I Wish You Would

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have an almost childlike love of Taylor Swift. 

I adore all things Taylor Swift. I preordered her album the second iTunes would let me, I rock out to her discography daily & I may have paid some criminal @ StubHub almost $1000 to replace my Toronto tickets with ones more local to the new city & on August 4/15, the girls & I will get to see our Queen. We’re all very excited. The girls have a countdown, the not always angry teen has her outfit ready, the overlord has looked up the setlist & my IG has an amazing video of my five year old’s epic performance of Bad Blood. We REALLY like Taylor Swift. 

Remember when Target (RIP) had a Taylor Swift selfie stand & I dedicated large chunks of my shift to posing with it? Because Pepperidge Farm remembers.
Remember when Target (RIP) had a Taylor Swift selfie stand & I dedicated large chunks of my shift to posing with it? Because Pepperidge Farm remembers.

I also REALLY like Apple. During a job interview for the Apple Store, I was asked what set me apart from other candidates & I said I’d give them a kidney. When new Apple products launch, I sing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I am a proud iSheep with my gold iPhone 6 & I regret not one thing. So, imagine my basic white girl horror when my favourite artist & favourite brand appeared to have an issue (I may have cried. Okay not really. But I thought about it). 

To keep things fair, I also sometimes pose for photos with my beloved iPhone
To keep things fair, I also sometimes pose for photos with my beloved iPhone

When Taylor Swift wrote her open letter to Apple, she said what everyone who considers themselves an artist has always thought, but never been able to drive home; expecting artists to work for free for the exposure is ripping them off. We should all be compensated for our work, whether it’s digging ditches or selling out stadiums. 

I have had the pleasure of getting to know many indie artists over the years, and I would suggest you check them out. I built my career interviewing these artists & they are all talented & creative people & I’m so grateful that I was afforded the chance to get to know them. Check out Mic Lordz & Sauce Funky, Inoke Errati, Gypsy Chief Goliath & Cowboys in Cardigans (front man Jamie Reaume’s Way Back Home is still one of my favourite songs). Most of these talented artists are on iTunes. But they wouldn’t have been paid had you streamed their music. Taylor was right when she said it wouldn’t affect her, but that’s a lot of free streaming for the artists above. These guys have homes, families. They worked hard. Why shouldn’t they be paid? 

You wouldn’t ask your doctor to work for free, or a lawyer. You wouldn’t tell your hairdresser that your free cut & blowout would help them get business. So, why do it to those lucky people who are willing to risk it all for their one goal of entertaining you? Seems like a jerk move. 

And Taylor Swift knew it. 

Taylor Swift is aware of her power. She knows how influential she is & that she has the power to speak for the guys playing open mic nights on the weekend while recording awesome new stuff…

…and she used it. And Apple will pay artists. Taylor Swift brought change. 

All hail the Queen
All hail the Queen

Call her greedy. Call her selfish. Call her whatever you want, but you missed the point. Taylor Swift’s motives may not be 100% altruistic (but I believe they are), but she spoke up & made things change. She used her voice, something so few of us do. She saw something wrong & called the big bad company out on it (I’m sorry Apple) & made a difference. She opened discussion about why artists deserve compensation for their work. One person made a difference. 

But most importantly, Taylor Swift is a role model to millions of little girls all over the world, including mine. My eight year old daughter thinks “Queen Taylor changed the world yesterday!” Maybe not, but she taught millions of girls that when something is wrong, you stand up & speak out & one girl CAN change things. One person can spark change so don’t be afraid to be that one person. 

So, thank you Taylor. Thanks for defending your fellow artists. Thanks for showing little girls to use their voices. You’re a true role model & inspiration & I’m glad my kids look up to you. But most importantly, thanks for being someone deserving of that praise. 


Headlights on the Highway

I like my job. It’s a very nice job. It’s not in my field (either of them) but it pays me well, which is important as I’m a sole support parent receiving no financial support whatsoever from the children’s father (while yes, he is unemployed & has been for some time, he also refused to pay child support for 11 months when he was working & preferred to wait until his wages were garnisheed). I like that they are flexible so I could freelance on the side when I’m ready to & I can transfer to a new city without issue.

However, I sometimes have to stop myself when guests complain of high prices & the expectation of paying money for a new device from telling them that their first world or “white people” problems are not so bad & they need to quit whining.

Yes, there are cell phone networks that offer unlimited everything for $30/mos, but you get what you pay for, which is a tiny network, slow connection & internet throttling after a certain percentage. When people whine, I want to remind them that a cell phone is a luxury item & to STFU.

Before I get flamed, yes, a phone is essential, but for $15 you can do prepaid & have a flip phone for emergencies. I am writing this from my iPhone. I do not need to have the capability to blog from my phone. I could easily go home to my computer (luxury item) and log onto my internet (luxury item) & update my blog (luxury item). You do not need a smartphone unless you work where you need access to email @ all times. You do not need to update your Facebook (luxury item) from your phone or listen to music (luxury item) from your phone. You need it to make calls. Anything else is a bonus.

Yes, my job security relies on you wanting those luxury items, but let’s call a spade a spade; that’s what they are. I love my iPhone, but I also know it’s a toy & to use it, I’m willing to fork out the money. If I want fast internet, I need to fork out money. Same with cable, netflix, video games, etc. They are bonuses in life.

Remember, while you’re whining because you don’t have your shiny new gold istatussymbol, there are real people suffering real problems, like divorce, death, hunger, war, income loss, job loss, and homelessness. If your biggest woe is that your $750 trinket is going to cost you $70/month, life’s good for you.

We neeed to rationalize what is a necessity & what is just for fun. Food we need, phones we don’t. With that in mind, I’ll resume selling luxury items to the masses.

Sent from my iPhone