Not being a 12-year-old girl, and not having any 12-year-old girls yet*, I hadn’t to my knowledge ever laid eyes on young Justin, although I had come across his name in many of your blogs, usually as a punch line to a joke. As I watched his videos, especially “One Less Lonely Girl”, I struggled to articulate what it was about him that I found . . . annoying. Fortunately, Wikipedia was there to help:
Bieber has often been criticized for looking and sounding younger than his age, his teen-pop music, image, and frequent media attention.
I would add, I think, that Bieber shows no particular talent in these videos. His looks and his voice are unexceptional other than belonging to a boy of 17 instead of 13. Most of the competent dancing in his videos is done by others; his own moves are pedestrian by the standards of the industry. I doubt he composes his own music, although I couldn’t find any statement to this effect. But his seems exactly the kind of over-produced, manufactured stardom for which The Backstreet Boys take so much grief**.
And there’s something especially galling about the way his videos show attractive women falling at his feet. And knowing that, yup, they probably do that in real life too. Pisses me off.
But that said, is he really worth all this?
He has been a frequent target for internet bloggers and message board posters—notably by users of internet message board 4chan, users of YouTube, and various Facebook groups. Pranks have included a successful campaign to push "Justin Bieber Syphilis" to the top of the Google Trends Hot Searches list; hacked YouTube videos that were altered so as to redirect users to adult websites or trigger pop-up messages saying that Bieber had been killed in a car accident; his Last.fm photograph being changed to pornographic images; various rumors circulated, from rumors that Bieber had died, joined a cult, or even that his mother was offered $50,000 to pose topless in Playboy magazine—none of which were true.
Good heavens, what has the kid done to motivate his haters that much?
It seems out of proportion to me. But one clue might be this: Bieber identifies as Christian, although of an apparently latitudinarian sort (he passed on the opportunity to speak against fornication). He did speak negatively against abortion, although not in a political context. And his statement on homosexuality to Rolling Stone (“It’s everyone’s own decision to do that. It doesn’t affect me and shouldn’t affect anyone else.”) prompted this remark: "It is not clear whether he intended to label homosexuality as a lifestyle choice." What a totalitarian ideology liberalism has become! It’s not enough to be tolerant of homosexuality; you have to believe the correct thing about it!***
Otherwise, I don’t know why Bieber is hated so much. Thoughts?
* My daughters have thus far shown zero interest in the kind of things that tween girls are thought to obsess over. The eldest’s favorite TV show is How It’s Made. I think I have a true nerd girl.
** I want to write a retrospective on the music of the 80s and 90s. Pursuant to this, I want to ask my readers: hypothetically, is admitting to an enjoyment of The Backstreet Boys a socially acceptable preference, or is it a surefire ticket to blogosphere-wide mockery and ridicule?
*** As it happens, I myself don’t think homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice”, only because I think something is really, really
wrong different at a visceral level about a man who would want to do the kind of things that homosexuals are alleged to do.
Lesbianism, though, I kind of get.