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Why I'm a Belieber

By Sean McElwee | Think Pieces | January 26, 2014 | Comments ()


justinannefrank-4.14.2013.jpg

I would like to announce my membership in the ever-expanding club that boasts among its members the likes of Anne Frank. I am a Belieber. Through and through. I’ve paid about as much attention to Bieber’s career as most American’s have to what is happening in Ukraine right now (on review I spelled his last name correctly once in the first draft of this piece), but what I know makes me believe he is someone I should support. Let me run through the only five facts about Justin Bieber stored in my cranium:

1. Justin Bieber desecrated a photo of Bill Clinton and shouted “Fuck Bill Clinton!”

2. Justin Bieber egged a millionaire’s house

3. Justin Bieber recently got arrested for a DUI

4. Justin Bieber was born to a single mother, grew up in low income housing, taught himself four instruments, created Youtube videos of him playing those instruments, was discovered by a marketing agent and became, in short time, one most successful male artists currently working

5. Justin Bieber is now hated by a broad swath of the American public

For me, fact #1 is a great reason to support Bieber. Having grow up in low-income housing, he’s certainly aware of how disastrous the Clinton presidency was to the American poor. Having lived in Canada, he is stunned at just how illiberal Clinton is and how cruel American society has become. The symbolic act of urinating in a mop bucket and denouncing Clinton was his first step in the direction of high-level performance art. If anything, we should encourage more artists to follow his lead of aggressive political art. As to the fact #2, I can’t hate anyone who eggs rich people’s houses.

Fact #3 is sad and personal; it strikes me as evidence that America is a nation of dicks. We are lead by the “journalists” at TMZ whose entire goal in life is too feed off of misery and insecurity. These writers are so incredibly dumb that even touching a book causes aneurysms so violent they require hospitalization. Instead of actually investigating, reporting or thinking, they make their money leeching off of actually talented and successful people. Like ringworms, they have embedded themselves in Bieber’s bowels and can only survive if he does, but constantly work to emaciate their host.

Bieber has done a lot of douchey things. I’ve done a lot of douchey things. All of my friends have done a lot of douchey things. You’ve done a lot of douchey things. The difference is, your douchey things and my douchey things aren’t national stories, because you and I don’t have voices like a fucking angel. A recent The Daily Beast story (perfectly shaped to by an atomic bomb of click-bait) compared Richard Sherman and Justin Bieber and declared Bieber a “thug.” The evidence:

In case of Justin Bieber, does any one [sic] doubt hat [sic] he would love to be called a thug? He clearly has been trying be seen as a bad boy for the past few years. He has reportedly threatened paparazzi and his neighbor with physical violence. Bieber is being sued by a photographer who claims Bieber beat him up. (Why anyone would admit to being beaten up by Bieber is beyond me?) And Bieber has done his best to convey the image on social media that he smokes marijuana.

Earlier this week Bieber was again seen trying to cultivate his “thug” image. Bieber was reportedly in a Miami Strip club, “making it rain”—translation: throwing money at strippers as often depicted in rap videos.

Compare these misdemeanors (he smokes weed and goes to strip clubs! *gasp*) to say, Mark Wahlberg regularly beating the shit out of people in his youth, all the Woody Allen stuff or Eminem’s drug use. We don’t actually know Bieber, or what he’s like, instead we’re fed a narrative by TMZ and Hollywood Reporter that is meticulously shaped to create interest. TMZ’s article on him egging his neighbor’s house is an exercise in this Huxleyian game. After describing the egging, the author writes, “And, in a shamefully obvious ploy to make himself look good, he posted these pictures of himself with his little brother and sister.” Isn’t it possible that Justin Bieber made the dumb decision to egg his neighbor’s house and also very much loves his sister and brother? Must everything be black and white for the simpletons at TMZ?

Earlier this year I discovered that I was supposed to hate Anne Hathaway because she is a theatre girl or something. Right now, I’m supposed to love J-Law. It’s all narrative and all spin. When I hear these benign doings of celebrities, I’m reminded of the apocryphal quote of Christ, “he who is without sin, let him throw the first stone.”

Facts #4 and #5 are the most interesting. America holds two entirely contradictory ideas about itself. First, it believes it is a society of opportunity, and therefore inequality, where every man or woman can, through force of will, make themselves a fortune doing what they love. Second, we believe that all men are equal, and hold fiercely egalitarian sentiments. Thus, the “middle class” runs from roughly $30,000 a year to whatever you earn and truck drivers in El Paso vote for tax breaks on Park Avenue. Even the richest American pretends to be middle class just like you (see: Warren Buffett’s persona) and even the poorest among us is, as John Steinbeck noted, are “temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

This dialectic means that we first build up a celebrity, often far beyond their merits and then, once they’ve reached the apogee of their success, begin violently tearing them down. We’ve all seen this cycle happen — Woods, Spears, Sheen — to name a few instances. But what is odd about the Bieber story is how perfectly he embodies the American Dream. He’s not a Ben Stiller or Frank Ocean or Jayden Smith or Luke Russert (or come on, let’s face it, basically every successful musician or actor) who was born to famous parents and managed to not totally fuck it up. Because masscult music and acting are so easy to do that almost anyone can do it passably, it helps to have a parent in the business. In contrast, Justin Bieber became successful from pure talent, drive and luck alone. He owes no one anything. How many actors, singers and bankers can say that these days? Not many. Justin Bieber may be the only shred of evidence that something like the American Dream exists. He is a self-made man, the epitome of meritocracy and democracy. Like Nietzsche’s overman, he has transformed the world to his will, re-valued all values and he did it through sheer talent and drive. So call me a Belieber.

Sean McElwee blogs at www.seanamcelwee.com. Follow him on Twitter.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • kirbyjay

    Uh, the Clinton thing? Say what you want about his horny dick but the Clinton presidency was the last time that middleclass Americans enjoyed a prosperous economy before Dubya and the PuppetMasters came in and raped America. Everyone thinks it was the Reagan years that made us flush but when Ole Demented left office we were circling the drain.
    As for this article...WTF. I was worried while I was reading it that I was losing my touch because it made no sense to me. Is it satire? Is it an actual think piece? Is it oatmeal?
    Thank you Pajibans for making me feel sane again.

  • franksts

    The complete and utter disrespect this little cretin shows towards everything and everyone deserves absolutely no empathy,sympathy or any other kind of "pathy" whatsoever.

  • ColetteDameron

    I think that Justin Bieber is so very overconfidence about our work.
    http://nitroxpro.blogs.jcsearc...

  • firedmyass

    If meant as satire, this is (as my great-grandmother would say) some thin gravy.

  • e jerry powell

    I always preferred Übermensch translated as "Superman," but whatever works.

    Self-acquired talent notwithstanding, I think that Bieber is evident of Nietzsche's tenet that God is dead, and that as the Übermensch, Bieber is creating a new set of values. Not that those values are necessarily good ones, but they do speak to a love of this world and of life, at least from the viewpoint of one who is barely out of puberty.

  • Guest

    Why the fuck did you write this, Sean? If it's satire, I'm not seeing the "clincher" which shows how Beliebers are completely missing the point,

  • vic

    [Fuck, and I accidentally pressed "post" too quickly. Very nice. Continued:] other than how simplistically and pretentiously this article is written. If it's sincere, why waste it on this idiot?! He literally could have killed someone. It's not like he's innocuously being unpleasant like Miley. He's not even showing any signs of remorse or a desire to better himself. If anything, he's doing the exact opposite and doing the annoying "haters gonna hate" bullshit spiel with his slavish fans supporting him. And no, I highly doubt it's just how TMZ's portraying him. If he was sorry, he'd fucking say so, and he hasn't.

    I'm not one of those people hounding his every little mistake here either. Before, I disliked his music, had no opinion of him generally and ignored him. Then I said, "Well, that's stupid, but I don't really care" for other dumb shit like peeing in a fucking mop bucket. Now, a guy's a threat to public safety and complete idiots are defending him while being considerably racist towards a football player who threw a tantrum and you write a dumb article like this trying to make us care because "we've all done dumb things"?! I'm sorry, but that's crossing a line. Do you defend *everyone* that's driven recklessly? Are you also one of those people that thinks drunk drivers are treated worse than they deserve?

    Really, Bieber doesn't deserve to be defended. He deserves jail time equal to any other dumbass who did what he did. He doesn't need to be defended or coddled either. He needs to be taken off his high horse and get some perspective. And no, the fact that everyone does dumb shit doesn't excuse him. God knows we do, but we try not to endanger other people in the fucking process. When we do, we reap the fucking consequences.

  • Littlejon2001

    Great article. I'm not being sarcastic. Please ignore the hate, bitterness and jealousy that swarms below me.

  • Debra Kessing

    I have to ask ... jealousy? Of whom are we supposedly jealous?

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    If one criticizes a young celebrity with a large fan base it is generally assumed that one is "jealous" or a "hater". There can be no other reason for this criticism, you see.

  • Debra Kessing

    ok, you're shitting me, right? "There can be no other reason"??? What about no talent, hateful personality, antisocial acts getting progressively more serious, being a fucking moron ????
    Either littlejon up there is a sarcastic troll, he is a complete & utter idiot or he is the author of the article (or a combination of the above)

    ** wanders off -- "no other reason .. hahahahaha

    PS - edited to fix reply, I totally missed the fact that NotTheOne was .. well.. nottheone who posted the moronic comment :D

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    Aw, Debra. See how the trolls turn us against each other? I've seen that hysterical laughter before. They almost broke you!!!

  • Debra Kessing

    I have been battling trolls for many years now so I have the hysterical giggle down pat and my special anti troll recovery room, complete with FUN bouncy walls and floors ..... sorry NotTheOne :) I shall look more carefully before I start returning fire in future.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    It's cool. I have a hysterical giggle for when someone goes off on a troll. It's actually more of a cackle though.

  • Debra Kessing

    I hope this article is sarcasm but honestly, it feels sincere to me. The mind boggles...

  • gogobooty

    I think you mean a "tapeworm" in JB's bowels, not "ringworm". Ringworm is a fungal infection on the skin, no worms involved and external. Tapeworms, definitely internal, definitely TMZ adjacent in creepiness.

  • bcarter3

    "Bieber has done a lot of douchey things. I’ve done a lot of douchey things."

    One of them was writing this douchey article.

  • #3 is a hella lot more than sad, and certainly is not personal. DUI - driving drug while DRAG RACING A SPORTS CAR ON A PUBLIC STREET - should be qualified as potential manslaughter. It is a double felony. In no way is it more innocuous than offenses of Walberg or Allen. The only sad thing here is an excuse of 'a boy who grew up poor with a single mom is now a major @sshole with tons of cash who likes to drink and do stupid sh*t that puts lives in danger but we should ignore bc he grew up poor with a single mom.'

  • Ryan Ambrose
  • Please let this just be sarcasm/irony that's over my head? Dude, seriously. I'll agree with you on two points: the only thing Bill Clinton is liberal about is women's access to his dick, and TMZ is a cabal of scum-slurping butt-barnacles. However, the Biebs' experience of the Clinton Era is pretty much sippy cups and cartoons, so I doubt it was a formative influence on his thoughts or politics. As for TMZ, they may be egging him on (forgive me..), but they're not forcing his behavior. Hugs and understanding are NOT what this entitled little junior douchebag needs. He's long overdue for an ass-kicking, and if Mommy's too busy reassuring her little prince that he's a beautiful, blessed angel, let's all pray that life and karma step in to do her job, before he kills someone.

  • Skyler Durden

    I have a pretty good sarcasm meter, but I am lost right now. I honestly don't know if this piece is an onion-style send-up of a defense, or an actual defense.

    Because to attempt to defend a monstrous, entitled, disrespectful piece of shit with no filter, no apparent sense of right or wrong, and limitless cash with which to basically buzz around like the human personification of an unchecked id just because he grew up with a single mom - you got me Sean.

    Troll on, you magnificent bastard.

  • Upon reading the above article I became dizzy, dry-lipped and bewildered, and I found myself staring at the blurry line between sincerity and parody, squinting and trying my hardest to remember which was which.
    I proceeded to quickly sit down and listen to three Bruce Springsteen songs in a row so that I could get my bearings again.

  • John

    Like Skyler and Zeke, I too thought this was going to be an onion-style type of sarcastic piece but then found myself saying, DaFuq ??
    The author claims that "not many Actors or singers these days became successful from pure talent and drive" the way that JB did. So does this author claim to know the backstories of the countless amount of actors/singers these days that are successful and therefore owe nothing to anybody? I might also note that everybody probably gets a little help along the way, whether it be a parent, mentor or others, so maybe they all owe something to at least one or two folks.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    So because America is a land of dicks we should do the opposite of what America tells us to do and like a kid who (although very talented and who came from humble beginnings) is currently acting like a dick. Brilliant. Or sarcastic. I can no longer tell.

  • Zen

    I no longer care to tell. I wish to move on to better things.

  • Anthony Hoffman

    This article tried to do something and failed miserably.

  • googergieger

    Boo.

  • Lotney

    Less b**ber please... More..mmm ... good things.

  • cruzzercruz

    Not even funny to joke about. He needs to crawl back to the north, never to return.

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