Regardless of what happens over the next nine months and 23 days, when the time capsules are dusted off 100 years from now, 2017 will be remembered as the year that shit got beyond crazy.
And by “crazy”, we don’t mean Jack White’s recent revelation that he’s got a private bowling alley in his house with Bob Dylan’s personal John Wayne–emblazoned ball as part of his collection.
Let’s blame Donald Trump for turning the world as we once knew it completely upside down. Thanks to the man Americans are now dubbing SCROTUS (So-Called Ruler of the United States), we’ve got poor tortured Lana Del Rey publicly embracing the dark arts. Forget singing about being born to die, fucking her way to the top, and how her pussy tastes like Pepsi-Cola, these days the States’ most enchanting chanteuse is taking to Twitter to suggest her fellow citizens use witchcraft to get rid of Trump.
February 23 found the singer cryptically posting the following: “At the stroke of midnight Feb 24, March 26, April 24, May 23. Ingredients can b found online.” For those not trained in the Wiccan arts, the ingredients in question include a “tiny stub of an orange candle”, a bowl of water, a Tower tarot card, and—in the not-exactly-difficult-to-unearth category—“an unflattering photograph of Donald Trump”.
As for what you do with those supplies at midnight over the next three crescent moons (that would be the three remaining dates above), Google “Extranewsfeed + A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him”. Don’t forget to yell “So mote it be!” at the end of the proceedings, which, as every Storm Crow Tavern regular will tell you, is Middle-earth speak for “You’re fired!”
Meanwhile, Depeche Mode was suddenly back in the news for the most bizarre of reasons: American white supremacist Richard Spencer declared the famously progressive trio “the official band of the alt-right”, this having everything to do with his being a lifelong fan. Because that’s kind of like Ted Nugent calling PETA a friend to bow hunting, it surprised no one that Depeche Mode asked Spencer to go fuck himself, but not before permanently deleting Construction Time Again, Violator, and Music for the Masses from his iPod.
Elsewhere, Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers is suddenly and inexplicably cool again, dueting with everyone from Thundercat to Solange (who’s finally becoming known for something other than being the Knowles sister not named Beyoncé, and being the woman who tried to punch out Jay-Z in an elevator).
But one of the greatest signs yet that this year is headed for the Freaky Hall of Fame came this week, courtesy of Father John Misty. The man who looks more like an urbane Amish hair farmer than one of alternative America’s most colourful stars rolled out a new song in which he seemingly suggests he might enjoy having carnal relations with Taylor Swift.
Father John—a.k.a. Josh Tillman—is hardly the first high-profile artist to leave folks thinking he’d happily use America’s reigning sweetheart as his own personal Fleshlight; recall Kanye West last year rapping “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” in “Famous”.
The former evangelical Christian (Misty, not Kanye) has copped to a fascination with Tay-Tay before, and has recorded covers of her songs. Last year Tillman reminisced with Rolling Stone about seeing Swift in Australia while he was on acid: “It was holy. It was psychedelic. She fully impregnated my dilated soul with her ideology.”
So should we be surprised that Misty’s new song “Total Entertainment Forever” contains the line “Bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the Oculus Rift/After mister and the missus finish dinner and the dishes”? Well, yes, because it turns out, in yet another bizarre 2017 surprise, that Father John doesn’t actually want to bang the living snot out of Swift.
The 35-year-old is now telling anyone who will listen that the song is actually his way of holding up a mirror to the disgusting throng that is modern western civilization. More specifically, he’s worried that our endless appetite for new and more realistic forms of entertainment is leading us down a path to where, before long, we’ll be able to have virtual sex with any celebrity we choose. Including Donald Trump.
As Misty told Exclaim!, “That face recognition stuff? I mean, there are people working on it right now. It’s absurd. Someone sitting with this headset on, you know? Oh God, it’s just—how many different ways do human beings need to masturbate?”
At least Misty clarified all this with the caveat that he definitely wouldn’t want Swift to have to have sex with him, virtual or otherwise, because that was possibly the “worst thing” he could think of.
And then, a day later, someone came up with something worse, as news broke that Korean K-pop girl group Mamamoo had debuted a video where they cover the Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars hit “Uptown Funk” in blackface.
Mamamoo is now apologizing to anyone who will listen. It’s going to be a long, strange year.