There's really nothing Taylor Swift shouldn't win...
When the glorious revolution comes, people's political views won't be the deciding factor in whether or not they're permitted to live. No, the Committee for Solidarity with the Party will have only one criterion: Did you vote for Taylor Swift in the 2015 Triple J Hottest 100? Or did you have a big whinge about why it's not fair that Tay Tay be allowed to besmirch the dignity of the Hottest 100, a venerable Australian cultural institution that's shot through with sexism and was once rorted by a fake metal band called Salmon Hater?
If you're one of the whingers, I have one question: why do you hate fun? Out of the kindness of my heart, I have compiled an unassailable list of reasons why you should turn that frown upside down and get behind the T.Swizz vanguard. Because I care about you, really I do. The wretchedness of your mind, the sickness of your soul, brings me no small amount of misery. I do this out of duty and compassion, virtues I learned from our Lord and Saviour, Taylor Alison Swift. Repent, haters, and be spared.
1. It's good for the Hottest 100
Taylor Swift's latest album 1989 features the irrepressible ear worm (and Hottest 100 contender), Shake It Off.
Let's be honest, the Hottest 100 needs all the help it can get. Remember 2012, when Macklemore won with a sanctimonious rap about how good he was at thrift shopping whose only enduring legacy was millions of crap Uncle-tier jokes about how maybe he should Mackle less? Remember 2010, when Angus and Julia Stone took the crown with Big Jet Plane, a song that skilfully evokes the physical sensations associated with motion sickness? Or 2008, when Kings of Leon won for Sex on Fire, a touching piano ballad about one man's battle with syphilis? You get the picture. Swift's Shake it Off is a very respectable pop tune, and so catchy that I once drove a housemate to the edge of madness by singing it every morning as he got ready for work. "Stop, Eleanor!" he pleaded as his foot jiggled involuntarily to the beat. "Please, I beg you," he'd moan when I broke into the chorus. Don't let his sacrifice have been in vain.
2. It's good for Triple J
As an unemployed 19-year-old, I sent a short missive to the Sydney Morning Herald's letters page bemoaning the lack of women in Triple J's rotation. (I was very popular with my peers, and got invited to many parties.) At the time, hearing a woman on Triple J was like finding a priceless ruby at the bottom of a bowl of chips. Since then things have improved: a totally unscientific study run by me has recently found JJJ's Chicks Quotient to have gone "through the bloody roof" (Robertson 2014). In the past 12 months I've even been putting on Triple J of my own free will, and it's mostly down to the regularity with which I can bop along to female musicians. If Taylor Swift won the Hottest 100, Triple J might finally crawl out from under its reputation as a confirmed sausagefest.
3. It's good for the haters
Many of the people getting rumbled by the possibility of Taylor pulling a Swifty on the Hottest 100 are old-fashioned Rockists. Even if you've never heard the term Rockist before, I guarantee you know them by their works: "I liked their earlier work," sniffs the Rockist as he thumbs through his collection of records, all of which appeared in Triple J's Hottest 100 of All Time list. Rockism detests pop princesses like Swift: its obsession with authenticity makes well-produced, fun, catchy or feminine music poison. It's mostly dead as a prevailing cultural attitude, having been superseded by Poptimism and then whatever we have now, a sort of post-Poptimism that I think we should call Beyoncism. Anyway, the fact remains that Rockism was the single most insufferable music ideology of all time, and anyone who cries over its greasy, bloated corpse deserves everything they get.
4. It's good for democracy
Old people love to complain about youths and their political apathy. Well, what better association for democracy to have than Taylor Swift? All this talk of polling is almost as good as having Swift skateboard into a year 7 civics class and tell all the kids that voting is dope, or radical, or whatever. It's a short jump from caring about Triple J's annual music poll to looking up the finer points of elections and psephology, and we've got T.Swift to thank for that. In a few years there'll be a rash of young people running for office, citing #Tay4Hottest100 as their inspiration. Who knows, we might even get a PM out of this. At least they'll have their policy platform good to go: "As a nation, we must all come together to shake this tragic incident off," intones Prime Minister Madison Lee.
5. It's good for morale
Who doesn't love a good, thorough, drag-out fight about a matter of little consequence? That's right, we all do. Taking sides went out for a while in the '90s but in the past few years it's come roaring back, and about time. Pointless conflict is a great opportunity for us to sharpen our debating skills and move away from milquetoast forms of argument that obscure real differences of opinion. This might be just the vicious squabble we need to angry up our blood for more important disputes, like: should we introduce a new tax, the proceeds for which will be used to build a giant statue of Taylor Swift on the lawns of Parliament House? Is it within the remit of the federal government to enforce mandatory Taylor Swift quotas in domestic media? Should we replace the emu on our coat of arms with a picture of Taylor Swift? If we don't let the #Tay4Hottest100 issue play out naturally we might end up stuck forever in a post-political hellscape where these issues are never resolved, and we tumble through space bereft of the will to sort them out. Vote 1 Taylor Swift, and save us from this damned existence.