When it was announced that Taylor Swift has been named the new welcome ambassador to New York City, everyone had the same reaction: what the fuck is a welcome ambassador, and why the shit is it Taylor Swift?
The only thing I buy Tay-Tay welcoming people to is a tea party with her favorite stuffed animals, each dressed in an ex-boyfriend's T-shirt and propped up in front of a hot cup of air.
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They've been hoping to be broken up with for over 20 years now.
As if the fact that she wasn't born or even sort of raised in the city isn't bad enough, it also doesn't bode well for our new "welcome ambassador" (seriously, this has to be a made-up thing) to show her city pride by completely skipping over her new "hometown" on her upcoming world tour. You're doing a banner job already, Taylor.
I'm not sure of the process involved with choosing this esteemed designation or how long her rule will last, but, as someone who's lived in and around the area my entire life, I can tell you there are many people who deserve the pretend title of ambassador to New York City way more than Swift does. For example ...
4Dan Smith, the Guy Who Wants to Teach Everyone How to Play Guitar
Half of New York has seen one of Dan Smith's fliers. For almost 20 years, Smith and his homemade marketing campaign have adorned the walls of delis, laundromats, and just about every other small business in NYC. His message is simple; he will teach you guitar, and his grass-roots effort is earnest yet effective.
So many fliers, you guys.
Granted, I don't think I've ever met a single person that has taken a guitar lesson with Smith, but obviously it's working since Dan the Guitar Man has upgraded to a website and a YouTube page. Also it's highly unlikely that a person would continue to persistently flier the city for 20 years if the fliers weren't working, unless he was crazy. This being NYC, of course, means insanity is a very distinct possibility.
But Smith isn't crazy. He's just a dude with a guitar who wants to teach you how to play. And that's a pretty welcoming kind of thing, you know? He's trying to make the city a better place through the magic of music, instead of trying to get on some reality competition show to become the next big star. Besides, once you get parodied on The Daily Show ...
... you are a star, buddy.
3Dr. Jonathan Zizmor, Dermatologist to the Poor
The city's most famous dermatologist has been wallpapering the subways with ads since 1991, promising millions easy-financing options for Botox, chemical peels, or any other damn thing you can think to do to fix your broken face. Zizmor's message is one of hope that the poor commuting masses can afford the luxury of perfect skin, a dream that was once obtainable only by the type of people who lived in a Classic Six overlooking Central Park. You know, rich people who've probably never taken the subway and therefore have no idea who the hell Zizmor is.
Or how much money they could be saving!
I always imagined Zizmor's office to be a bit like the DMV: desperate and lonely, only decorated with art that looks like a Lisa Frank folder, and with a cougarish receptionist dressed in the kind of nurse's outfit you see people wearing on Halloween. In other words, it would be the most glamorous place in the whole city and should be turned into the official welcome center immediately.