Indie folk artist Father John Misty turned heads on Saturday Night Live when he pulled a Kanye and included a rather lewd Taylor Swift reference in the lyrics to one of his songs, “Total Entertainment Forever.”
Father John Misty, whose real name is Joshua Tillman, made his first ever appearance on Saturday Night Live last night. He chose to perform “Total Entertainment Forever,” the lyrics to which opened with some rather unflattering lines.
“Bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the Oculus Rift, after mister and the missus finish dinner and the dishes”
Needless to say, the song caught a lot of attention. Many have interpreted the song’s lyrics to be cheap shots at Swift, which is not a surprising leap of logic considering the words in the song made it very clear.
This is not the first time that the country-singer-turned-pop-star had been the subject of controversial lyrics. It may be remembered that Kanye West also wrote some misogynistic lines regarding Swift in his 2016 hit “Famous.”
However, Father John Misty defended his song as his own brand of satire. In an interview with Exclaim, he said that he is not lusting after Taylor Swift. He claims that he is instead holding up a mirror so that society can inspect their hunger to consume “entertainment in all its forms.”
Misty further described the practice as “obsessive” and “disturbing.” He further said that throughout history, humans have found ways to entertain themselves in “disgusting ways” (citing “lighting Christians on fire” as one example). He hoped that his song “Total Entertainment Forever” would remind people to check whether we entertain ourselves today in equally disturbing ways. He also warns people to avoid the assumption that current conveniences are just direct products of progress.
Father John Misty said that he knows the song would probably disgust a lot of people. However, he went ahead and released it because he believes that it is “real.” He said that the technology now exists for these situations to take place, and the scenarios he pictured aren’t far-off, and in fact, are very possible.
Pitchfork also reported Father John Misty saying that he did not want it to happen to Taylor Swift, referring to the words in the controversial song. “That is the worst thing I can think of; that is so horrible,” the singer said.
However, he re-emphasized that he is introspecting on progress as a whole. He mentioned how the internet has created a “utopia,” a democracy of sorts where everyone has a voice and everyone is connected. And yet “it turned into pornography,” Misty said.
“If we can’t act like more than angry ecstasy freaks with the most advanced technology in the world, then how much have we really progressed?”
Father John Misty goes on to mention about the implications of virtual reality. He made a declaration by including the Oculus Rift in his lyrics, but just in case it was not made clear, he believes that VR will be used as a tool to promote fantasies such as celebrity sex.
Whether Father John Misty would attract more mainstream performances of the song remains to be seen. However, the singer was not shy in flaunting his firm belief regarding these aspects of progress and technology. He goes on to say that there are more songs on his upcoming album dealing with this issue. There are more tracks that ask the question, “Is this really progress?”
Father John Misty’s “Total Entertainment Forever” will be included in Pure Comedy. This album will be his third studio album, and will be released on April 7, courtesy of record labels Sub Pop and Bella Union.
[Featured Image by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images]