In "Regret Everything" comedian Will Hines tells us what thoughts have been gnawing at his brain.
I like Taylor Swift songs, especially when she's mad at some guy (i.e. all Taylor Swift songs). Were I Taylor's manager, the first thing I would do is try to get her next boyfriend to break up with her, preferably in a way that stings her melody-attracting, harmony-provoking romantic pride.
"You didn't hear it from me, but I saw her Facebooking with Kevin Peters," I'd tell Connor Kennedy or whoever she was dating. "Might be time for the talk. She's got free time right before the Grammys."
I do not take joy out of anyone's personal romantic suffering, but a man needs his pop music and happy artists are boring ones.
Even better: get Adele to fall in love with Taylor's boyfriend and sing an album full of desperate, soulful-but-still-accessible longing. Now I'm getting two great albums out of one heartbreak! I'm a monster, but one that respects efficiency.
EVEN MORE AWESOME would be to have Kanye West fall desperately in love with Taylor Swift and her to reject it! Given his oft-memed interruption of her award at the 2009 MTV video music awards, the ironic tragedy of his unrequited love would propel him to an overproduced masterpiece!
Generally, I'm a moral person. But when it comes to my pop music, my brain shifts fully into evil villain mode. No heartbreak is too horrible for the sake of making my Spotify playlists more terrific! These pop stars are no longer human: they are machines. Machines of sadness that totally get what it means to land a solid pop hook.
Given unlimited funds, I would not pursue political power nor lobby to help society. But I would conspire to make Rihanna mad at someone, and then provide ample studio time and a sick rhythm section.
My ultimate plan is perhaps too horrible to even write down. But here it is:
For the sake of the towering pop masterpiece it would inspire, I would implore Jay-Z to divorce Beyonce. Not just divorce, but publicly DUMP in the most devastating way.
Now, mind you carefully here, I do not take joy DIRECTLY out of Beyonce's suffering. I think she's super cool, as I believe any living human being with rational thought would. But the unfortunate truth is that Beyonce is at her best when fighting back from a heartbreak, and proving to the world that she is a survivor, irreplaceable, and beyond resentment.
If Jay-Z could somehow be convinced to make the admittedly dumb move of dumping Beyonce, I shudder to think of the power of the music that would be created. A pop opera filled with such deep rage that it would make Black Sabbath look like Ke$ha. An army of songwriters and producers would be summoned to craft a harrowing masterwork of anguish, vengeance and serious fucking beats.
There's no phrase for it, but if you could take "oh no he din't" and raise it to the 100th power, put it in a microwave and then turn it into a member of the X-Men, that would be Beyonce's album.
Yes, it's horrible to contemplate. Jay-Z and Beyonce are perhaps the coolest couple in the nation. We respect them, as evidenced by how we don't try to reduce their names into one dumb term a la "Bennifer" or "Brangelina." We love them too much to mangle their names. So I understand what a terrible thing I am asking for.
But great art requires great sacrifice. Would you want John Lennon to have been well-adjusted and thus not had the Beatles? Would you want Picasso to be completely content and thus not have his magnificent blue period? Do you wish Sylvia Plath had been super-happy writing love-making tips for Cosmopoltian? Would you like Sesame Street better if it had been Oscar the Chill?
So I ask you to hold your judgment, consider the quality of your iPhone's shuffle, and quietly hope for Jay-Z to create his 100th problem. For the sake of the music.