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by Natalie Finn | Thu., Jul. 14, 2016 3:57 PM
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
While every devoted fan base is the same, every angry Twitter mob is angry in its own way.
Sure, the general sense of self-righteousness and arbitrary loyalty to a cause that most partakers were just alerted to is always present as the judgment gets underway via hashtag. But even though ultimately the overall effect is the same, something new ticks haters off every time.
First it was Taylor Swift's latest romance, the singer having moved on too quickly for some people's tastes after her last relationship. That always gets the gears grinding, when the popular girl swoops in and steals your pretend boyfriend.
We know that Taylor knows her love life is ripe for the picking at.
Many times over she's said that she has made a choice in choosing to open up about past experiences in her music, the consequence of her choice being that people—fans and otherwise—have ended up grossly fascinated by every move she makes in between albums as well.
Doesn't mean she does not deserve privacy. Taylor just knows that's a long shot. Her decision to not steal away with Tom Hiddleston to a private island only accessible by dinghy so they could enjoy the early weeks of their romance without being tracked everywhere they went was a conscious one. Which doesn't mean it was a calculated decision, but it wasn't made in a vacuum, either.
At the same time it wasn't a blank check for no one to take Tom and Taylor seriously. Who doesn't want to fall in love right after a breakup? There wouldn't be such a thing as a messy, drawn-out, painful split if a British heartthrob who is actually taller than your 5 feet and 10 inches is waiting in the wings.
But a lot of people tend to cast themselves in the starring role of their own fairytale and not like it when it happens to someone else. Especially when that someone else is supposed to be the poster girl for heartbreak, not happily ever after.
Such is the catch-22 Taylor must be used to by now. What she's not so used to is the world weighing in so negatively on her business. Not her personal business. Her business-business.
Which really is the reason we care about any of this in the first place. If Taylor Swift weren't so damn good at what she does in the recording studio and onstage, none of this [waving my hand demonstratively] would matter.
Lines in the sand have been drawn before. Katy Perry vs. Taylor. Kanye West vs. Taylor. Spotify vs. Taylor. But the advent of the #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty yesterday after Calvin Harriswent from compliment to personal attack on his ex-girlfriend in a span of a few tweets surprised us. Mostly because Twitter has always seemed to be Taylor's domain, as it's the domain of Justin Bieber, One Direction, Beyoncéand maybe a few others who can usually count on a legion of supporters to burst forth and tear down whoever has besmirched their beloved idol's honor.
It was also surprising, though, because Harris was reacting to seemingly nothing, a headline that shocked exactly no one.
After weeks of speculation, Taylor's rep confirmed that the artist had written "This Is What You Came For," Harris' most recent hit song featuring Rihanna, which came out April 29 (pre-breakup), followed by a video on June 17 (post-breakup). Intrepid listeners sensed Taylor on background vocals, and then she was briefly listed as a co-writer on the song's Wikipedia page, her name soon to be replaced by Nils Sjöberg.
E! News confirmed that was an alias she sometimes used when wanting to fly under the radar, musically. But Harris had denied on April 29 that he and Taylor had plans to work together, he didn't see it happening, so... We were all just left with vague assurance that the Internet was right about this one, but then we forgot about it. Because Hiddleswift.
However, just yesterday came the official confirmation, triggered by a TMZ story citing sources that pegged Taylor as the writer and stated that Harris' aforementioned interview had really upset her, pretty much leading to the end of their relationship.
Now, no one's motives are completely transparent here, because a source has told us that Taylor used that alias and excused herself from the spotlight in the moment so as not to take away from Calvin's song. So it at least seemed like they had a plan—but maybe Harris got a little too carried away with taking all the credit, flashing pics of his platinum records on Snapchat and sub-denying the co-writing rumor when it first came up a few weeks ago.
Harris first tweeted out a story confirming Swift's role (his choice to do so), adding, "And she sings on a little bit of it too [upside-down face] Amazing lyric writer and she smashed it as usual."
Then came the perfectly valid though probably unnecessary: "I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym." (I think it's the "though" that throws it all off. No one was doubting that you made the song the EDM hit that it is, sir.)
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And then the flood came, with Harris then charging that Taylor was trying to make him look bad. Which was seemingly in response to TMZ's note about Taylor having been mad at Calvin's we-aren't-collaborating interview, but perhaps the DJ-producer just felt targeted one too many times by the glut of headlines he's for some reason choosing to read about him and his breakup (always a bad choice).
Then came the bit that made it fairly apparent Calvin has indeed been keeping up with the news lately but maybe had never read it before: "I figure if you're happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do."
Then he said he wouldn't let her do to him what she did to Katy Perry, which prompted Perry to do a little subtweeting of her own.
It's hard to say what exactly went through his head in the nine minutes between tweets one and three, but after he was done, the twitterverse ate it up. Hence #TaylorSwiftPartyIsOver trending worldwide.
Interestingly, Taylor's Album of the Year speech at the Grammys—a response at the time to Kanye West's "I made that bitch famous" line on TLOP's "Famous"—once again applies, at least a bit.
"I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame," she said.
"But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday, when you get where you are going, you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there. And that will be the greatest feeling in the world. Thank you for this moment."
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Calvin Harris obviously wasn't strategically injecting Taylor Swift into his song to further capitalize on one of the most notorious interactions in awards show history and all the publicity that each got as a result, as Kanye was.
Quite the opposite. And Taylor was complicit in keeping quiet about her role on "This Is What You Came For." But let's remember, Kanye has insisted that Taylor was in on "Famous" too, that she gave her OK when he talked to her about it.
"Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric," her rep told us afterward.
No one was going to seriously believe that Taylor owed her success to Kanye in any way and not acknowledging her role wasn't preventing her from getting paid for "This Is What You Came For."
Neither slight on its own is the stuff career nightmares are made of—but when would have been a good time to take her credit and call it a day? Earlier, later, what's the difference? She wrote the melody and the lyrics, there you go. She was, in the most mild of fashions, admitting what a lot of people had already figured out.
So despite Twitter's excitement, Calvin didn't expose some shocking truth about Taylor. Rather, he made it pretty clear that he's not above mixing business with the personal.
Of course, that same thing can be said about Taylor, who's a master at making the private public. But by letting her life's ups and downs play out on stage, that has made what she doesn't say on Twitter, while the world feuds around her, all the more purposeful.
Meanwhile, she's built one of the biggest pop careers of all time by turning her feelings into our feelings. And better yet, on song after song, she's always been happy to give credit exactly where it's due. That's what everybody comes for.
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