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Prince William shakes it off at Taylor Swift's concert

<p>Prince William has celebrated his 42nd birthday with a boogie at the first of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concerts at Wembley Stadium in London.</p> <p>The pop star took to Instagram to share a selfie she took with the future King and his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as her boyfriend NFL star Travis Kelce</p> <p>She captioned the photo: "Happy Bday M8! London shows are off to a splendid start." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/taylorswift13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@taylorswift13</a> for a great evening! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LondonTSTheErastour?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LondonTSTheErastour</a> <a href="https://t.co/NFSi8hAl1o">pic.twitter.com/NFSi8hAl1o</a></p> <p>— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1804489979294364005?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 22, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Prince and Princess of Wales also shared another angle of the selfie, this time without Kelce included in the photo, to their joint Instagram account.</p> <p>"Thank you @taylorswift for a great evening! #LondonTSTheErastour," they captioned a photo. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-media-max-width="560"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">📲| Prince William dancing to "Shake It Off" at Taylor Swift's Eras Tour in London <a href="https://t.co/c0J7aSM1Li">pic.twitter.com/c0J7aSM1Li</a></p> <p>— The Swift Society (@TheSwiftSociety) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSwiftSociety/status/1804453576560808210?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 22, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Eagle-eyed fans who attended the show also spotted the royal shaking it off on the balcony of a private box at the stadium on Friday night and shared a snippet of Prince William dancing the night away to X, formerly Twitter. </p> <p>"Prince William dancing to "Shake It Off" at Taylor Swift's Eras Tour in London" they captioned the video. </p> <p>Fans were amused at the royal cameo, with one saying: "He was getting it with the ultimate dad moves." </p> <p>Another quipped: "Prince William got moves and boy I tell you George &amp; Charlotte are definitely embarrassed." </p> <p>"Shake it off Prince William! Shake it Off!" added another.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ X </em></p> <p> </p>

Music

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"Pure terror": Samuel Johnson recalls infamous Logies moment with Molly Meldrum

<p>Samuel Johnson has opened up on his long-running feud with Molly Meldrum, which began at the 2017 Logies. </p> <p>Johnson appeared on 2Day FM’s <em>Hughsey, Ed &amp; Erin</em> on Wednesday to reveal the brutal fallout of the infamous moment when Meldrum stormed the state during Johnson's acceptance speech and took over the microphone, giving a rambling and at times explicit speech of his own.</p> <p>The win, for playing Meldrum in the two-part miniseries about his life titled <em>Molly</em>, came at a time when the actor had become a tireless fundraiser for cancer research after starting the Love Your Sister charity in 2012 with his sister Connie, who had been diagnosed with multiple cancers throughout her life.</p> <p>However, instead of being able to use his speech to raise awareness for the charity, Meldrum instead stole the actor’s thunder and was left facing a wave of criticism over his bizarre antics. </p> <p>Speaking on Wednesday, Johnson said that incident was “pure terror” and a night he’s still not forgotten about.</p> <p>“I told him it was my moment not his! I was looking down at the front table. It was all the people from <span id="U84206877909VdF">The Project</span> and they all had their jaws on the floor,” he said. “It was 8 minutes of pure terror.” </p> <p>Johnson, who previously claimed Meldrum’s antics at the ceremony cost the charity he had planned to plug over $1 million dollars, went to reveal the fallout of the incident, confessing that he’s not seen Meldrum since all the drama went down that infamous evening.</p> <p>“I don’t hold grudges, I just can’t walk into the future with him,” he continued, suggesting that more has gone down behind the scenes than fans know about.</p> <p>“There’s a lot that he’s done that I don’t say. But it’s not that I hold a grudge, it’s that I’ve moved on.”</p> <p>Johnson appeared on the same radio show last year when he spoke about the feud, when Hughesy urged him to let go of his grudge against the Aussie TV legend. </p> <p>“You said you would never speak to Molly again … I hate grudge holding and that’s bad for you,” Hughes bluntly told Johnson last year. </p> <p>“I agree with you, I totally agree with you, but when I’ve specifically asked you not do something, and it’s a once in a lifetime moment, a moment I’ll never get back … He has breached my trust in that moment and I’m sorry, I’m not going to do the Molly sequel. I don’t think I should,” Johnson argued.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine Network / 2Day FM </em></p>

TV

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Tragic update on young Aussie Taylor Swift fan

<p>Nine-year-old Scarlett Oliver travelled all the way to Sydney from Perth to see Taylor Swift live, and to her surprise, she was chosen to receive gifts and a hat from the pop star as part of the iconic performance of her hit single <em>22</em>. </p> <p>The two even shared a big hug and the sweet moment went viral on social media. </p> <p>Scarlett was living with an aggressive form of brain cancer known as high-grade glioma, and now, just weeks after meeting her favourite singer,  Scarlett’s father took to social media to share a devastating update.</p> <p>“My Angel, so strong, so brave, so beautiful," Paul announced his daughter's passing on Instagram. </p> <p>"Nothing will ever be the same again.</p> <p>"Don’t forget me and please find a way to let me know you are OK.</p> <p>"Goodnight baby, I love you – Dad."</p> <p>"It’s just not fair,” he concluded the post. </p> <p>Scarlett died just days away from her 10th birthday on May 7. </p> <p>Earlier this month, Scarlett's father shared that his “beautiful” daughter was not doing well and likely had “weeks rather than months” left.</p> <p>He shared that she had spent most of her school holidays in hospital due to complications with her feeding tube, vomiting and "extreme tiredness". </p> <p>“Last night after discharge from hospital she suffered a significant seizure and was rushed to hospital via ambulance,” he wrote. </p> <p>Tributes are flowing in from fellow Swifties who shared their condolences on Instagram. </p> <p>“You were bigger than the whole sky …” one fan wrote, quoting the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song.</p> <p>“We all grieve for you and with you. May she rest in peace, free of pain and illness,” wrote another.</p> <p>“She touched so many hearts,” added a third. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty/ Don Arnold</em></p>

Caring

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Astonishing drug and prostitute claims surface as Lehrmann case reopened

<p>The ongoing defamation case involving Bruce Lehrmann, a central figure in the Brittany Higgins saga, has been thrust back into the spotlight with shocking new allegations.</p> <p>The reopening of the case stems from claims made by former Seven Network producer Taylor Auerbach, which seek to shed light on a series of dealings surrounding Lehrmann's interactions with various media outlets.</p> <p>The allegations put forth by Auerbach paint an astonishing picture of Lehrmann's recruitment by Seven Network for an exclusive tell-all interview. It's alleged that Lehrmann, in a bid to secure his cooperation, was lavishly reimbursed for expenses that included not only extravagant meals and travel but also expenditures on illicit drugs and prostitutes.</p> <p>The details emerged through affidavits filed by Auerbach with the Federal Court, just days before a judgment was expected in Lehrmann's defamation case against Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson. The case originated from a February 2021 report on <em>The Project</em>, where Brittany Higgins accused Lehrmann of rape within a Parliament House office in 2019.</p> <p>According to Auerbach's affidavits, Lehrmann breached a so-called Harman undertaking by leaking private and confidential texts from Higgins to Seven Network, violating an agreement that restricted the use of evidence from an abandoned criminal case against him. These texts allegedly facilitated Lehrmann's negotiations with Seven Network and formed a crucial part of his interview on the <em>Spotlight</em> program.</p> <p>The allegations take a darker turn with claims of financial reimbursement for illicit activities. Auerbach asserts that Seven Network reimbursed Lehrmann for expenses related to drug purchases and visits to brothels, implicating the network in what can only be described as deeply troubling conduct.</p> <p>"I recall that monies paid by (Lehrmann) for illicit drugs and prostitutes that evening at the Meriton and the following evening at a brothel in Surry Hills were reimbursed to (Lehrmann) by Seven," Auerbach states in his affidavit, according to <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/lehrmann-defamation-case-reopened-evidence-163000287.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Yahoo News</a>.</p> <p>The reopening of Lehrmann's defamation case underscores the gravity of these allegations and their potential implications. Justice Michael Lee's decision to admit fresh evidence indicates the seriousness with which the court regards these claims and the need for a thorough examination of the facts.</p> <p>In response to these allegations, both Lehrmann and Seven Network have vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Lehrmann maintains his innocence, asserting that he did not leak texts to Seven Network and denying any involvement in the misconduct alleged by Auerbach. Seven Network, for its part, denies authorising or condoning the alleged payments to Lehrmann and says that any unauthorised expenses were promptly rectified.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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"Offer is on the table": New James Bond actor revealed

<p>In a world where the only constant is change, one thing remains certain: James Bond will always be suave, sophisticated, and British.</p> <p>The search for the next 007 has been a rollercoaster of speculation, rumours and hopes dashed faster than a villain's escape plan. But now the wait appears to be over. The man most likely in line to be the next James Bond has been revealed, and his name is Taylor-Johnson ... Aaron Taylor-Johnson. </p> <p>According to a report from <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/26774029/aaron-taylor-johnson-offered-role-james-bond/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a> on Tuesday, Eon Productions, the brilliant minds behind the iconic spy franchise, appear to have finally settled on their man. According to sources as reliable as Bond's impeccable taste in martinis, Taylor-Johnson is set to don the tuxedo and wield the Walther PPK in the next instalment of the series. Well, at least if he accepts the offer.</p> <p>“Bond is Aaron’s job, should he wish to accept it," <em>The Sun </em>reported. "The formal offer is on the table and they are waiting to hear back.</p> <p>“As far as Eon is concerned, Aaron is going to sign his contract in the coming days and they can start preparing for the big announcement.”</p> <p>Now, some of you might be scratching your heads, wondering, "Aaron who?"</p> <p>Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an English actor, which automatically makes him qualified for the role. Plus, he's been in action films like <em>Tenet</em>, <em>Bullet Train</em> and <em>Avengers: Age of Ultron</em>. So, he's no stranger to high-stakes thrills and spills. Also, did we mention he's British? Because that's kind of a prerequisite.</p> <p>At 33 years of age, Taylor-Johnson would be the youngest actor to step into Bond's impeccably polished shoes since George Lazenby back in 1969. Talk about big shoes to fill. But if anyone can handle the pressure, it's our man Aaron. </p> <p>Now, some purists might be clutching their martini glasses in horror, lamenting the departure of Daniel Craig, who graced our screens for five thrilling films. But fear not, for change is the spice of life, and if there's one thing Bond knows how to handle, it's change. Besides, who wouldn't want to see what Taylor-Johnson brings to the table? Maybe he'll introduce a new signature drink or a quirky catchphrase. The possibilities are as endless as Bond's list of conquests.</p> <p>The response to <em>The Sun</em>'s announcement has caused a few reactions across the globe, with 9News reporting that "A source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN that Johnson has not been cast as Bond. And, BBC News reports that a 'production insider' said there is no truth to the rumours about Taylor-Johnson's casting."</p> <p>So, as we eagerly await the official announcement from Eon Productions, let us raise our glasses to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the next suave superspy set to save the world, one shaken, not stirred, adventure at a time. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Twitter (X)</em></p>

Movies

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Papa Swift vs Paparazzi: Taylor Swift's dad accused of assault

<p>In the midst of celebrations marking the conclusion of Taylor Swift's Eras tour in Sydney, an unexpected and troubling incident has emerged involving her father – Scott Swift.</p> <p>The 71-year-old has been accused of assaulting an Australian photographer, Ben McDonald, in the early hours of Tuesday morning at a Sydney wharf in Neutral Bay.</p> <p>According to reports confirmed by NSW Police, the alleged altercation occurred around 2:30am, following Taylor Swift's final performance in the city.</p> <p>It's said that Taylor and her father had been enjoying post-show festivities when the incident took place, tarnishing what should have been a joyous occasion.</p> <p>McDonald, who serves as the chief executive of Matrix Media Group, recounted the events to <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-13128721/Taylor-Swift-father-Scott-assault-photographer-Sydney-wharf.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>, shedding light on the confrontation. He stated that Taylor and Scott arrived at the wharf after travelling from Homebush on a luxury superyacht named <em>Quantum</em>.</p> <p>McDonald claims that after they disembarked, Scott allegedly 'charged' at him. McDonald originally thought that it was a security guard, and was surprised when he realised it was Taylor's dad.</p> <p>"In 23 years of taking pictures, I have never seen anything like it," he told the <em>Daily Mail</em>. "He probably decided he needed to defend his daughter, for some reason... She got off the boat, she walked towards security guards who were shoving umbrellas in our faces, and then he charged."</p> <p>Footage capturing the moments leading up to and following the alleged assault has surfaced, providing some insight into the incident. <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-13128721/Taylor-Swift-father-Scott-assault-photographer-Sydney-wharf.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The video</a> shows Taylor and her father walking up from the wharf, shielded by large umbrellas held by security guards. Amid the commotion, McDonald attempted to capture the scene, and was obstructed by the guards protecting Taylor and her companions, including Mr Swift.</p> <p>In the aftermath, McDonald reported the incident to authorities. He did not sustain serious injuries, though he described experiencing discomfort and soreness on the left side of his face.</p> <p><em>Images: YouTube</em></p>

Legal

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"Pretty brutal": Peter Garrett slams Taylor Swift for price gouging tickets

<p>Peter Garrett has taken aim at Taylor Swift, calling out her extrationate ticket prices for a place at the Eras Tour. </p> <p>The Midnight Oil frontman  joined <em>107.1 SAFM’s Bec & Soda</em> radio show on Friday when he was informed that he was co-host Mark “Soda” Soderstrom’s favourite artist, or in other words, “his Taylor Swift.”</p> <p>Garrett didn't take too kindly to the comparison, and launched into a rant about the price of Swift's concert tickets. </p> <p>“I’m not price gouging like Taylor, to be blunt,” he began.</p> <p>The radio hosts reminisced about attending a Midnight Oil concert in 1985 when tickets were just $15.90, compared to Swifts forking out hundreds of dollars for the highly anticipated Eras Tour. </p> <p>Tickets for Swift’s Australian tour ranged from $79.90 for G-reserve tickets to $379.90 for A-reserve ticket, while also offering fans multiple VIP packages, reaching an eye-watering $1249.90 for a single ticket. </p> <p>Some diehard fans were quick to complain about the lack of added value in the packages, which included premium seats with add-ons such as a tote bags, collectable pins, stickers and postcards.</p> <p>Garrett continued, “I wouldn’t begrudge anyone’s success, that’s the first thing to say."</p> <p>"She’s obviously touching a chord with masses of people, particularly people of a certain age group who have experienced growing up at a certain time, and what she’s singing and talking about is really ringing true with them.” </p> <p>However, he also said that “the dollar end of it having looked at it from a distance, having been in this business forever, is pretty brutal.”</p> <p>Garrett continued to share his disapproval of Swift's Australian domination, complaining about how five of her albums dominated the ARIA charts, booting Aussie artists off the ladder. </p> <p>“She is so pervasive, she has become such a phenomenon, that she is displacing artists left right and centre. In our ARIA top 100 chart – that’s the Australian record industry chart – I think at one point in the last week or two, we only had three Australian artists in that top 100,” Garrett said. </p> <p>“Not good enough! And that’s not me crying about it, I’ve had an incredible run. But I think about the younger artists coming through and it’s extremely hard for them now.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Should Taylor Swift be taught alongside Shakespeare? A professor of literature says yes

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004">Liam E Semler</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Does Taylor Swift’s music belong in the English classroom? No, obviously. We should teach the classics, like <a href="https://www.folger.edu/explore/shakespeares-works/shakespeares-sonnets/">Shakespeare’s Sonnets</a>. After all, they have stood the test of time. It’s 2024 and he was born in 1564, and she’s only 34. What’s more, she is a pop singer, not a poet. Sliding her into the classroom would be yet another example of a dumbed-down curriculum. It’s ridiculous. It makes everyone look bad.</p> <p>I’ve heard all that. And plenty more like it. But none of it is right. Well, the dates might be, but not the assumptions – about Shakespeare, about English, about teaching, and about Swift.</p> <p>Swift is, by the way, a poet. She sees herself this way and her songs bear her out. In Sweet Nothing, on the <a href="https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/taylor-swift-midnights/">Midnights</a> album, she sings:</p> <blockquote> <p>On the way home<br />I wrote a poem<br />You say “What a mind”<br />This happens all the time.</p> </blockquote> <p>I’m sure it does. Swift is relentlessly productive as a songwriter. With Midnights, she picked up <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/04/entertainment/taylor-swift-album-of-the-year-grammys/index.html">her fourth Grammy for Album of the Year</a>. And here we are, on the brink of another studio album, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tortured_Poets_Department">The Tortured Poets Department</a>, somehow written and produced amid the gargantuan success of Midnights and the Eras World Tour.</p> <h2>An ally of literature</h2> <p>Regardless of what The Tortured Poets Department ends up being about, Swift is already a firm ally of literature and reading. She is <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-donates-6000-books-to-library/">a donor of thousands of books</a> to public libraries in the United States, an advocate to schoolchildren of the importance of reading and songwriting, and a lover of the process of crafting lyrics.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnbCSboujF4">2016 Vogue interview</a>, Swift declared with glee that, if she were a teacher, she would teach English. The literary references in her songs are endlessly noted. “I love Shakespeare as much as the next girl,” she wrote in a <a href="https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/a26546099/taylor-swift-pop-music/">2019 article for Elle</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mdgKhdcQrNw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Her interview Read Every Day gives a good sense of this. Swift speaks about her writing process in ways that make it accessible. She explains how songs come to her anywhere and everywhere, like an idea randomly appearing “on a cloud” that becomes the first piece in a “puzzle” that will be assembled into a song. She furtively whisper-sings song ideas into her phone when out with friends.</p> <p>In her <a href="https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/read-taylor-swifts-full-nsai-songwriter-artist-of-the-decade-award-speech">acceptance speech for the Nashville Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award</a> in 2022, Swift explained how she writes in three broad styles, imagining she is holding either a “quill”, a “fountain pen”, or a “glitter gel pen”. Songcraft is a joyous challenge for her.</p> <p>If, as teachers of literature, we are too proud to credit Swift’s plainly expressed love of English (regardless of whether we like her songs or not), we are likely missing something. To bluntly rule her out of the English classroom feels more absurd than allowing her in.</p> <p>Clio Doyle, a lecturer in early modern literature, has <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-taylor-swift-belongs-on-english-literature-degree-courses-219660">summarised</a> Swift’s suitability for English in a recent article which concludes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The important thing isn’t whether or not Swift might be the new Shakespeare. It’s that the discipline of English literature is flexible, capacious and open-minded. A class on reading Swift’s work as literature is just another English class, because every English class requires grappling with the idea of reading anything as literature. Even Shakespeare.</p> </blockquote> <p>Doyle reminds us Swift’s work has been taught at universities for a while now and, inevitably, the singer’s name keeps cropping up in relation to Shakespeare. This isn’t just a case of fandom gone wild or Shakespeare professors, like <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/why-taylor-swift-is-a-literary-giant-by-a-shakespeare-professor-20230518-p5d9cn.html">Jonathan Bate</a>, gone rogue.</p> <p>The global interest in the world-first academic <a href="https://swiftposium2024.com/">Swiftposium</a> is a good measure of how things are trending. Moreover, it is wrong to think Swift’s songs are included in units of study purely to be adored. Her wide appeal is part of her appeal to educators, but that doesn’t mean her art is uncritically included.</p> <p>The reverse is true. Claire Hansen <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/pop-star-philosopher-poet-taylor-swift-is-shaking-up-how-we-think-20240207-p5f342.html">taught Swift in one of her literature units at the Australian National University</a> last year precisely because this influential singer-songwriter prompts students to explore the boundaries of the canon.</p> <p>I will be teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together in a literature unit at the University of Sydney this semester. Why? Not because I think Swift is as good as Shakespeare, or because I think she is not as good as Shakespeare. These statements are fine as personal opinions, but unhelpful as blanket declarations without context. The nature of English as a discipline is far more complex, interesting and valuable than a labelling and ranking exercise.</p> <h2>Teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets</h2> <p>I teach Shakespeare’s sonnets as exquisite poems, reflective of their time and culture. I also teach three modern artworks that shed contemporary light on the sonnets.</p> <p>The first is Jen Bervin’s 2004 book <a href="https://www.jenbervin.com/projects/nets">Nets</a>. Bervin prints a selection of the sonnets, one per page, in grey text. In each of these grey sonnets, some of Shakespeare’s words and phrases are printed in black and thus stand out boldly.</p> <p>The result is a <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/palimpsest">palimpsest</a>. The Shakespearean sonnet appears lying, like fertile soil, beneath the briefer poem that emerges from it. Bervin describes this technique as a stripping down of the sonnets to “nets” in order “to make the space of the poems open, porous, possible – a divergent elsewhere”. The creative relationship between the Shakespearean base and Bervin’s proverb-like poems proves that, as Bervin says, “when we write poems, the history of poetry is with us”.</p> <p>The second text is Luke Kennard’s prizewinning 2021 collection <a href="https://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2021/04/notes-on-the-sonnets/">Notes on the Sonnets</a>. Kennard recasts the sonnets as a series of entertaining prose poems. Each poem responds to a specific Shakespearean sonnet, recasting it as the freewheeling thought bubble of a fictional attendee at an unappealing house party. In an interview with C.D. Rose, Kennard <a href="https://thequietus.com/articles/30078-luke-kennard-interview-the-answer-to-everything-notes-on-the-sonnets">explains</a> how his house party design puts the reader</p> <blockquote> <p>in between a public and private space, you’re at home and you’re out, you’re free, you’re enclosed. And that’s similar in the sonnets.</p> </blockquote> <p>The third text is Swift’s Midnights. Unlike Bervin’s and Kennard’s collections, in which individual pieces relate to specific sonnets, there is no explicit adaptation. Instead, Midnights raises broader themes.</p> <h2>Deep connection</h2> <p>In her Elle article, Swift describes songwriting as akin to photography. She strives to capture moments of lived experience:</p> <blockquote> <p>The fun challenge of writing a pop song is squeezing those evocative details into the catchiest melody you can possibly think of. I thrive on the challenge of sprinkling personal mementos and shreds of reality into a genre of music that is universally known for being, well, universal.</p> </blockquote> <p>Her point is that the pop songs that “cut through the most are actually the most detailed” in their snippets of reality and biography. She says “people are reaching out for connection and comfort” and “music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive”.</p> <p>Midnights exemplifies this. It is a concept album built on the idea that midnight is a time for pursuit of and confrontation with the self – or better, the selves. Swift says the songs form “the full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour”.</p> <p>The album, she says, is “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams” for those “who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve […] we’ll meet ourselves”.<br />Swift claims that Midnights lets listeners in through her protective walls to enable deep connection:</p> <blockquote> <p>I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. I struggle with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and […] I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.</p> </blockquote> <p>Midnights is not a sonnet collection, but it has fascinating parallels. There is no firm narrative through-line. Nor is there a through-line in early modern sonnet collections such as Shakespeare’s. Instead, both gather songs and poems that let us see aspects of the singing or speaking persona’s thoughts, emotions and experiences. Shakespeare’s speaker is also troubled through the night in sonnets 27, 43 and 61.</p> <p>The sonnets come in thematic clusters, pairs and mini-sequences. It can be interesting to ask students if they can see something similar in the order of songs on the Midnights album – or the “3am” edition with its seven extra tracks, or the “Til Dawn” edition with another three songs.</p> <p>Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, in their edition of <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/all-the-sonnets-of-shakespeare/AE1912C43BE4F50391B25B83C0C03B1F">All the Sonnets of Shakespeare</a>, say Shakespeare’s collection is “the most idiosyncratic gathering of sonnets in the period” because he “uses the sonnet form to work out his intimate thoughts and feelings”.</p> <p>This connects very well with the agenda of Midnights. Both collections are piecemeal psychic landscapes. The singing or speaking voice sometimes feels autobiographical – compare, for example, sonnets 23, 129, 135-6 and 145 to Swift’s songs Anti-hero, You’re On Your Own, Kid, Sweet Nothing, and Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. At other times the voices feel less autobiographical. Often there is no way to distinguish one from the other.</p> <p>Swift’s songs and Shakespeare’s Sonnets are meditations on deeply personal aspects of their narrators’ experiences. They present us with encounters, memories, relationships, values and claims. Swift’s persona is that of a self-reflective singer, just as Shakespeare’s is that of a self-reflective sonneteer. Both focus on love in all its shades. Both present themselves as vulnerable to industry rivals and pressures. Both dwell on issues of power.</p> <h2>Close reading</h2> <p>Shakespeare’s sonnets are rewarding texts for close reading because of their poetic intricacy. Students can look at end rhymes and internal rhymes, the way the argument progresses through <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/quatrain">quatrains</a>, the positioning of the “turn”, which is often in line 9 or 13, and the way the final couplet wraps things up (or doesn’t).</p> <p>The songs on Midnights are also rewarding because Swift has a great vocabulary, a love of metaphor, terrific turns of phrase, and a strong sense of symmetry and balance in wording. More complex songs like Maroon and Question…? are great for detailed analysis.</p> <p>Karma and Mastermind are simpler, yet contain plenty of metaphoric language to be unpacked for meaning and aesthetic effectiveness. Shakespeare’s controlled use of metaphor in Sonnet 73 makes for a telling contrast.</p> <p>The Great War, Glitch and Snow on the Beach are good for exploring how well a single extended metaphor can function to carry the meaning of a song. Sonnets 8, 18, 143 and 147 can be explored in similar terms.</p> <p>Just as students can analyse the “turn” or concluding couplet in a Shakespearean sonnet to see how it reshapes the poem, they can do the same with songs on Midnights. Swift is known for writing effective bridges that contribute fresh, important content towards the end of a song: Sweet Nothing, Mastermind and Dear Reader are excellent examples.</p> <p>Such unexpected pairings are valuable because they require close attention and careful articulation of what is similar and what is not. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, for example (the famous one on lust), and Swift’s Bigger than the Whole Sky (a powerful expression of loss) make for a gripping comparison of how intense feeling can be expressed poetically.</p> <p>Or consider Sonnet 29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”) and Sweet Nothing: both celebrate intimacy as a defence against the pressures of the public world. How about High Infidelity and Sonnet 138 (where love and self-deception coexist), considered in terms of truth in relationships?</p> <p>There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain in teaching Swift’s Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together. There’s no dumbing-down involved. And there’s no need for reductive assertions about who is “better”.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223312/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004"><em>Liam E Semler</em></a><em>, Professor of Early Modern Literature, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/should-taylor-swift-be-taught-alongside-shakespeare-a-professor-of-literature-says-yes-223312">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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Sad update after young Taylor Swift fan dies on way to concert

<p>The tragic incident involving the Pokarier family, en route from Queensland to attend Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concert in Melbourne, has garnered widespread attention and elicited an outpouring of sympathy from communities far and wide.</p> <p>The devastating collision between their SUV and a semi-trailer near Dubbo, NSW, resulted in the tragic loss of 16-year-old Mieka Pokarier's life, while her 10-year-old sister Freya remains in critical condition in a Sydney hospital.</p> <p>The girls' godmother, Karleigh Fox, has provided updates on Freya's condition, the severity of her injuries and the uncertain road ahead. Freya's delicate state, including brain injuries and other trauma, necessitates her being kept in an induced coma, a measure aimed at reducing further complications and providing her body with an opportunity to heal.</p> <p>Fox, who organised a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/swifties-killed-critical-on-road-trip-to-concert" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> appeal for the devastated family, which has already raised over $60,000, says Freya is “not out of the woods yet”. </p> <p>“We had some thorough chats with the incredible doctors about the potential prognosis and we are not out of the woods yet with risks of swelling in the brain and infection still evident. This could still be life threatening.</p> <p>“We are keeping our girl in an induced coma for a few more days in order to give her body a chance to stay still and hopefully recover as much as possible.”</p> <p>Mieka, remembered fondly as a bright and creative individual, had long harboured a passion for Taylor Swift's music and was eagerly anticipating her first live concert experience. Her untimely passing has left a profound void in the lives of those who knew her, with friends and family expressing their grief and sharing memories of her warmth, humour and kindness. The hashtag #forever16 has become a poignant tribute to her memory, encapsulating the sense of loss felt by those who knew her.</p> <p>In the wake of Mieka's tragic death, her friends have found solace in commemorating her life through Taylor Swift-themed friendship bracelets. </p> <p>As the Pokarier family navigates this unimaginable tragedy, they have been enveloped in a wave of support from their community, who stand united in offering comfort and assistance during this difficult time. </p> <p><em>Images: GoFundMe / Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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"I'm lowkey dying": Brave young woman with terminal illness shares her final wish

<p>Samantha Bulloch was given three years to live after she was diagnosed with gut-wrenching stage four bowel cancer at the young age of 28. </p> <p>A year later, Bulloch has shared a heartfelt plea on social media in hopes of meeting her idol- pop star Taylor Swift. </p> <p>The Swiftie has scored a ticket to Taylor's final show in Sydney on the 26th of February, but she’s calling on “anyone to hook a sister up” so she can meet-and-greet the singer backstage. </p> <p>“I’m low key dying and honestly this would just make my year,” she said in a video shared to TikTok. </p> <p>“I’m going out on a limb here so I’m just shooting my shot and we’re going to see what happens.</p> <p>“If anyone has any connections... I would love you forever.”</p> <p>Bulloch has been a fan of the megastar since she was 15 years old. </p> <p>“Taylor means so much to me, and I’d love the opportunity to tell her just how much of an impact she’s made on my life,” she told <em>7Life</em>. </p> <p>“I’ve loved her since I was 15, and her music has seen me through so many chapters in my life — including this one.</p> <p>“I love that her music transcends all kinds of walks of life, and so many of us connect with it so personally, despite the differences in our situations.</p> <p>“She has a real talent for making you feel less alone.I recently got a new tattoo of the lyric, ‘For the hope of it all’, from her song called August.</p> <p>“I adopted that lyric during my experience with cancer. I’m choosing to live for the hope of it all.”</p> <p>As she faces terminal cancer, Bulloch said that she is determined to live the rest of her life to the fullest. </p> <p>"I’m hoping and praying for many more years than what I’ve been given. But if not, I intend to try and maximise these few I’ve got left to the best of my ability," she said. </p> <p>“Thankfully I’ve always been quite a positive and hopeful person, and that hasn’t left me during this experience.”</p> <p>Bulloch was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2023, after experiencing low iron levels, fatigue and blood in her stool. </p> <p>She is currently on a chemotherapy regime and an immunotherapy drug and added that she also hopes to tick off many of her bucket list destinations this year, including visiting UK, Paris, New York and Tasmania. </p> <p>“My doctor has said I can, providing the treatment I’m on now works," the hopeful 29-year-old said. </p> <p>“Thankfully treatment has been working so hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to do that."</p> <p><em>Images: Samantha Bulloch </em></p>

Caring

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“Unbelievably legitimate”: Deb Knight falls victim to popular scam

<p>Deb Knight has shared how she fell victim to a popular scam, losing $1,200 while trying to get Taylor Swift tickets for her daughter's birthday. </p> <p>Like many people around Australia, the veteran journalist was eager to get her hands on tickets to the highly anticipated Eras Tour as a once in a lifetime surprise for her eight-year-old daughter's birthday present.</p> <p>After missing out on tickets through all official channels, Deb thought hope was lost, until a friend reached out to her. </p> <p>“A really good friend, who I’ve known all my life, contacted me and said, ‘do you still want Taylor Swift tickets?’” Knight told <em>A Current Affair</em>.</p> <p>“It was my daughter’s eighth birthday and getting my hands on these tickets would be the best present ever."</p> <p>“My friend put me in contact with her friend who had the tickets – or so I thought.”</p> <p>Knight had received a phone call from her close friend who said her cousin was selling tickets, but unbeknownst to everyone involved, the friend’s Facebook account had been hacked. </p> <p>Deb promised to pay half the cost of the tickets as a bond, then pay the rest after she had seen the tickets, which she said looked “unbelievably legitimate". </p> <p>Tech expert Trevor Long joined Deb on <em>ACA</em>, and noticed one major error about the fake tickets. </p> <p>“The difference is a genuine Taylor Swift ticket in an Apple Wallet right now does not have that barcode.”</p> <p>Alarm bells started ringing for the veteran journalist when the so-called seller said the payment had not come through, but by then it was too late.</p> <p>Deb contacted her bank but it was too late to get her $1,200 back, and her hunt to find Taylor Swift tickets continued. </p> <p>“I realised I’d been scammed. I felt sick to the stomach, absolutely humiliated. I also felt embarrassed and ashamed,” she said.</p> <p>“I was reluctant to speak publicly about this but I think we’ve got to. We have to normalise it so people feel there’s less of a stigma about it."</p> <p>“It happens to everyone, even Deb Knight – it’s disgusting, what’s happening, so something needs to be done.”</p> <p>Police have warned Swifties who missed out on tickets to the singer’s upcoming tour not to fall prey to ticketing scams, and only to purchase tickets through official channels such as Ticketek marketplace. </p> <p>Since tickets for the Eras tour went on sale last June, and subsequently sold out in record timing, Victoria Police said there had been more than 250 reports of ticketing scams for Taylor Swift shows alone.</p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Shocking reason why woman was dumped as her best friend’s bridesmaid

<p dir="ltr">A friendship has broken down live on radio, after a woman was dumped from being a bridesmaid after trying to attend a Taylor Swift concert the same night as her best friend’s wedding. </p> <p dir="ltr">Liv was one of thousands of Aussies who secured tickets to see Taylor Swift when her Eras Tour heads Down Under in February. Unfortunately for the young woman, the only night she could get tickets for was the same night as her best friend Jess’ wedding, where she was set to be a bridesmaid. </p> <p dir="ltr">Knowing about the concert while the wedding planning was taking place, Liv said she was nervous to tell Jess about the show, and decided to keep it secret while they were shopping for wedding outfits. </p> <p dir="ltr">Calling into the <em>Fifi, Fev &amp; Nick</em> radio show, Liv wanted advice on how to tell her friend that she planned to attend Jess’ wedding ceremony, and then leave the reception to attend the concert. </p> <p dir="ltr">The radio hosts decided to let the two women hash it out live on air, with Liv saying to her friend at the start of the phone call, “Obviously the whole Taylor thing, we've been talking about it and you've been saying how annoying it is that people have been backing out.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2cLqsqvcIw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2cLqsqvcIw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Fifi, Fev &amp; Nick (@fififevnick)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“But I haven't told you I got tickets for the Saturday and this was done before Christmas. However, I was thinking of trying to compromise here and make it work.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Liv shared her plan to “scoot off” in the middle of the big day, to which Jess was convinced she was being “pranked”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I feel really bad, I do but I have loved Taylor for so long, you are aware of this and you knew how hard it was to get tickets,” Liv replied. </p> <p dir="ltr">But Jess flew off the handle at her friend, slamming her for withholding the news and poking holes in her compromise. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You've known this before December and it's three weeks until my wedding and you're telling me now?” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You want to miss a part of my wedding to go to a Taylor Swift concert? You know how much this has been annoying me that people have been dropping out to go to her and you've known all along that you're going to go to her concert.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Liv said she feels like a “bad friend” before breaking down in tears, although Jess wasn’t having it. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I don't even understand though you've gone and bought tickets on my wedding date. I'm not trying to be mean right now, I think I'm just angry before I'm even upset because I'm so stressed, it's three weeks out,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Host Fifi Box suggested Liv skip the concert, but she was hesitant calling the show a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pair eventually hung up, with Jess ringing into the radio show in the weeks after to share an update. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C29c8ERPrdT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C29c8ERPrdT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Fifi, Fev &amp; Nick (@fififevnick)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“I was caught off guard, pretty mortified that she chose to do it live on air, and also pretty angry,” Jess told the Melbourne radio show hosts. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Liv and I did speak after the show, and I told her she’s shown her true colours and if she wants to go to the concert, she can go to the concert.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“She was a really good friend, and if she saw that a Taylor Swift concert was more important (than my wedding), that’s her choice but I don’t want her to be a part of my day.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When Fifi asked exactly what happened after the first call on air, Jess admitted that “there was a bit of fighting.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“She still wanted to take the route that maybe she could come for some of the wedding and then leave,” Jess explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But realistically that wasn’t feasible and to choose someone to be your bridesmaid — in my eyes — is a pretty big deal.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Jess went on to say that Liv “reached out to some of the other bridesmaids and offered to help with the hen’s night, to which she “told them to block her because I don’t want her involved with it at all”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The bride-to-be admitted that it had been a “rough couple of weeks” and that some of her friends are “cult Taylor Swift fans and have taken Liv’s side.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It definitely hasn’t been the lead up to the wedding that I wanted, I didn’t expect to lose friends over such an exciting part of my life. It’s really emotional, it’s meant to be an exciting time for me,” she explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It just really sucks that someone who I loved so much has done this.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram / Getty Images </em><span id="docs-internal-guid-b1fd920e-7fff-fda1-0a24-05d2c9a0abb2"></span></p>

Relationships

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Tragic update on man buried alive on Bribie Island

<p>Vibrant and energetic 25-year-old Josh Taylor, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-of-man-who-was-buried-alive-breaks-silence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">who found himself buried</a> in the sandy depths of Bribie Island, Queensland, has succumbed to the severe injuries sustained during the tragic incident.</p> <p>After five days of battling for his life, Josh's family made the agonising decision to switch off his life support.</p> <p>Josh's untimely demise stemmed from a seemingly innocent gathering on Bribie Island, where he and his friends were digging a sand pit to cook a pig in the traditional Maori style of hangi.</p> <p>Witnesses recalled the horrifying moment when Josh, while standing on a chair, lost his footing, and the sand beneath him gave way. He stumbled backwards into the deep hole, disappearing from view. It took a team of 15 people to pull him out.</p> <p>An off-duty paramedic and loyal friends resorted to using ropes tied to Josh's feet, pulling him free from the suffocating grip of the sand, but despite their valiant efforts, Josh had already endured significant injuries during the ordeal.</p> <p>As they pulled him from the hole, the force of the rescue exacerbated his injuries, leaving him without a pulse for a gut-wrenching 45 minutes. The nightmare unfolded before the eyes of Josh's family, who were also on the scene.</p> <p>Josh's father, Peter, was among those frantically digging to free his son.</p> <p>In their grief, following the decision to switch off Josh's life support, the Taylor family expressed gratitude for the compassionate efforts of those who helped to pull him from the sand, attempted to revive him at the scene, and provided care at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. </p> <p>“Without these people, Josh would not have had the opportunity to recover or give our family and friends these last precious days with him to say goodbye,” the Taylor family said in a statement.</p> <p>“He fought as hard as he could and is the most courageous person we will ever know. </p> <p>"Unfortunately, the injuries he received were too severe for him to overcome. We will somehow find a way to move on from this terrible tragedy.</p> <p>“He was the best son, brother, boyfriend and mate we could all have wished for. We love you Josh and will miss you every minute of every day. Goodbye mate until we see each other again.”</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / 7News</em></p>

Caring

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How did Taylor Swift get so popular? She never goes out of style

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-pattison-1407185">Kate Pattison</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Last week, USA Today/Gannett <a href="https://us231.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/gannett/Posting/View/63544">posted a job ad</a> for a Taylor Swift reporter, seeking an experienced journalist and content creator to “capture the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift”.</p> <p>It’s not the first time Swift has been the focus of professional and academic work. In 2022, New York University’s Clive Davis Institute <a href="https://variety.com/2022/music/news/taylor-swift-course-nyu-clive-davis-institute-1235170200/">announced a course focused on Swift</a>, taught by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. They also gave Swift <a href="https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2022/march/Commencement_HDs_2020_2021_2022.html">an honorary doctorate in fine arts</a>, as “one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of her generation”.</p> <p>Other universities around the world followed with their own dedicated courses, including “<a href="https://www.nme.com/en_au/news/music/taylor-swift-is-the-subject-of-a-new-university-course-3483713">The Psychology of Taylor Swift</a>”, “<a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/taylor-swift-songbook-class-offered-university-of-texas-1235130293/">The Taylor Swift Songbook</a>” and “<a href="https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/style/taylor-swift-lyrics-course-belgian-university/index.html">Literature: Taylor’s Version</a>”.</p> <p>While musicians and celebrities have been the subject of our fascinations for decades, it’s not often they receive such individualised attention. Swift’s impressive career can be studied from multiple perspectives, including marketing, fandom, business and songwriting, to name a few.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KudedLV0tP0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>So why Taylor Swift?</h2> <p>From a music perspective, Swift has broken a lot of records. Last month, she became the <a href="https://variety.com/2023/music/news/taylor-swift-spotify-record-monthly-listeners-1235707101/">first female artist in Spotify history</a> to reach 100 million monthly listeners.</p> <p>Swift has achieved 12 number one albums on Billboard, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/17/arts/music/taylor-swift-speak-now-billboard-chart-record.html">the most by a woman artist</a>, overtaking Barbra Streisand earlier this year.</p> <p>She’s the first and only woman solo artist to win the <a href="https://www.grammy.com/artists/taylor-swift/15450">Album Of The Year Grammy</a> three times, for Fearless (2009), 1989 (2015) and Folklore (2020) – each in a different musical genre. It’s a credit to Swift’s masterful songwriting, and demonstrates her ability to adapt her craft for different audiences.</p> <p>There is an expectation for female artists to constantly re-invent themselves, something <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/10/interesting-reinvention-taylor-swift-celebrities">Swift reflected on</a> in her Netflix documentary Miss Americana:</p> <blockquote> <p>The female artists I know of have to remake themselves like 20 times more than the male artists, or you’re out of a job.</p> </blockquote> <p>Over the course of her career, Swift has evolved from an award-winning country music singer to one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Each of her ten original studio albums <a href="https://www.thelist.com/463869/every-taylor-swift-era-explained/">has a distinct theme and aesthetic</a>, which have been celebrated on Swift’s juggernaut Eras Tour.</p> <p>The tour, which has just wrapped up its first US leg, is set to be the highest-grossing of all time, boosting local travel and tourism revenue along the way. A <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-eras-tour-boosted-economy-tourism-federal-reserve-how-much-money-made/">recent report estimates</a> the tour could help add a monumental US$5 billion (A$7.8 billion) to the worldwide economy.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b1kbLwvqugk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>‘All I do is try, try, try’</h2> <p>But to measure Swift’s impact by her music alone would be limiting.</p> <p>Swift has been instrumental in changing the business game for musicians. She’s taken on record labels and streaming services, advocating for better deals for artists.</p> <p>In 2015, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-33220189">Apple Music changed its payment policies</a> after Swift wrote an <a href="https://www.stereogum.com/1810310/read-taylor-swifts-open-letter-to-apple-music/news/">open letter</a> campaigning for better compensation.</p> <p>Most notably, she took a stand <a href="https://taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/185958366550/for-years-i-asked-pleaded-for-a-chance-to-own-my">against her former record label</a>, Big Machine Records, after it wouldn’t give her an opportunity to buy back her original master recordings. Her back catalogue was eventually sold to music executive Scooter Braun, kicking off a <a href="https://pitchfork.com/news/taylor-swifts-music-ownership-controversy-with-scooter-braun-what-it-means-and-why-it-matters/">very public feud</a>.</p> <p>While she’s not the first artist to go after her masters, she’s generated an enormous amount of attention to an issue that’s often overlooked. Of course, Swift is in a position of privilege – she can take risks many other artists can’t afford to. But with this power she’s driving conversations around contracts and the value of music, paving the way for emerging artists.</p> <p>In an effort to regain control of her earlier work, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-on-lover-and-haters/">Swift announced</a> she would be re-recording her first six albums. Each re-recorded album has included additional <a href="https://www.insider.com/taylor-swift-fearless-rerecord-release-date-unreleased-songs-2021-2">vault tracks</a>, previously unreleased songs left off the original recordings.</p> <p>These releases have each been accompanied by a robust promotional campaign, including new merchandise and multiple, limited-edition versions of each record for fans to collect.</p> <p>The release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) marked the halfway point of this process, which has paid off big time. Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version) and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) <a href="https://www.billboard.com/lists/taylor-swift-taylors-version-stats-chart-numbers/the-equivalent-album-units-gap/">have all performed better</a> than the originals.</p> <p>This is largely due to the unwavering support from her fans, known as “Swifties”. They’ve embraced the new recordings, shaming anyone who plays the original “stolen” versions.</p> <h2>The power of Swifties</h2> <p>Swift’s loyal fandom are known for their high levels of participation and creativity. Fans have spent an extensive amount of time hand-making outfits for concerts, and discussing elaborate theories online.</p> <p>Swift has a reputation for leaving clues, known as <a href="https://junkee.com/taylor-swift-easter-eggs/219709">Easter eggs</a>, in her lyrics, music videos, social media posts and interviews. There are fan accounts dedicated to analysing these Easter eggs, studying specific number patterns and phrases to uncover hints for what Swift might do next.</p> <p>Swift and Taylor Nation, a branch of her management team, encourage these behaviours by rewarding fans for their participation.</p> <p>For the upcoming release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Swift has unveiled a series of puzzles on Google, which fans must solve together in order to reveal the names of the upcoming vault tracks.</p> <p>Swifties collectively <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/2023/09/20/taylor-swift-vault-puzzle-1989-tracks/">solved the 33 million</a> (yes, that’s <em>million</em>) puzzles in less than 24 hours. The games played a dual role - not only did <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxbFSR1RAOv/?img_index=1">Swift announce the vault track titles</a>, but she’s <a href="https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSN1uHN9R/">reclaimed her Google searches</a> in the process.</p> <p>Swift’s fandom crosses generations. She’s a quintessential millennial, and many fans have grown up with Swift over the past two decades. Some have even started to bring their children along to the concerts, <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@folkloreswift_/video/7255857466213158149?is_from_webapp=1&amp;sender_device=pc&amp;web_id=6972316934294291973">posting videos</a> of them set to the bridge to Long Live.</p> <p>She’s also found a younger audience on TikTok, a platform <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/tiktok-stats/">predominantly used by Gen Z</a>. Affectionately dubbed “<a href="https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/year-on-tiktok-music-report-2021">SwiftTok</a>” by fans (and now <a href="https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSLokp2rQ/">Swift herself</a>), users post videos to engage with other Swifties and participate in the community.</p> <p>Swift’s songs are often used in popular trends. The release of Midnights last year had many dancing to <a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a43488940/taylor-swift-surprised-fan-viral-tiktok-dance-bejeweled-eras-tour/">Bejeweled</a> and <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@tatycake/video/7216131364469427499?is_from_webapp=1&amp;sender_device=pc&amp;web_id=6972316934294291973">Karma</a>, but Swift’s older catalogue has also gotten a good run. A remix of Love Story <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/taylor-swift-tiktok-love-story-remix-disco-lines-1035691/">went viral in 2020</a>, which helped a new generation discover her older music. Most recently, her song August has been used for running on the beach and <a href="https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSLok2jRb/">spinning around</a> with your pets.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-925" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/925/cad71d8026910236be1d5880a20a247cdee29c82/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>She’s also closely aligned with young adult shows like The Summer I Turned Pretty, which has <a href="https://www.vulture.com/2023/08/taylor-swift-summer-i-turned-pretty.html">featured 13 of her songs</a> throughout the show’s first two seasons. Swift’s music is so central to the story that <a href="https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2023-08-19/summer-i-turned-pretty-music-jenny-han-taylor-swift">author Jenny Han nearly dedicated</a> the second book to her.</p> <p>Swift continues to dominate the cultural conversation through her music, business decisions and legions of devoted fans.</p> <p>Right now, Swift’s popularity is at an all time high, and it could be easy to dismiss this hype as a passing trend. But if these first 17 years are anything to go by, Swift’s proven she’s in it for the long haul, and worthy of our time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213871/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-pattison-1407185">K<em>ate Pattison</em></a><em>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-did-taylor-swift-get-so-popular-she-never-goes-out-of-style-213871">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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X-Men actor welcomes third child

<p>X-Men actor Liev Schreiber has welcomed his third child, first with girlfriend Taylor Neison - a beautiful baby girl! </p> <p>The actor, known for keeping his life private, took to Instagram to share the happy news, with an adorable photo of his little girl's hand, and her foot. </p> <p>He also revealed her name to his almost 550 thousand followers. </p> <p>"So happy that Hazel Bee is finally here," he captioned the photo. </p> <p>"She arrived early in the morning of August 27th and has been a dream every day since. </p> <p>"Mum and baby are both super happy and healthy. Thanks to all for the love and support."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxJ0iVSsEzS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxJ0iVSsEzS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Liev Schreiber (@lievschreiber)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Schreiber's famous friends took to the comments to congratulate the new parents. </p> <p>"We love baby Hazel!! 🙌" British actress, and Schreiber's ex Naomi Watts commented. </p> <p>Comedian Jim Gaffigan wrote: "Congratulations!"</p> <p><em>The Real Housewives of New York</em> star Kelly Bensimon and <em>The Vampire Diaries</em> actress Kat Graham also took to the comments to congratulate the couple. </p> <p>The announcement comes just days after Schreiber and Neison were <a href="https://pagesix.com/2023/09/13/liev-schreiber-welcomes-third-baby-his-first-with-taylor-neisen/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spotted </a>pushing a stroller and carrying the newborn in a baby sling while out and about in New York. </p> <p>The couple never formally announced their pregnancy but the news came in April when Nielson was spotted walking around with a baby bump. </p> <p>They reportedly tied the knot in a secret wedding over the 4th of July holiday weekend this year, with only four people in attendance. </p> <p>Hazel is the couple's first child together, but Schreiber is already father to 16-year-old Sasha and 14-year-old Kai, who he shares with Naomi Watts. </p> <p>Watts confirmed that they are on "great terms" as co-parents to their teen kids. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

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How does a Taylor Swift fan prove their love? Money

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/georgia-carroll-1427562">Georgia Carroll</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>In November 2022, Ticketmaster was forced to <a href="https://business.ticketmaster.com/business-solutions/taylor-swift-the-eras-tour-onsale-explained/">cancel</a> the general sale for Taylor Swift’s North American Eras tour after unprecedented demand. More than 3.5 million fans had registered to try to get a presale code – a number far exceeding the number of available tickets for the 52 shows.</p> <p>The story made international headlines and led to a <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-fans-and-congress-take-on-ticketmaster/">congressional hearing</a> into Ticketmaster’s processes.</p> <p>Dates for the Australian leg of the Eras tour <a href="https://twitter.com/taylorswift13/status/1671186653195403268?s=20">were announced</a> recently. Swift will be performing three shows in Sydney and two in Melbourne. Fans from other cities – and New Zealand – will have to travel should they wish to see her perform locally for the first time in over five years.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">EXCUSE ME HI I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY 🙋‍♀️ I can’t wait to see so many of you on The Eras Tour next year at these new international dates! Visit <a href="https://t.co/EYBevxhQzH">https://t.co/EYBevxhQzH</a> for more information on your registrations, pre-sales and on-sales!! <a href="https://t.co/G8zx8QUUAV">pic.twitter.com/G8zx8QUUAV</a></p> <p>— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) <a href="https://twitter.com/taylorswift13/status/1671186653195403268?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 20, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Tickets for the five performances are on sale now, with less than 500,000 seats available. While this may seem like a lot, the disappointment seen in <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/taylor-swift-tickets-resale-sites-stubhub-concert-dates-11669173929">North</a> and <a href="https://uproxx.com/pop/taylor-swift-the-eras-tour-brazil-presale/">South America</a> is likely to also be seen here.</p> <p>Taylor Swift fans are known for spending significant amounts of money on <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/breaking-the-record-the-australian-fans-helping-taylor-swift-dominate-the-charts-20221102-p5buzq.html">albums</a>, <a href="https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2023/05/how-far-does-150-get-you-at-the-taylor-swift-merch-store-heres-what-i-bought.html">merchandise</a> and <a href="https://www.news.com.au/world/dad-spends-21000-on-taylor-swift-tickets-for-his-daughter-and-three-friends/video/181135abe72628c078711f133f972b19">concert tickets</a>.</p> <p>While being a fan is an <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/5-000-bruce-springsteen-tickets-170057519.html">increasingly expensive experience</a>, there seems to be a particular connection between Taylor’s fandom and the <a href="https://www.salon.com/2023/01/14/taylor-swift-cat-capitalist-billionaire-success/">expectation of consumption</a>.</p> <h2>Handpicked fans</h2> <p>Swift shares a particularly intense connection with her fans.</p> <p>Fans frequently engage in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/feb/13/too-close-for-comfort-the-pitfalls-of-parasocial-relationships">parasocial relationships</a> with their celebrity objects of fandom, where they feel as if they honestly “know” the celebrity.</p> <p>These relationships are often portrayed as problematic in both <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2023/04/parasocial-relationships-imaginary-connections-fans-celebrities/673645/">academic and popular discourse</a>. However, the connections fans feel to their favourite celebrities can be a <a href="https://vogue.sg/parasocial-relationship-kpop-fans/">healthy expansion of their social world</a>.</p> <p>Swift is unique among celebrities in that she actively courts these connections.</p> <p>By handpicking fans for “secret sessions” before album releases (often held in her own home) and hosting post-show meet and greets, over the past 16 years she has carefully built the illusion of these relationships as reciprocated friendship.</p> <p><a href="https://www.eonline.com/news/1062021/secrets-revealed-from-taylor-swift-s-first-lover-secret-session">For these events</a>, she memorises facts about each fan in attendance, surprising them with comments about new haircuts, academic achievements and relationship milestones.</p> <p>She also has a history of sending fans surprise gifts <a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/pop/taylor-swift-fan-gifts-history-9549740/">in the mail</a>, ranging from handwritten letters of support to gift boxes full of things she says “remind her” of the fan in question.</p> <h2>Performing fandom</h2> <p>Based on the North American performances, it appears Swift is not conducting meet and greets during The Eras tour. But fans believe there is always the chance they will be noticed and chosen to meet her.</p> <p>When Swift’s official social media team, <a href="https://twitter.com/taylornation13">Taylor Nation</a>, engage with fans – by liking, replying to, or retweeting their messages – individuals often put the date and type of interaction in their bio to broadcast the attention they received to others within the fandom community.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">So make the friendship bracelets and store them in your new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TSTheErasTour?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TSTheErasTour</a> tote 🥹 <a href="https://t.co/Cw97l7Y6Sv">https://t.co/Cw97l7Y6Sv</a></p> <p>— Taylor Nation (@taylornation13) <a href="https://twitter.com/taylornation13/status/1671218154658226177?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 20, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>The belief among fans (which has never been confirmed) is that being noticed on social media puts you a step closer to meeting Swift in person – something many of the participants in my research into her fandom described as the ultimate motivation behind their engagement.</p> <p>To be noticed, however, fans must participate in particular, approved ways.</p> <p>The Taylor Nation twitter account retweets and engages with fans who have shared screenshots of merchandise receipts (from increasingly frequent, <a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/taylor-swift-2022-holiday-merch-drop-1235170056/">themed</a> <a href="https://www.nme.com/news/music/taylor-swift-drops-new-merchandise-ahead-of-eras-tour-2023-3390428">merchandise releases</a>), pictures of themselves with multiple copies of albums, or particularly over-the-top displays of emotion and creativity.</p> <p>This sets a baseline of what it takes to get their – and Swift’s – attention.</p> <h2>The hierarchy of fandom</h2> <p>Fandom communities are <a href="https://annehelen.substack.com/p/what-fandoms-found-families-tell">often discussed</a> as spaces of friendship and community.</p> <p>More realistically, they are hierarchical structures in which fans have their status elevated by participating in certain ways.</p> <p>For Swift fans, these hierarchies are heavily tied to practices of consumption, including the purchasing of concert tickets.</p> <p>The most expensive package for the Australian tour dates <a href="https://www.frontiertouring.com/current-tours/taylorswift/sydney">will set fans back A$1,249</a>. For that price, fans will get an “unforgettable A Reserve floor ticket” and “exclusive VIP merchandise”.</p> <p>If fans are just after a seat, A Reserve is listed at $379.90, dropping down to $79.90 for G Reserve.</p> <p>Within the fandom, fans who travel to shows, attend multiple nights, or have seats near the stage are labelled “dedicated” and “committed”. Those who miss out on tickets often express their frustration at missing out to others who they don’t <a href="https://twitter.com/AdoreBangtrash/status/1671181373594550272?s=20">deem to be “real” fans</a>.</p> <p>North American fans have gone to <a href="https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/taylor-swift-mania-begins-fans-line-up-for-hours-in-hopes-of-snagging-early-merch/3152932/">great lengths</a> to secure tour merchandise, even after they have secured tickets to the concerts. Fans have reportedly been <a href="https://www.wtae.com/article/taylor-swift-fans-pack-north-shore-to-buy-merchandise-ahead-of-singers-eras-tour-stop/44211846">queueing before sunrise</a>, spending <a href="https://www.news.com.au/world/taylor-swift-fan-buys-11k-worth-of-merchandise/video/4367433017c654a3ce53ad1d367d6e94">thousands of dollars</a> and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/19/style/taylor-swift-mania.html">waiting in the rain</a> to get their hands on limited-edition items.</p> <p>The higher the levels of sacrifice reported, the more someone can project to other members of the fandom just how big a fan they are. This can result in increased attention and a reputation as <a href="https://twitter.com/KatieFigura/status/1632912261776830464?s=20">someone who “deserves” to meet Swift</a>.</p> <p>In her song <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzOvgu3GPwY">Karma</a>, Swift sings “my pennies made your crown”. When tens of thousands of fans scream this back at her every night, they are reflecting the reality of Swift’s celebrity.</p> <p>Swift’s business model is largely built on fan desire to meet her. How do you meet her? You prove you are the biggest fan – and you’ve made the sacrifices (and spent the money) to show it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208177/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/georgia-carroll-1427562">Georgia Carroll</a>, PhD Candidate in Sociology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-does-a-taylor-swift-fan-prove-their-love-money-208177">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Queensland MP pleads with Taylor Swift to bring her tour to town

<p dir="ltr">When international music sensation <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/taylor-swift-s-massive-news-sends-aussie-fans-into-a-frenzy">Taylor Swift announced her international tour dates</a>, most Australian fans fell into one of two categories: delighted or devastated.</p> <p dir="ltr">For while the star was answering the prayers of thousands and bringing her Eras Tour down under, she was only set to play in Sydney and Melbourne, leaving a number of other major cities out of the loop. </p> <p dir="ltr">And while most took to social media to share their heartbreak, some even <a href="https://www.change.org/p/get-taylor-swift-to-brisbane">launching a change.org petition</a> to bring her their way, one Queensland MP and Swift superfan opted instead to share his heartbreak with reporters down in Canberra. </p> <p dir="ltr">Andrew Wallace, who joined the Swiftie ranks thanks to car rides with his daughters and a soundtrack courtesy of the singer-songwriter’s impressive catalogue, also seized it as an opportunity to beg Taylor to reconsider her tour dates, and bless Brisbane with her presence.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Interestingly, there is about a week in between her three concerts in Sydney and two concerts in Melbourne. That is the perfect opportunity,” he pointed out. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Taylor, I’m asking you, begging you, I’m pleading with you. I’ll get down on my knees if I have to. Please come to Queensland. There are so many Swiftie fans in Queensland. I am one of them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As he went on to note, addressing “the guys at Frontier Touring”, it wasn’t clear why Queensland had been left out, as “it’s the first time Taylor will be visiting Australia and not Queensland.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Wallace wasn’t the only one with strong feelings on the matter either, with Sports Minister - and fellow Queenslander - Anika Wells dropping by the press conference to announce that it was an “outrage” to be excluded, and Taylor should know that all too well. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, Wallace wasn’t going to hold it against Taylor, promising that their love story would continue as “no one would ever be able to develop ‘Bad Blood’ between myself and Taylor Swift. It just would not be possible.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He even went on to dedicate <a href="http://andrewwallacemp.com.au/taylorswift/">an entire section of his own website</a> to the cause, where he reiterated that he was “the dad of four daughters, and I’m an unashamed Swiftie. And I’m a proud Queenslander who knows that thousands of fans are disappointed to see Queensland left off the Eras Tour map.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m calling on Frontier Touring to extend Taylor’s tour to Queensland – and particularly to the Sunshine Coast, the heart of Queensland’s Swiftie population … we know that a visit to the Sunshine Coast would mean the world to tens of thousands of Queenslanders who think the absolute world of Taylor Swift.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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Taylor Swift's massive news sends Aussie fans into a frenzy

<p dir="ltr">Music superstar Taylor Swift sent fans across Australia into a frenzy when she finally announced a new batch of sought-after international dates for her record-breaking Eras Tour. </p> <p dir="ltr">The news came through a post to social media, in which Taylor shared a list of the upcoming dates from August 2023 through to August 2024, and captioned the image “EXCUSE ME HI I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY”.</p> <p dir="ltr">After expressing her excitement over seeing her devoted fans in cities all across the world, the singer directed them to her official website for more information, while the ‘Swifties’ started planning, shaking off their wallets and preparing to take on the presale masses. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ctt9bGGOPsL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ctt9bGGOPsL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Taylor is set to launch her trip to the Asia-Pacific region with four stops in Japan, before heading down to Melbourne in February to play the city’s Melbourne Cricket Ground. </p> <p dir="ltr">The venue - with its capacity for 100,000 eager fans - is the largest in the southern hemisphere, and if the calculations of some superfans are correct, it'll break records to become the biggest show of the star’s career. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">🏟️ | Taylor Swift will become the first female to headline the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia since Madonna in 1993! 🇦🇺</p> <p>— Its the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere with 100,000+ capacity and is set to be the biggest show of her career <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TSTheErasTour?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TSTheErasTour</a> <a href="https://t.co/8qkofYXppt">pic.twitter.com/8qkofYXppt</a></p> <p>— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/TSwiftNZ/status/1671224074281037831?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 20, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">A week later, she’s set to bring the glitz and glamour of the show to Sydney, with concerts across three consecutive nights at Accor Stadium, before jetting to Singapore to begin the next leg of the tour. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, with a week between each show and many major Australian cities - not to mention New Zealand - missing out on the spectacle, many believe that there’s a chance Taylor may announce another batch of dates, if demand for the current planned shows is high.</p> <p dir="ltr">And given that Frontier Touring‘s site ran into trouble with high traffic immediately after the announcement and presale promises, it seems likely.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taylor isn’t coming alone, of course, with fellow singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter having been named as her support act for the entire August-to-August leg.</p> <p dir="ltr">And, of course, fans were thrilled with the news, with many taking to social media to express their excitement - though there were some that couldn’t get over the lack of shows across other Aussie states, and had to share it. </p> <p dir="ltr">“With a limited amount of shows in Australia, I can see fans from Adelaide and Perth and even New Zealand booking tickets at the MCG. With her schedule free I can guarantee more dates will be added and I predict that it will break concert tour attendance records in Australia,” one Twitter user wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It is all about her. What about the other States of Oz? Naaah..go to the biggest stadium to break all the records I can and let the fans travel from all over Australia to do so. Not nearly good enough. Feel sorry for the other States. A big fat snub,” one potentially former fan added. </p> <p dir="ltr">Many weren’t going to let them stop them, with no few commenters making the most of the situation and looking ahead to better times at the stadiums, simply declaring to their friends “I guess we’re all going to Aus in February then”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Christine Taylor on reigniting her romance

<p dir="ltr">After splitting from their 17-year marriage, Christine Taylor has shared how she and Ben Stiller reignited their flame.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taylor appeared on <em>The Drew Barrymore Show</em>, on Tuesday, and the actor discussed her relationship timeline with Stiller, revealing they were engaged after only six months of dating, and married within a year after that. </p> <p dir="ltr">She went on to explain how their relationship unfolded, “Family was always a priority but I think Ben and I both sort of started to grow in different directions,” Taylor said, adding that the decision to separate was not one the couple “took lightly.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“That time apart for each of us to sort of get to know who we are ... I think we have these growth spurts even as adults,” Taylor continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stiller and Taylor got married in 2000 and share two children, Ella, 20, and Quinlin, 17, with the couple first announcing their separation in 2017.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taylor shared that the pair, who had been living separately after their divorce, decided to move in together to their family with their children after the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p dir="ltr">She revealed that living together was a “special” time for the couple and that they were able to reconnect without distractions.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-3cf97636-7fff-f307-621d-9151ea4be8d7"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Getty </em></p>

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"It was a loud wake-up call": Aaron Sorkin's serious health scare

<p dir="ltr">Award-winning screenwriter and director Aaron Sorkin has revealed he suffered a stroke last November.</p> <p dir="ltr">In an interview with <em>The New York Times</em>, the 61-year-old, who holds three Golden Globes and five Emmys, said the experience was so intense it made him think he might never work again.</p> <p dir="ltr">"There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again," Sorkin said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sorkin revealed that the stroke occurred two months before rehearsals for his upcoming musical – a re-written version of <em>Camelot</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>West Wing</em> creator said that the symptoms showed up in the middle of the night when he realised that he kept crashing into walls on his way to the kitchen.</p> <p dir="ltr">The symptoms carried on the next day, when he found himself continually spilling a glass of orange juice in his home office.</p> <p dir="ltr">When he went to the doctors they said his blood pressure was so high, he was "supposed to be dead".</p> <p dir="ltr">Sorkin also shared that he’s still suffering from the side effects as he hasn’t been able to taste food properly since the stroke.</p> <p dir="ltr">A month after the stroke, Sorkin struggled to type and was slurring his words, it’s only recently that he finally built up the coordination to be able to sign his name again.</p> <p dir="ltr">The director shared that the stroke has led him to make some major lifestyle changes.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Mostly it was a loud wake-up call," he said. "I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted, and it's not going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sorkin has since given up smoking, works out twice a day and has incorporated a healthier diet. "I take a lot of medicine. You can hear the pills rattling around in me," he added.</p> <p dir="ltr">The screenwriter is currently preparing for the opening of his new musical, <em>Camelot</em>, which is his fourth Broadway production.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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