"But — and I think this is very important — Taylor is leaving a message to a huge audience of young female fans, ranging in age from 7 or so and up throughout their teens and into their early 20s, that they are individuals, that they are important, that they have their own identity, that they can be their own persons and that they don’t have to take crap. I don’t see anyone else stepping up with a similar message for this audience."
"Swift was being used as the model example of how to become bigger than country without forgetting your roots. How to occasionally leave the family but never do wrong by the family. She’s the example of the kid who leaves home for college, goes off to work elsewhere, finds some level of success, has new friends, but still comes home for the holidays as if things haven’t changed. And most importantly, as if she hasn’t changed."
"I love Taylor. Does she make me think of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells? Never. But that’s okay. She has something that’s so compelling, people are drawn to it and you can’t deny that. That’s what makes it great. I don’t think she’d stand there with a straight face and tell you, “I can sing like Mariah Carey.” She doesn’t have to. History is full of people that weren’t knock-your-socks-out-I’m-the-greatest-singer-that-ever-lived. But she connects. And that’s what I like. I love things that connect to people. There are people who can play me under the table, sing me under the table. But there’s nothing about them that’s going to move somebody. That’s the point of anything musical. To have a conversation."
"At LeakyCon, a young lady asked me how I dealt with bullying. I wasn’t able to give her a very good answer, which troubles me. Well, there were lots of shouts of “It gets better” and “Stay strong” and “We love you”. But when I put myself back in time to when I was being bullied, none of those things would’ve helped me. Yes, absolutely it does get better. But when you are being physically and psychologically tortured, it is difficult to remove yourself from the pressingness of the moment at hand. Here’s how I dealt with bullying: I cried, I hated myself, I hated my life. I didn’t deal with it, I survived it, but I never dealt with it. So here are two tips from someone with lots of experience. 1: It’s not about you, it has nothing to do with you, it’s about the assholes doing it to you. 2: Your job is not to deal with it, your job is to survive it, which you CAN do because it WILL end. And then yes, it will get better."