This song is Swift's response to the negative reputation the media has given her. "I can make the bad guys good for a weekend" - the bad guys are the paparazzi to Swift, but are good to the "player" since association with Swift immediately gives publicity. Any publicity is good publicity and Swift knows this. "You can tell me when it's over" - the tabloids rumor relationships are over before the couple announces it officially. With this song Swift is portraying the way she is portrayed by the media. It is a sarcastic jab at how she views herself and how her "ex-lovers" only wanted to be with her to increase their fame. I applaud the brilliance in writing about how you always write about relationships. It is expected so Swift is giving the media what they want and profiting off the attention.
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Matt Shadows their lead singer says the song was written as per request from the developers of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Watching the initial trailers for the game & looking at production sketches reminded him of the 'S-Town' podcast & its main protagonist, John B. McLemore. Matt also comments specifically on the lyrics: "I decided that the lyrics would shadow McLemore's life." In 2012, antiquarian horologist John B. McLemore sent an email to the staff of the show 'This American Life' asking them to investigate an alleged murder in his hometown of Woodstock, Alabama, a place McLemore claimed to despise. After a year of exchanging emails & several months of conversation with McLemore, producer Brian Reed traveled to Woodstock to investigate. Reed investigated the crime & eventually found that no such murder took place, though he struck up a friendship with the depressed but colorful character of McLemore. He recorded conversations with McLemore & other people in Woodstock. McLemore killed himself by drinking potassium cyanide on June 22, 2015 while the podcast was still in production. In the narrative of the podcast, this occurs at the end of the second episode; subsequent episodes deal with the fallout from McLemore's death while exploring more of McLemore's life & character.
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