Sunday, October 14, 2018

MKUltra Made Taylor Swift Support Democrats

This post runs a little outside the usual scope of articles here, but I do cover conspiracies and this article from The Washington Post is just too damn funny. You should really read the whole thing yourself because reasons. I'll wait.

So here's the deal. For a long time posters on several of the big right-wing message forums were absolutely convinced that singer Taylor Swift was secretly a Trump-supporting conservative. Or maybe even a Nazi. But she had to keep it secret because just about everybody in the music industry was a Democrat and she didn't want to hurt her career. In fact, Swift has made great efforts over the years to keep her politics private, and has previously never made any endorsements. That changed this week, when she announced her support for two Tennessee Democrats, Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper.

Taylor Swift’s declaration that she plans to vote for Democrats next month fell like a hammer across the Trump-worshipping subforums of the far-right Internet, where people had convinced themselves, for reasons it will take some time to explain, that the world-famous pop star was a secret #MAGA fan. The news caught 4chan and Reddit trolls mid-post. On the pro-Trump r/The_Donald board, someone had just written out a sexual fantasy in which Swift and Kanye West hooked up because “Trump being the best president is actually something they both agree on.” The author edited the post minutes later: “NVM didn’t realize Taylor sold out to the left.”

Missives about Swift’s perceived betrayal of conservatism clogged far-right message boards. Some simply refused to believe what she had written to her 112 million Instagram followers Sunday evening — a 400-word condemnation of “systemic racism,” homophobia and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the GOP Senate candidate in her home state of Tennessee, complete with Swift’s endorsement of two Democrats: Phil Bredesen, the party’s Senate candidate, and Rep. Jim Cooper. “This is more than likely from Democratic MK ultra forces from above,” m3Me_Magic wrote on The_Donald. “I highly doubt Swift decided to become political at the 11th hour all on her own.”

Because, of course, absolutely nothing political has been going on over the last month, or the last year, that might make a 28-year-old woman decide that it was time to do something. It had to be MKUltra! You know, the CIA psychedelic mind-control program from the 1960's that ended in 1973. I mean, that was only sixteen years before Swift was born, so clearly that's the most likely, logical answer for her sudden announcement of her political affiliations.

Think about it - the CIA could have created a "Manchurian Candidate" in the 1960s who inadvertently was killed during an experiment, and that person could have been reincarnated as somebody whose life was cut short in 1989. At that point they were reborn as Taylor Swift. The CIA conditioning was so complete that it jumped from body to body along with the soul, and when it was finally triggered this week a new personality took over and she suddenly became a Democrat. Do you buy that?

If you do, this might not be the blog for you. Just sayin'...

That a 28-year-old celebrity — even one who had previously kept her politics private — would weigh in on a potentially crucial midterm election seems much less strange than the story of how the far-right Internet came to believe Swift was their secret ally — “our girl,” as many put it. The delusion traces back to the middle of the Obama administration, 2011, when a certain fraction of 4chan users convinced themselves that Swift had let them name her cat.

In some ways, it’s not much different from how every other conspiracy theory arises out of nonsense on that anonymous message board: Among the hundreds of thousands of posts written on 4chan that November, one was a kitten-naming contest. The winning name was Meredith, which — lo and behold — was also the name of Swift’s new kitten, according to a People Magazine article that 4chan users subsequently passed around in astonishment.

The fact that Swift had named her kitten Meredith at least three days before the contest was held made little difference to those who convinced themselves she was a secret 4chan user. Amateur sleuths began sifting through the website in search of more supposed secret messages from the pop star, coming up with a photo of someone’s window blinds that looked like Swift’s and an anonymous message from a “conservative” “entertainer” who claimed to be “one of the 50 most famous people on the planet.”

And you know, that might be even crazier than the MKUltra-reincarnation bullshit I spun up above. As an aside, "Meredith" is a terrible name for a cat. It's almost as bad as "Becky" - and yes, I do know of at least one person with a cat named Becky. When you call her, the name literally sticks in your throat. But at any rate, seeing as we know (A) there are obviously Taylor Swift fans on 4chan and (B) People Magazine probably was not the first source to break the kitten's name, don't you think it's more likely that Swift fans who already knew skewed the polls? Trust me, a little critical thinking goes a long way.

A myth that began with a kitten took a dark turn a few years later, when a neo-Nazi blogger came across a joke meme that mashed up photos of Swift with quotes from Adolf Hitler. He apparently mistook these as authentic and published them on the Daily Stormer under the headline: “Aryan Goddess Taylor Swift: Nazi Avatar of the White European People.”

A piece of advice - if you assume a Neo-Nazi is smart, you probably are going to be led astray. This isn't true of all conservatives, but Neo-Nazis in particular are a special breed (see what I did there?). Anyone who so desperately believes that they need to be legally enshrined as a member of the "Master Race" obviously has no other claims to superioity in any area. They need a political system that can hold them up because they're too weak, especially mentally, to do it in their own merits.

Probably not many people believed Swift was a Nazi — but between the 4chan rumors and the Daily Stormer memes, a vague but widespread belief spread across right-wing circles that the star was on their side. “Swift is very white and very blonde,” Milo Yiannopoulos wrote on Breitbart in 2016. “She was born on, and grew up in, a Christmas tree farm in rural Pennsylvania. You heard me right: a Christmas tree farm. Little wonder the tradition-oriented alt-right are swooning.” More than swooning — they were expecting.

“Taylor Swift will soon come out of the MAGA closet,” reads a typical post from that era on The_Donald, complete with a doctored photo of the star in a “Make America Great Again” hat. “Taylor Swift is secretly based,” a user called MrGreggle wrote on Reddit last year, after learning she had sent flowers to a police officer injured in the Las Vegas massacre. “She gets flak all the time for refusing to become a leftist spokesperson and she let 4chan name her cat.”

So no, there's really nothing to see here. The MAGA fans were impressed that Swift was one of them because it was so flat-out weird that 28-year-old in the music industry would be a conservative, and then considered it a "great betrayal" when normal reality asserted its head and she turned out to be just another liberal, or at least a supporter of Democrats. Then they started blaming sold-out-MKUltra-reincarnation-or-whatever conspiracies instead of accepting that sometimes a kitten is just a kitten.

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