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Thursday Morning Links

Hey, there's not a whole lot of Ranger news out there this morning, so here's 1000 words about Taylor Swift's "Trouble."

Jeff Gross

There is a paucity of Ranger news out there this morning.

The big bombshell from yesterday, of course, was the news that Michael Young could be coming back to the club as a special assistant to the G.M.  As I understand it, a special assistant to the G.M. is sort of like a modern knighthood in the United Kingdom, so Sir Michael of the Hot Corner I salute thee.

Barry Tramel of the Oklahoman thinks that the Rangers should hire Ron Gardenhire because he is stable, strong and affable, which, coincidentally, are also the reasons Jenny chose to procreate with Forrest Gump.

Evan Grant writes about Michael Young turning down the Rangers request to go steady but agreeing that they can still be friends.

Tim Cowlishaw argues that Kansas City's improbable win gives us someone to root for in the playoffs.  My rejoinder: that's stupid, and I hope every team still in the playoffs gets infected with Matt Harrison's cervical trolls.

In a move that surprises no one, goldshirts Josh Wilson, Mike Carp and Ryan Feierabend were all fed to the Crystalline Entity.

The Rangers' new High A team is the High Desert Mavericks.

Finally, because that's pretty slim pickings for a morning links post, I'd like to talk about Taylor Swift's magnum opus "Trouble" from her deeply moving album Red.  Partly because I want subscribers to LSB Insider to get their money's worth, and partly because the 2014 Ranger season makes me feel like Taylor Swift's duet partner.

I like to sing pop songs and insert the name Scoonie into them, because that's what Adam calls me.  Examples include "Once, Twice, Three Times a Scoonie," "Scoonalicious," and "I Kissed the Scoon and I Liked It."  Often after singing one of these songs I will turn to a coworker and ask, "Did I tell you about my album that drops next week?"

They will usually frown and say, "Yes."  So I ask them, "Did I tell you what it's called?"  They generally frown even harder and answer, "Scoonie Tunes."

Well, one of the tracks on Scoonie Tunes is going to be a Taylor Swift jam called "I Knew You Were Scoonie When You Walked In."  For a period of several months last year this was the only song I sang, probably because this was one of the 5 songs on the AV wall DVD for three months at the company where I worked.  It got so bad that my girlfriend told me to stop because she found it extremely irritating and I told her she shouldn't have said that because now I was never going to stop.  She asked me why on earth I would *want* to irritate her, and you know what?  I really don't have a good answer to that.

I've never actually watched the video for the song before, and let me tell you... I should have let that state of being continue.  Most of the time, Taylor Swift has the endearritating look of a silly naive girl who has not yet had the weight of the world crush her spirit.  In this video, there is nothing even remotely endearing about her appearance, it is 100% unadulterated irritating.  She looks like someone who wants me to think the world has crushed her spirit, even though she's never had to repossess a roachy refrigerator.  She looks like she cut her hair herself with pinking shears and then let it get haunted by the ghost of Avril Levigne's career.  I think, but I cannot be certain, that she then applied her eye shadow with Homer Simpson's makeup shotgun.

If I wanted Taylor to jump right in to her silly, juvenile musings sung to a catchy pop beat, well that was too bad because Taylor had a news flash for me: I would first have to listen to her silly, juvenile musings spoken, in a kittenishly world-weary voice, with absolutely no musical accompaniment whatsoever.  The video begins with her awakening in Fallout: New Vegas and looking around, baffled, at her surroundings.  The radioactive dust kicked up by the wind may be why her hair looks so bad, or it may look bad for the same reason I used to steal clothes from Goodwill back in 1994.  The world will never know.

The lyrics, when she finally gets get to them anyway, are a furrow more frequently plowed than Sasha Grey's nethers.  She regrets hooking up with a bad boy, which is a song that was probably being sung by the ancient Sumerians.  Hell, it's actually a song that country music is particularly good at, like this little ditty by Leann Womack.  You know why that's a poignant song about sleeping with someone you shouldn't, Taylor?  Because, like everyone else older than the Kraft singles in my refrigerator, Leann Womack knows she shouldn't sleep with that guy but she does it anyway because our genitals may be stupid but they're great debaters.  Resolved: this night may end in a jail cell but probably not until after the orgasm.  If you want to go for melodrama about your romantic troubles, sweetie, take a note from Miranda Lambert and play it up for laughs.  What you should not do is read the crap your junior high English teacher labeled "deep" from your Hello Kitty notebook.  If I can tell what the second clause in a sentence is going to be halfway through the first you probably shouldn't tell me because: 1) it's stupid, and 2) I've heard it before.  Taylor may say that she blames herself for this awful relationship but I refuse to believe her, mostly because her previous songs lead me to believe she has no self-awareness and her stupid haircut, clothing and makeup rob her of all credibility.  I used to wear stolen Goodwill clothes but I certainly never expected anyone to take me seriously.

Everything about this video that tries to convey edginess and danger and bitter angst is approximately as dark and moody as a marshmallow Peep.  Maybe a Halloween peep, I haven't seen those but they probably exist.  The guy, the bad boy who she knew was trouble when he walked in, looks like DJ Qualls after fetishists got ahold of him, and if such a thing could be said, is the most chaste and harmless bad boy ever conceived.  Bad boys do not wear what I pray to God is not sleeveless denim but very probably is.  The titular "trouble" in this video is the edgy boy band member that 12 year olds crush on before they grow up to have turbulent drug-fueled liaisons with actual bad boys 15 years later.

The casting choice is even more bizarre considering what we know about Taylor Swift's romantic history.  John Mayer might wear a hat as stupid as the one worn in this video, but I am pretty sure he would not pick a fight with pool hall toughs without an appropriately felonious entourage.  At least when Kurt Cobain was grousing musically about his sex life we knew he was talking about Courtney Love and could sympathize.

Most of us can look back on the stupid things we said and did when we were in our early twenties and recognize that they were stupid, but that is only because no one paid us millions of dollars for them.  You know, that actually might be a tragedy worthy of a song.