Taylor Swift, Donald Trump in addition to an America which Confounds the entire world

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After Taylor Swift sang “Bad Blood” in addition to “Gorgeous,” before the trapeze artists appeared, while the fireworks were bright in addition to the rain was still bucketing down, I smiled in addition to thought: This kind of can be so American.

which was last Friday, when she performed in Sydney at ANZ Stadium. I was there with my young daughter in addition to son, in addition to This kind of’s not the 1st time I’ve contemplated what pop music could teach my kids about the United States.

As I wrote when they were toddlers in Mexico, “our ears pull inside the first lessons of culture,” in addition to America’s greatest appeal can often be found inside the sounds showing off the country’s carefree creative exuberance.

The results in addition to the messiness of American democracy — with ridiculously long lines to vote, with far too many ways to cast ballots, with oodles of money sloshing around through billionaires — all spotlight the jumble of paradoxes which have shaped the United States since settlement.

This kind of’s a country founded as a utopian “city on a hill” — in addition to defined by ruthlessness in capitalism in addition to politics.

This kind of’s a country where white nationalism can be surging — in addition to “Black Panther” can be the year’s top box-office earner.

I could give you a dozen more of these with 10 minutes in addition to a beer, although I don’t live there anymore so I won’t bore you with which.

in addition to actually, Taylor Swift said This kind of best. With just her guitar, playing inside the middle of a giant stadium, with most of her big budget production taking a rest, she stripped down America to its essence:

“We’re happy free confused in addition to lonely inside the best way,” she sang. “This kind of’s miserable in addition to magical, oh yeah.”

right now for some various other stories. Because even Tay knows This kind of’s not always about her or her country.

You know where to find us for more discussion: Our NYT Australia Facebook group, in addition to at nytaustralia@nytimes.com.

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We had a busy week. So busy in fact, which I’m going to limit This kind of week’s roundup to coverage connected to Australia in addition to the region. Let’s dive in.

If you have a thoughtful 15 minutes…