I’m no Belieber, but that new flip-less hair and bad-boy image have exposed some serious truths that need talking about.
1. News stories do not have to be meaningful news anymore, just something that will catch the attention of readers and up those website hits.
Between the 23rd and 30th of January, Bieber was a top news story – not celebrity news, news. On presumably self respecting news websites like CNN, Huffington Post, The New York Times, etc. That same week, while bombs exploded in Cairo killing 5 and 17 were killed in an attack on a Shi’ite Muslim village in Iraq, we were over here in North America reading story after story about Bieber egging his neighbour’s house, being arrested in Florida for drag racing, and traveling to Toronto to turn himself in on an assault charge. I get that Anchorman 2 already addressed this issue, but it needs reiterating and I’m here to do that.
2. Petitions to extradite a nineteen-year-old from the United States gained more signatures than any other on the Government petition website.
Americans are willing to go to (figurative) war to get a juvenile delinquent out of the country while letting the hundreds of other petitions that could actually effect positive change at home and around the world go unnoticed by media and the hundreds of thousands of civilian people who clearly visited this site to find the Bieber petition.
Upon last report, “DEPORT JUSTIN BIEBER!” (sic) has 31,616 signatures and “Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card” (sic) has 247,603 signatures. Less severe action has been taken against serial killers.
Other’s have not been quite as popular:
Condemn & take action against the culling of stray dogs in Sochi (296 signatures)
Abolish All Gay Marriage Bans – Let America Love (728 Signatures)
Ensure all children in public schools within the United States are given a daily meal regardless of the ability to pay (3,989 signatures)
Stop transporting explosive & hazardous crude oil via rail using unsafe and outdated DOT-111 tanker cars (967 signatures)
WE-THE PEOPLE ASK OBAMA TO INFLUENCE UNITED NATIONS AND HAVE INTERNATIONAL TROOPS ENTER UKRAINE TO STOP THE BLOODSHED (5,634 signatures)
Make all higher education student loan payments tax deductible (6,792 signatures)
Maybe it’s just me, but aren’t these the issues that are actually worth getting your name behind? I mean, it’s likely that that’s the kind of document your great grandkid might find in their fourth grade ancestry project. Not that getting rid of one Canadian teenager isn’t important, since the threats he poses as a “bad role model” will clearly disappear once he’s back in that vast and barbaric country Canada, but can’t we share the love and at least sign one meaningful petition for every irrelevant one?
3. Bieber’s popularity is expected to grow as his behavior worsens.
I feel like maybe ‘everybody loves a bad boy’ has gone a little too far now. “Experts” have proposed that Justin is purposefully getting into trouble in order to tarnish his own image – something that would reportedly help his career, which seems to have been floundering based on the box office results of his concert films/documentaries, Never Say Never (earned $99M) and Believe (earned $6.2M). In extremely simple terms, “experts” believe the more laws Bieber breaks, the more money Bieber makes.
Perhaps this goes without saying, and perhaps it is an issue that is so ubiquitous that it need not be discussed at all, but humor me for a moment anyway. Justin began his career in 2008 as a bright-eyed and flippy-haired 14-year-old heartthrob and maintained this image (for the most part) until 2013 when behaviour (such as threatening paparazzi) that is best deemed as “naughty” caused some bad press for the now 19 year old. This has escalated, obviously, to his being convicted of drag racing and being charged with a DUI and assault. But the point is that these “experts” think that Bieber’s career will begin to thrive once again if he persists with this “bad boy” image. It makes sense, of course, with all the press he’s been getting. All attention is good attention, right? Just look at Miley Cyrus, it certainly worked out for her. But hello isn’t something wrong when a celebrity becomes more popular for breaking the law than they were for being a mostly upstanding, monogamous (we miss you Selena), somewhat irritatingly happy, citizen? Just something to think about.
4. Their crime isn’t as bad, because they’re famous.
I have to be dead serious about this one. Young “Beliebers” everywhere rushed to support Justin, making it very clear that America’s youth have some learning to do when it comes to the seriousness of criminal charges – especially drinking and driving, which kills 28 people in the United States every day. Whether or not news articles are critical, reporting updates on Bieber’s DUI charge every single day glorifies his actions. It’s time to stop talking about DUI’s as if they aren’t serious criminal offenses, it’s time to stop defending him and others who get DUIs, it’s time to get him some help and set the example that drinking and driving is not acceptable no matter who you are. A celebrity drunk driver can kill just as many people as a civilian drunk driver. Being rich and famous does not exempt you from causing a lethal accident.
5. Cyber-bullying isn’t as bad, because they’re famous.
According to the Huffpost, Bieber was found with what was reported to be anti-depressant medication when arrested in Florida. This hasn’t been confirmed by the media or by Bieber, who only confirmed that he gets “down and gloomy” on Oprah’s Next Chapter. But assuming this is true (for the sake of argument), the American media and several million American people have taken to Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, and every other form of social media to literally bombard this 19 year-old kid with reasons that he is an awful human being, while the report that he may be on anti-depressants was made just as public as his arrest was.
If this type of cyber-bullying happened to any other 19 year old who perhaps has a diagnosed mental illness, the backlash would be immediate and profound. But because Bieber is famous and is constantly under public scrutiny, it’s condoned? He is still a relatively young kid and despite what many people think (due to the perceived anonymity of the internet) the relentless criticism will reach him. Imagine if you had to deal with that kind of repercussion for every bad decision you made when you were 19. I’d probably feel “down and gloomy” as well.