In case you somehow miraculously avoided the news yesterday, Justin Bieber was arrested. DUI, drag racing, resisting arrest — in general for being a douchebag. And I think that’s why the majority of the civilized world is getting off on it.
I tend to avoid celebrity gossip and such. It’s pretty simple reasoning in that I genuinely don’t give a flying petunia what these people are like. When you stop to consider how much money is spent on public image, it’s a wonder how anyone can take anything they say as being serious. While I don’t like thinking about the personal lives of celebrities, I do tend to get wrapped up in the phenomena of what it must be like to be a celebrity. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish the experience upon anyone.
It’s sort of become the standing joke that once some kid gets famous there’s an invisible countdown that’s set off that ticks down to the moment where that kid finally implodes under the weight of their own success. The public at large seems to get reap great joy in making predictions and celebrating when it finally happens. For the record: Bieber hasn’t hit that moment yet. But it’s because of this recent news that I thought it was finally time to say something.
I never got Justin Bieber. By that I mean I never enjoyed his music because, bluntly, it wasn’t my style of music. I conceded early on that he was undoubted talented and had the blessing of youthful good looks — all the makings of a star. Rewind twenty years ago, and Bieber would’ve had about as much impact as N’Sync. The main difference is now we’re in the ADHD Generation of media — and to add to it, that’s how Bieber got famous in the first place. So I think that makes him a special example.
There’s this weird movement on the internet of people who live to hate what’s popular. Granted, it’s always been there, but having the ability to amass great swathes of people who vocally share this reactionary disdain has created something truly remarkable — a nearly faceless group of people who serve no other purpose than to hate without reason or rationality. That hit Bieber about as fast as his popularity with all the force of a cement truck.
Initially, I found a lot of the criticism to be largely unjustified or severely overblown. Yes, to my ears his music was akin to having a root canal, but he had a large fanbase and they clearly enjoyed it. To each their own, right? Well, in the new world order of hate without borders that brought us the Great Nickelback Backlash of the last decade, that particular thought process appears to be more outdated than pantaloons. I kept telling folks to just ignore him, but no one listened.
What happened next was a self-licking ice cream cone. It’s the oldest adage in media that “There’s no such thing as bad press”, but Bieber was unique. His fame was a creation of the internet. His detractors came from the internet. As much as his fans would go overboard in their gushing and unfettered love for him, an equal but opposite barrage of hate came from the depths. And the media ate it up like a starving dog. It was only a matter of time before his fame rivaled anyone’s — The difference being, of course, that this kid was literally still a kid. And this kid was raking in more money than most cities and sees devotion from fans that is beyond insanity. How can we in any way be surprised that this kid developed a god complex? He is a monster of our own creation.
In situations like this, I’d give any human being about 0.14% chance of survival. Any casual observer would quickly determine that it’s not a question of if he’s going to implode in the national spotlight, but when.
I’m just going to continue sharing my personal belief that if you don’t like a particular celebrity you should actively ignore them. Don’t go out of your way to publicly criticize anyone because you are giving them way too much of you attention. I realize how hard that is, and lord knows I’m guilty of doing it every now and again, but dial it back, folks. Bieber and any other celebrity that you dislike should have absolutely no consequence on your daily lives. But when you go out of your way to create hate clubs where everyone gets a good laugh out of ridiculing people for little reason, all you end up doing is get more people to talk about the very person you hate — and fuckers make money off of that.