As I was deciding whether or not Justin Bieber was worth writing about, one way or another, I decided, based on the number of words I wrote about Miley Cyrus, that Bieber was worth 440 words. What follows are exactly 440 words about Justin Bieber.
As you may have noticed, there is someone named Justin Bieber out there who is to preteen girls what an errant piece of watermelon is to a colony of ants.
For comedians and Internet yucksters, Bieber is to gay jokes what Ruben Studdard once was to fat jokes.
So let me say this right out front. I don’t think Justin Bieber is transcendent in any way. I have written in this space that Miley Cyrus is, which set off a near violent reaction among some of you, namely Trim. Bieber will have no lasting contribution to American culture, I don’t think. He really isn’t much of anything right now, actually, except that he is an unusually tiny 16-year-old with a distinctly boyish (and kind of lesbian-y) haircut and luscious lips and the voice of an ang …
Anyway. In case you have not heard, Bieber was recently spotted drinking at a bar , which police raided because of the tip. The problem was that Bieber turned out to be a 27-year-old woman.
This is the garnish for a million Bieber-is-a-girl jokes, which are practically their own meme at this point, which is pretty unfair.
Justin Bieber has the misfortune of being famous.
If Bieber were just a regular 16-year-old Canadian kid, only the world’s biggest buttwipes would be making fun of his delayed-onset puberty.
But because he’s famous, everybody just gets to take their shots.
It would be (slightly) more understandable if he were some Lew Pearlman construction or something, if he had been a Mouseketeer, or whatever the modern equivalent is, and his parents had made him do a bunch of toy commercials as a 6-year-old, or if he was already famous for something else and was trying to squeeze every last dollar out of his fame by releasing crappy pop music.
But Bieber’s music career is about as organic as they come these days. He grew up in a single-parent home. He taught himself to play four instruments and eventually posted to YouTube a video of himself singing in a local singing competition (he got second). A record executive accidentally saw the video, signed him and here we are. Say what you will about his music,* but at least he’s a real kid.
The thing is, though, now he’s not a real kid. Now he’s a cartoon. Because he got a record deal, we get to mercilessly make fun of his biological development and not feel bad about it.
Justin Bieber’s career doesn’t tell us much about music or our culture, but it says a lot about celebrity. Mainly that if you’re famous, we’re allowed to hate you for no reason.