high of $1.3 billion.

And I had not the slightest clue how to respond.

Not because I would be so indecisive as to how to spend such a large sum of money, but because it’s seriously not even worth dwelling a single moment on something that is clearly not going to happen.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 292 million to one.

With chances like that, why even waste time thinking about what would happen if you won?

PowerballI might as well spend the equal amount of time thinking about what I would do if I accidentally stumbled into a flash mob of penguins dancing in synchronization to Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

And that is absolutely something I have thought about before. I would join. You’re damn right I would saddle right in with those penguins. It would be an honor and a privilege.

But why stop there? If it’s totally normal to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about something as improbable as winning Powerball, then why can’t I channel my energy towards a goal that, on the surface, sounds equally as daunting?

Dating Taylor Swift.

However, I firmly believe I have much better odds of accomplishing that than ever winning Powerball. For one, anyone can play Powerball. The field of competitors is just too great.

But to date Taylor Swift, there are certain criteria one must meet. First, they need to be a man. Last time I checked, Taylor was not a lesbian. Not that there’d be anything wrong with that. It’s just a fact. She likes men. So that puts me immediately on the right track, and at the same time eliminates half of the world’s population.

Next, you have to be within the age of roughly 21 to 35. I’m assuming Taylor Swift date.jpgTaylor doesn’t judge based solely on age, but I think those are safe parameters to be considered a legitimate contender for her heart. No more than five years younger, or 10 years older. Me, being 28 years old, falls perfectly within that range. Almost too perfectly. Again, this criteria knocks another large chunk of the population.

And last, you probably have to be famous. I, uhh, well … damn.

And that’s why this is a longshot. I never said it’s going to be easy. But if it’s acceptable to dream about winning Powerball, then I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think I’m even less delusional than most.

But Taylor, if you’re reading this, then help me prove everyone wrong. Let’s show them that it is OK to dream big.

So if any one asks me this week what I would do if I won Powerball, I won’t have an answer for you. In fact, I probably won’t even hear you.

Because I’ll be too busy thinking about what conversation pieces I’d be using if I was sitting across of a dinner table from Taylor Swift.

I’m thinking the chatter will lean heavily towards cats.

Every time Kanye West speaks, a puppy dies

I can’t believe I had to watch an entire Kanye West speech to prepare for this post.

I somehow made it through. And my conclusion is that it’s nothing short of painful that this man has a platform to speak on. That people will listen to him. There’s millions of people in the world who have inspiring, thought-provoking things to say, but will never be given a venue in which to express them.

Kanye West has that venue that others can only dream of. And he wastes it with nonsensical, mind-numbing drivel that helps nobody.

Kanye WestOK, so his speech yesterday was actually sincere. He wasn’t really trying to be controversial or combative. That is, until the end, when he declared his bid for presidency in 2020.

A day later, the world is trying to find out if he was being serious or not. But does it really even matter? Donald Trump is running for president right now. Any sanctity or honor that once existed in running for our nation’s highest office is long out the window. There’s no doubt in my mind that, if Kanye ran, he would succeed in the polls.

Ironically, last week, in light of the Deez Nuts amusement, I pleaded for an independent-minded citizen to bravely announce their bid for president. Well, I got it.

Besides my 15-minute belated viewing of Yeezus’s speech, I did not watch the Video Music Awards. I just can’t anymore. It’s too painful and disappointing for me to know that this is what the world now accepts as contemporary popular music. I heard there was some B.S. involving Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, but I literally could not care less.

Indeed, I care more about the Chinese economy than I do about any feuds between Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj. I guess that means … I’m maturing? Damn, that sucks.

I do know that it was Taylor Swift who introduced Kanye West to accept the Video Vanguard award, whatever the hell that is (hence the speech). It was an obvious ploy by MTV to capitalize on the whole Kanye/Taylor controversy from years ago, and something that was actually acknowledged by Kanye in the beginning of his speech.Taylor and AVril

Taylor, who showed up to the show with her usual cool girl posse, actually did something totally unrelated this past weekend that caught my attention.

Her 1989 world tour has been filled with star-studded cameos by prominent musicians and celebrities, and the other day, she sang a duet with Avril Lavigne, another pop star I have had a crush on at one point or another. They sang “Complicated.” I support this duo.

I coin them: Tayvril. Which could also be some type of cough medicine. Extra strength.

In other news, the Oxford Dictionary added 1,000 new words this week, including aswesomesauce, beer o’clock, bruh and pwnage.

I officially hate everything about the 21st century.

Has Taylor Swift lost her shine?

It took one very public award show interruption for Taylor Swift to become America’s sweetheart.

A newcomer to the industry, Taylor’s innocent demeanor, dressed-down appearance and emotionally raw music won her a cult of followers. She quickly rose to become among the most popular artists in the industry, with the capability of selling out any stadium in the world.

But it’s been six years since Kanye West disrupted 19-year-old Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, and what we see today is a very different version of the former country star turned pop sensation.

Taylor Swift 2015She’s outspoken. She’s glammed up. And she’s got an entire clique of friends that makes her resemble one of the antagonists from the movie “Mean Girls.”

In 2012, Taylor performed the song “Mean” at the 54th Grammys Awards in a wardrobe that could only be described as a heap of rags that maybe could double as window curtains. The attire personified her modest disposition and the song tapped perfectly into her voice’s country twang.

That Taylor is no longer anywhere to be found.  In 2015, she looks every bit the pop star diva.

And it’s not a fault against her. People change. They evolve as they age. She’s 25 now, and she has every right to dress and act how she wants. And by all accounts she’s still a great role model for young girls.

But it does appear that public opinion of her is taking a turn. This started to become evident after she incited a mini online feud with Nicki Minaj last month, in which Taylor misunderstood and responded to a tweet by Minaj, thinking she was being called out.

This week, she has her Scottish boyfriend (and alleged electronic musician) Calvin Harris fighting her battles for her after she decided to take all of her music off of Spotify.Taylor Swift 2012

Those who follow Taylor on Instagram — which, at this point, I’m not even going to pretend I don’t — will notice that she’s often parading about with dozens of other female celebrity musicians, actresses and supermodels, like some sort of exclusive cool club. Or a female Frat Pack.

And that’s really all she’s guilty of. If anything — she’s annoying people. Rubbing them the wrong way, if you will. There’s no crimes here.

But I think what’s really forced the tide to turn on her popularity is the complete transformation she’s made since she first became famous. The sweet country girl from humble beginnings embraced her celebrity, jazzed up her style, has become somewhat confrontational, and is only friends with the coolest of the cool.

Taylor, once you get over this dating-the-bad-boy-Scottish-DJ phase, call me. I have an out-of-tune banjo sitting in my closet that my cat could play better music with than him.

Plus, I brush my teeth twice a day. I say “Bless you” to people who sneeze within five feet of me. One time, I thought about making a donation to charity.

One week with me and your reputation will soar.

Even if your pride plummets.

Think about it.

…Blackbird singing in the dead of night…

I spent the last few days attending my third Firefly Music Festival in Delaware, which was highlighted by a two-and-a-half hour set by the world’s most recognizable living Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney himself, who delivered a performance I’ll remember my entire life.

But we’ll get to that in a minute. Other things appeared to have happened in the world in my five day hiatus; some amusing, some mildly interesting, and some tragic.

Of course we have to start with the Charleston church shooting last Wednesday, in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in which nine people died at the hands of a racist, white supremacist. It’s one of the United States’ oldest black churches and is steeped in the history of the civil rights movements. And last week, it was targeted in an act of national terrorism.

It’s sad that whenever we discuss national incidents involving race, we can never say that it’s the “culmination.” Because Charleston churchanother terrible thing always seems to happen shortly after. It’s hard to believe that something worse than this can happen anytime soon, but how can you blame any one right now for being extra cynical and expecting the worst?

John Stewart, who usually reacts to the news of the day by making jokes, had none to make the following day. Instead he delivered an impassioned speech about how America’s threat is not from ISIS, or Al Qaeda, but from ourselves. Definitely watch it.

The shooting sparked the natural debates, on the likes of gun control and race relations in America, but is also ignited one less expected conversation, regarding the Confederate flag.

Much was made about how South Carolina ordered all American flags to be half-staffed, but not the Confederate flag that lies in front of its capitol building. Never mind the fact that the flag can’t be ordered by the governor to be lowered, the conversation instead steered around whether southern states like South Carolina should even be displaying the flag at all, considering its historic ties to slavery.

The question was especially a slippery slope for Republican presidential candidates, until Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina, called for the flag to be removed from the state capitol on Thursday,

As usual, the political satirists said it best. This time it was John Oliver on Sunday night.

But let’s move on to women on money.

I blogged months ago about the online campaign, WomenOn20s, which was aiming to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with a woman.

The U.S. Treasury listened — sort of — by announcing last week that a woman will indeed be placed on currency by the year 2020, but on the $10 bill. 10-dollar-bill

So instead of replacing the unpopular Andrew Jackson, who no one would have minded being eradicated from the $20, we will replace Alexander Hamilton, who was actually our nation’s first Secretary of Treasury.

This is literally the worst of all worlds. People who were angry about this for whatever reason are mad that it’s happening to begin with. Those who were indifferent are irate that we’re losing good ole Alex Hams (that’s what people used to call him, just trust me). And women, meanwhile, have to feel a little disrespected that they were given the most unpopular bill.

No one has ever received a $10 bill on purpose. I think I own more $2 bills than tens. And they don’t even come out of ATMs.

But it’s progress … I guess?

And speaking of women making headlines … Taylor Swift did something. After sending a letter to Apple voicing her unhappiness with the company’s decision to not compensate artists during its “free stream” period it provides to new customers, the company changed course almost immediately after, deciding it will indeed pay up.

In her letter, Taylor said these are not the complaints of a “spoiled, petulant child,” but rather, of all the independent artists who rely on that compensation and are too afraid to risk everything by speaking up against a company like Apple.

If this isn’t further proof that that she should be the one to be put on American money, then I don’t know what is. She’s a multi-platinum selling artist, an award winning lyricist, a role model to all, and now a revolutionary for the music industry.

And she’s dating some douchebag EDM guy.

C’mon Taylor. Just think of bloggers as more literal, less noisy, more introverted DJs. We’re really not that bad of people.

But anyway, let’s get to what you call came here for. Sir Paul.

White it was never really a life goal of mine to see him, I was definitely excited at the prospect of it once Firefly announced he would be headlining one of the nights. That being said, for a festival that comprised mostly contemporary artists for an audience of mostly 20-something year-olds, I wasn’t sure how it would translate.

My friends and I got a decent view of the stage, and … Sir Paul blew away even my most optimistic expectations. Not only did he mix in plenty of classics from both the Beatles and Wings, but he was the most energetic performer I saw all weekend. And he’s 73.

My picture I snapped of Sir Paul at Firefly

My picture I snapped of Sir Paul at Firefly

It was pretty evident he got a rush of excitement to play in front of an audience of people who have never seen him before — an entire new generation of fans.

If anything, the evening proved to me that Sir Paul — and the Beatles — are timeless.

I also couldn’t help but think of my dad, a huge Beatles fan who first saw them at arguably their most famous concert of all time, at Shea Stadium in August of 1965. Who would have ever thought, that almost exactly 50 years later, I would see one of the lead singers of the same band, live in concert, singing the same songs?

It’s one of those rare times that you really appreciate it when life comes full circle.

And it’s the words penned by Sir Paul all of those years ago, like “Let it Be,’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” or “Blackbird singing in the dead of night … take these broken wings and learn to fly…” that make you wonder why the events in South Carolina still continue to happen.