Dissecting “Dear John”

On the way to work this morning “Dear John” by the lovely and talented Taylor Swift came on my radio was deliberately listened to on my iPod. This is not the first time I have heard it intentionally scrolled to Taylor Swift’s album Speak Now to select this gem on my way to work. But today, it struck a much different chord. Instead of animatedly singing along and stopping when I got to red lights to avoid embarrassment, I actually took a moment to listen to the words to see if I could really feel the pain she was trying to convey.

I couldn’t.

You know why?

Because Taylor Swift is a lunatic.

It’s no big secret, as the media has made us all well aware, that “Dear John” was written about the equally lovely and nearly as talented John Mayer, also known as my generation’s, poor man’s, sissified Eric Clapton (The Sheryl Crow, Eric Clapton, “My Favorite Mistake” issue is a wicked coincidence.). Apparently he and T-Swift had a fling or relationship or something involving making out (or more) and she got scorned. (Disclaimer: I will not be looking anything up for verification purposes, so don’t take what I have to say as canon.)

Instead of lashing out at him in private, getting with another Hollywood star to make him jealous, or decapitating his action figures, assuming they exist, for his transgressions, she opted to pen a whiny, sad ditty about him to kill two birds with one stone, humiliate him and sell records.

With heartfelt lyrics like the following, it’s easy to feel sorry for poor Taylor. She got burned by a boy, and it only seems natural to side with her and jump aboard the “John Mayer is a Douche Bag” bandwagon.

Well maybe it’s me
and my blind optimism to blame.
Or maybe it’s you and your sick need
to give love and take it away.

And you’ll add my name to your long list of traitors who don’t understand,
and I’ll look back in regret how I ignored when they said,
‘run as fast as you can’.

Whoa baby. That is some heavy mud for a young girl to be slinging to millions of people across the world. Of course John Mayer is in hiding and cancelling tours. Wouldn’t you do the same if a horde of Swift-ites were probably out for your blood?

But let’s take a look at this from the more logical, devil’s advocate side before we go burning John Mayer’s house down. Get it? Like that song “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”? You don’t? Fine. Maybe I enjoy his back catalog more than the average guy.

Here are some brief thoughts proving that Ms. Swift is in the wrong for this one and why she is a little on the psycho ex-girlfriend side for it.

a)    John Mayer has a serious history as a player. He has been with a crap ton of women. Some famous. Some slutty. Some both. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson, Minka Kelly, Cameron Diaz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Annette Bening, Diane Keaton, Cloris Leachman, Bea Arthur, and Helen Hunt are just a few of the females Mayer has been rumored to have a romantic link to. Obviously this does not include the assumed list of 1000s of ladies that literally and successfully throw themselves at him. Why would Taylor Swift assume that his ways would change for her? It looks like Mayer is all about the conquest. Once he conquers his goal, he moves on. Taylor Swift comes across like a pretty smart girl. How did she not see their relationship turning out like it did with a romantic history like Mayer’s involved? You can’t blame him for being him.

b)    Taylor Swift complains, a lot. Listen to any one of her albums and you can’t make it more than two songs without hearing her telling you she’s a victim. Whether in high school or as a celeb, it appears that she is always getting picked on, that she never gets the guy, and that we should feel sad for her. Girls like that are never cool. They are clingy. They get pissed whenever they don’t get their way. And they let drama dictate their lives. On the outside Swift is a tall, good looking blonde which is right up Mayer’s alley, but on the inside she is a self-centered, self-deprecating nut job. If he has listened to her music, he would’ve figured this out. But he’s John Mayer. He only listens to his own music. So we can’t blame him for thinking he might get away with crushing her heart for what appears to be the millionth time according to most of her lyrics.

c)     This is the celebrity world. You can’t hash out your feelings in such a public forum. Hatred as deep as that that caused this song is safe only for interviews in small publications, if that. Do you ever hear Jennifer Aniston divulge her real feelings about Angelina Jolie on The Today Show? Do you ever see Hugh Grant talk about the backseat hooker on 20/20? What about listening to Jay-Z spit lyrics about a fight he got into with Bey? It’s just understood that celebs have to keep their personal, especially romantic, feelings pent up and private. Obviously Taylor did not realize this and decided that a disparaging song with a very generic title would never be figured out. She really should have thought about this more.

Taylor, you had a bad deal with a boy so you made him look like the world’s biggest ass in a song? At least change his name or make it ambiguous. And, it looks like you gave him throat issues that might ruin his career. I shudder to think what kind of celebration song you would write if he died. You really sound like a child, a crazy child that loves to play the “poor, pitiful me” game, which is super annoying. It’s hard to take you seriously when you complain so much.

However, I still really like your music. Despite its constant self-loathing and sourness, it’s really freaking catchy. And for what it’s worth, I listen to you much more frequently than I listen to John Mayer.


Posted on by Warner Russell in Featured, Music

7 Responses to Dissecting “Dear John”

  1. Chris Faulkner

    Haha, great stuff Clayton!

    “it’s hard to take you seriously when you (fill in the blank).”

    • Chris Faulkner

      Oops I mean Warner …. Sorry, I could swear on my life it said posted by Clayton when I first read it haha.

  2. Clayton Martin

    Chris I probably changed it mid-read. I noticed that after someone else texted me that they liked my post and realized that I forgot to set the correct author.

  3. really

    John Mayer is cancelling tours because he has glaucoma. And about the hiding part, that’s the best thing he could do because he clearly have personal issues and growing up to do (Playboy interview 2010).
    a.) so John Mayer is a douche so it means that Taylor is wrong for actually trusting him and actually not judging him and gave him a benefit of a doubt that maybe he’s not really a douche just like everybody says? seriously?
    b.) the thing is Taylor can actually admit to her mistakes and actually asked someone for forgiveness unlike John. And if you actually have all Taylor’s album, it’s not all about “complaining”.
    c.) haha that’s like insulting every singer-songwriter out there including Mayer. and Mayer humiliates his exes in national interviews and social networking sites.
    – dear john isn’t just the only song that she wrote about john. if you really know the songs that she wrote when they’re still together or before that, you will know where she is coming from. and if you really understand the song, she actually blames herself more for believing in him, much more than saying what john did to her was horrible.
    – and people loved that song not because taylor wrote that about john, but because they can relate to everything that have been discussed on the song accurately.

    • Yes Really

      “she actually blames herself more for believing in him…” That’s right. That’s the way she plays with her innocent look.

  4. Martin Wayne

    I never believe the way she writes songs can be called a good one. Every songwriter writes songs about their lives, mostly about their failed relationships, but no one ever drags people’s attention to the person in the song like the way she always does. Cause they sell the song, they don’t sell out that certain person. Her songs maybe good, but there’s no denying that every time she releases a song, people don’t focus on how good that song is, but on who the heck she writes about. Have you ever heard people talking and spewing shit on that guy Adele wrote Someone Like You for? Do people care much about the rumour saying that John Mayer wrote A Face to Call Home about Jennifer Aniston? They discuss how beautiful the songs are lyrically and musically. It’s all that matter to them when they listen to good music. She doesn’t need to make it all clear to steal attention if her songs are good enough. All she’s doing cannot be considered far from selling out people in her songs, making her tween fans hate on those people who they know nothing about one bit. She’s not a 13 year-old kid anymore, but she writes songs like one.

  5. Martin Wayne

    …and her tween fans make it more pathetic when they try to compare her talent to his talent without a single legitimate reason.

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