As sure as the sun rises in the east, today we’re treated to another chapter in the tale as old as time of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift’s blood feud. Speaking to British music magazine NME Perry says, “I'm not Buddha – things irritate me. I wish that I could turn the other cheek every single time, but I'm also not a pushover, you know? Especially when someone tries to assassinate my character with little girls. That's so messed up!"

Taylor, of course, made a much quieter salvo in their ongoing battle of blind items. After a protracted battle with streaming services about royalties, Swift made her entire back catalogue available once again on Spotify (and everywhere else) the exact same day that Perry’s latest album, Witness, dropped. Of course Taylor’s fans are freaking out about the shade of it all.

While each of these moves seems like another notch in each of these pop diva’s litany of slights against each other, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk about Swedish songwriter Max Martin. You might be asking yourself why, but stick with me for a moment here and it will all become clear because, according to my conspiracy minded brain this is the man responsible for this entire feud.

Right now all of the KatyCats and Swifties are rushing to their Twitter accounts to @-reply me something that starts with “Actually…” and will probably conclude with something like “Katy stole Taylor’s backup dancers in 2014 and then Taylor released ‘Bad Blood’ which was about Katy being a b---- and then Katy released ‘Swish Swish’ which was about Taylor being a b----. That’s what the feud is about.”

Well all of that might be true. And recently Katy did go on Carpool Karaoke and told imported British gummi bear James Corden that Taylor started the feud. But everyone seems to be forgetting one important lynch pin: Max Martin.

Other than the fabled backup dancers, there is not much overlap between #TeamTaylor and #TeamKaty except for Max Martin. He produced some of both singers’ greatest hits, like Swift’s “Shake It Off”, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “Jake Gyllenhaal and I Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as well as Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, “Roar”, “Teenage Dream”, and “California Gurls [sic]”. Not to mention the executive producer of both 1989 and Witness, as well. Basically he is as responsible for their continued successes as anyone else.

He is also responsible for producing and co-writing “Bad Blood.” But what if he’s responsible for much more than that? He’s the only man who has been in constant contact with both women and is a trusted collaborator of the two. What if “Bad Blood” came about because of something he told Swift, some poison he placed in her ear? And what if he then told Perry something that Swift said about her during a recording session and that is what inspired her own diss track. What if he’s the mastermind behind this whole thing, getting rich off of two of his biggest stars getting even bigger and having even more success because of their presumed hatred for each other?

Perry said this about Martin in NME, “I can't speak for him, but he didn't know [who 'Bad Blood' was about]. I'm not supposed to tell him what he can and can't do. I'm very fair; I'm super-duper fair and I'm not one of those people who's like, 'You can't do that because I don't like that person. Just, like, you do you, make your own choices.' And I love Max. I've been working with Max my whole career.” But what if he did know? What if he did know and is lying about everything?

This all reminds me of Game of Thrones. The most powerful men on the show are not John Snow or Jaime Lannister, they are Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish and the eunich Varys. It is the two men who are behind the scenes controlling the powerful women like Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. (In this metaphor, Perry is clearly the Gothy queen of the North and Swift is clearly the Mother of Dragons.) If you put the pieces together, it makes total sense. And for anyone who watched FX’s Feud, we know that the only thing that kept Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from being friends is the men in their lives who would economically benefit from them hating each other. Why would history not repeat itself?

Sure, it sounds absolutely insane, but then again there are people out there that believe in chem rails, the Illuminati, and that Lorde is 20 years old. Cleary there are some people who can believe in this.

Related: Katy Perry's "Swish, Swish": A Breakdown of the Song's Many References and Influences (and Taylor Swift Digs)

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