Taylor Swift Is Cyberpunk Now
The music video for '...Ready For It?' is full of cyberpunk tropes.
Image: Big Machine Records
Taylor Swift wants to know if you're ready for it. That's the central question of her newly released music video ...Ready For It? The "it" in question is unclear, but judging from footage we've got, Tay wants to know if we're ready for a dark, gritty, cyberpunk reboot of America's sweetheart.
Yes. Yes we are.
Directed by the criminally underrated Joseph Kahn—a man who directed a time traveling, coming of age, meta-slasher about high school— ...Ready for it? tells the story of a robotic Swift on a mission to antagonize herself. The fembot Swift saunters down a dark alley full of Cyberpunk cliches while she soft-raps about romantically torturing the men she dates.
Nothing to see here, just some robots hanging out in a red lit alleyway with Chinese characters on the wall.
In the future, all alley lights will be red and all robots will wear clothing pulled off their human victims.
Here we see a Destiny 2 player stopping by for a cameo.
Cybernetic facehuggers burst from egg sacs below Tay's feet and scamper along the walls while she stalks the mean streets of her own psyche.
At the end of evil Tswift's trek down the alley, she opens a door and confronts a robotic doppelganger trapped in a plasmatic cage. The new Taylor's body is lined and curved as if she's wearing Major Motoko Kusanagi's invisibility suit from Ghost in the Shell.
The rest of the video is a confrontation between the two Swift persona's and it's full of high drama and images pulled from Anime and Cypberpunk literature.
A robot engaged in power armor drama!
Robots riding robots!
Robots staring into glowing orbs!
Robots reflecting on the nature of identity!
Robots destroyed by hubris!
Robots wielding untapped reserves of preternatural power!
The video ends like any good cyberpunk fairy tale—with a robot shedding a tear after it's escaped captivity. ...Ready For It? is a very good video for a very bad song [editor's note: I like the song! - Jason Koebler]. It's full of science fiction imagery and, to hear some fans tell it, coded messages about the singer's life.
Some may not like the pop idol or the dark turn she's taken in recent months, but we here at Motherboard welcome her into the cliche cyberpunk pantheon.