Why the Hate for James Taylor?

I once spent a couple of interesting nights with James Taylor’s daughter (with Carly Simon) who was friends with an old girlfriend of mine. That’s my only connection to their family, although I did get some scoops on the whole family dynamic, at least as it existed in the late 1980’s. Even at this late date, I don’t feel like breaking that confidence and spilling any dirt. Mainly, I just find it fascinating that the right hates James Taylor with the heat of a thousand suns.

Kevin Williamson is particularly abusive, although I agree that Taylor took all the sugar out of “How Sweet It Is.”

The spectacle of the Obama administration’s dispatching Secretary of State John Kerry to “share a big hug with Paris” as James Taylor — who still exists – crooned “You’ve Got a Friend” is the perfect objective correlative for American decline: The pathetic self-regard of John Kerry and James Taylor’s Baby Boomers meets the cynical, self-serving, going-through-the-motions style of Barack Obama’s Generation X as disenchanted Millennials in parental basements across the fruited plains no doubt injured their thumbs typing “WTF?” It is the substitution of celebrity for power, of sentiment for analysis, of sloppy gesture for clear-headed commitment.

We’re responding to barbarism from the seventh century with soft rock from the 1970s.

I don’t know. This seems somewhat overheated to me. I mean, way before John Kerry brought James Taylor along as a good will emissary, Taylor had announced six concert dates in France in 2015. I think he has a fan base there. Maybe a lot of people in France and Europe like him a little better than most American right-wing political pundits? Maybe a lot of people were excited to see James Taylor. It could be, you know. France has some idiosyncratic tastes, including most famously their affection for comedian/actor Jerry Lewis.

But, the thing is, the right has to politicize every single thing. So, first they bitched that we hadn’t sent a higher representative to France than the head of our criminal justice system, Eric Holder. And then they complained that the Secretary of State didn’t bring heavy-metal band Slayer instead of a soft rock legend from the 1970’s.

In any case, if the wingers hate Taylor this much, he must be doing something right.

[Cross-posted at Booman Tribune]

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.