The War on Justin Bieber

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar sonmi451
    Ignored
    says:

    I know this is really a post about Obama, but I’m too tired to be serious right now. I just want to say – how can people hate Justin Bieber?! He’s so cute, and harmless.Report

  2. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    Ah Bieber, yet another Canadian plot to destroy America. *tents fingers, pets Jaybirds cats*Report

  3. Avatar BlaiseP
    Ignored
    says:

    AB was a boy who lived on our station in Nigeria.   A tall boy of extraordinary beauty, a shock of blonde hair and angular features, gentle and kindly, there wasn’t a girl alive who didn’t clap her hand to her mouth upon sight of him.   He played basketball, ran track, no wimp he, nor yet effeminate, just the nicest kid you’d ever want to meet and my parents would unfairly compare me to him.   We have been good friends since we were about nine years old and I’ve always been slightly in awe of him.   I was the musician and he was the jock and we competed on grades and in track.

    Life goes on and my Dad moved us around from place to place, ending up in Wheaton.   AB’s family lived on the next block over and we went to the same private school.   Simply couldn’t escape him.   And once again, my parents compared me to him.   Tried not to let it affect our friendship.   His mother took a shine to me, easily the wisest and loveliest woman of her age I’ve ever seen.   I took her into my confidence but never told her about the rivalry with AB, one I felt I’d been pushed into since we’d first met.

    AB and I ended up at the same college.   Missionaries move in large circles but they often move together.   After two years, I developed a terror of ending up a clone of my father, just another tweedy type destined to be either a professor or a pastor.   I dropped out of college and joined the US Army.

    Years later, I was sitting in AB’s living room in Wheaton.   I suddenly burst out and told him everything.   He stared at me in astonishment, his eyes narrowing, growing ever more tense.   He put down his beer, leaned forward and quietly snarled “And for all these years, my parents have been comparing me to you.”

    Justin Bieber is just a boy who became a YouTube sensation.   I’m pretty sure I could deal with great fortune:  I’ve learned how money works and know better than to think I could manage it alone.   But fame is a great curse and beauty is a great deceiver.    Who is Justin Bieber, really?   He’s the creation of his handlers, his A&R guys, his publicist, his lawyers, his producers.   They pair him up with Ne-yo and Timberlake and Stevie Wonder, who useta be Little Stevie Wonder back in the day.

    Hate him or love him, admire him or despise him, we do not know Justin Bieber, as I did not really understand AB, though I’d known him all my life and struggled to be as good as he was.   If boys hate him, there were jealous boys who didn’t like AB either.    I know, I was one of them.   The only girl I cared for in high school took up with AB and I was friends with both of them.   Imprisoned within his glittering cage of fame, thousands of silly girls obsessed with his good looks, it’s not at all clear who this kid really is and I’m not sure he’s all that clear on the subject himself.Report

  4. Avatar FridayNext
    Ignored
    says:

    I must be old. When I saw the image attached I thought it was Bobby Sherman.Report

  5. Avatar sonmi451
    Ignored
    says:

    Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing really original about Justin’s music. It’s basically the exact same as the big Pop Idol that we made #1 before him. Maybe that’s just the nature of Pop Music. But things had gotten so bad with the genre the previous decade that it would have been nice to at least try to make Justin try something edgier, with more substance than he was making.

    This. I don’t know how many times we need to shout “Obama is a mainstream Democrat!” before people get it. The notion that he’s some sort of radical or socialist – as if! In fact, sometimes, it’s “I wish!”.Report

    • Avatar karl in reply to sonmi451
      Ignored
      says:

      People do get it; it’s the right-wing crazies and their opportunistic fellow-travelers who don’t/won’t.  Heck, Obama even has a reasonable chance to win Arizona (my home state, God bless it) this November.Report

  6. Avatar Mark Thompson
    Ignored
    says:

    “Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing really original about Justin’s music. It’s basically the exact same as the big Pop Idol that we made #1 before him.”

    I call bull – clearly you are just another one of Bieber’s sheeple.  Bieber is a Manchurian candidate Milli Vanilli Trojan Horse whose sole purpose in life is to force Big Auto-Tune down our throats.  He was a complete unknown when he just magically appeared on the scene and was immediately anointed a pop god.  He was never vetted; he never appeared on the Mickey Mouse Club like JT and Britney, whatever their many faults.  Worse, we don’t even know that he’s an American artist.  He received all of his musical training in Canada.  CANADA! There’s even rumors he’s been palling around with terrorists Bryan Adams.  This man child must be stopped before he imposes sharia Canadian content standards on all of our radio waves across this great land.

    [I’m in awe of this post., BTW]

    Also, too: I saw the South Park episode on the Jonas Brothers for the first time the other day.  The image of Mickey Mouse beating the crap out of the cartoon Jonas Brothers was easily one of the funniest things I’ve seen in awhile.Report

  7. Avatar dexter
    Ignored
    says:

    Yeah, I’m a belieber, I couldn’t leiber if I tried.Report

  8. Avatar Murali
    Ignored
    says:

    I swear, as a practicing Hindu, that Justin Bieber is the anti-christ. (At first I thought it was Steve Jobs, but then he died and failed to rise again as the Beast after 3 days)Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Murali
      Ignored
      says:

      Nah.   He’s a wannabe Krishna and all the gopis are sighing over him.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Emphasise the wannabeReport

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Murali
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, if you look at that picture Tod’s got up there, his skin is sorta blue….Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to BlaiseP
            Ignored
            says:

            Bite your tongue!Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to BlaiseP
            Ignored
            says:

            Besides his eyes just scream soulless-ness.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
            Ignored
            says:

            Everyone who goes to India comes away with a favorite god or goddess.    Hinduism is vast, kinda gotta concentrate, I chose Vaishnava and the related gods and goddesses.   Here’s a poem I wrote, many years ago about it.

            A Dream of You

            That thing in which all things are contained:
            The mind of the Dreaming God, that summons forth
            In his dreaming, the universe. The silent suns that burn
            And die among the maelstroms of the sky.
            The shrimp in the desert, that spring to life in sudden water.
            Vishnu dreams. He dreams of you.

            There, where you sit, a woman illuminated in starlight
            An impermanent fluid shape, a ghost among the rocks of the karesansui,
            You, who I have come to know, I do not know at all in life.
            There, musing among the symbols I have sent to you, these letters,
            Each follows each, among them lies a self I do not know, that only you
            Can see, these things are also in my dream.

            Pygmalion among the chips of marble, prays
            For stone to turn to flesh, he has become creator, lover,
            Amor sui generis, can this be love? I cannot say
            For in their crooked wisdom, that only Gods can have
            They gave the man his wish, his woman.
            They gave him the dream he had summoned forth.
            A dream like this they understood,
            A creator’s dream, the Dreamer’s dream,
            A dream of blood and fire and all that dies.

            Day, and night, night and day,
            The song returns to the note from which it began
            Rocking, slowly, the child is lulled to sleep
            With the sound of her mother’s voice, singing, singing.Report

  9. Avatar Dan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    “I have the feeling if complaints about Bieber hadn’t been of the “he’s a hermaphrodite” sort that we might have gotten all the kids at school to demand something better of him.”

    I’m not sure why you would think this.Report

  10. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m not sure I understand, Tod.

    Obama kill Phil Spector’s wife?Report

  11. Avatar LauraNo
    Ignored
    says:

    Testify! This is the  best analysis of the situation I’ve seen.Report

  12. Avatar Russell Saunders
    Ignored
    says:

    I tried to come up with a funny comment, but then I read Mark’s and realized that the thread had already been won.

    Oh, and this post?  This post is golden.Report

  13. Avatar Ryan Bonneville
    Ignored
    says:

    The upside of the Justin Bieber situation is that when you get tired of his moralizing arrogance and his high-functioning sociopathy and the fact that he’s a war criminal and, you know, a mass murderer, you can just turn off the radio.Report

  14. Avatar Will H.
    Ignored
    says:

    … and then when Bieber releases his remake of “Surfin’ USA” a big scandal erupts. Just who does this Bieber think he is? People go on and on about Brian Wilson, but never mention the
    You try to tell people that Wilson lifted the tune from Chuck Berry, and even gave Berry writing credit for it. You try to talk about Chuck Berry, about the duck walk and important stuff like that, but they just go on and on about Bieber’s hair.
    At length, you want to rip the hair from Bieber’s head, just so you can stuff it down someone’s throat, and growl, “There! He doesn’t have any hair any more! SO whaddaya say we talk about the fishing duck walk for a bit?”
    But it doesn’t work.
    Through the mangled mat of Beiber hair caught in one large sodden clump, the person still mumbles something about the stupid Bieber hair.Report

  15. Avatar Will H.
    Ignored
    says:

    … and then when Bieber releases his remake of “Surfin’ USA” a big scandal erupts. Just who does this Bieber think he is? People go on and on about Brian Wilson, but never mention the Smile project.
    You try to tell people that Wilson lifted the tune from Chuck Berry, and even gave Berry writing credit for it. You try to talk about Chuck Berry, about the duck walk and important stuff like that, but they just go on and on about Bieber’s hair.
    At length, you want to rip the hair from Bieber’s head, just so you can stuff it down someone’s throat, and growl, “There! He doesn’t have any hair any more! SO whaddaya say we talk about the fishing duck walk for a bit?”
    But it doesn’t work.
    Through the mangled mat of Beiber hair caught in one large sodden clump, the person still mumbles something about the stupid Bieber hair.Report

  16. Avatar Kristin Leigh
    Ignored
    says:

    I was most distracted by the fact that Justin Bieber isn’t even associated with Disney; it’s a big part of his origin myth that he ~did it alone~ without Nick or Disney’s corporate machines.Report

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