Thursday, February 24, 2011

Defending Justin Bieber: Let's stop knocking a teen who's doing almost everything right

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Editorial section

Being a famous celebrity has its perks.

There's the money, of course. There's the fact that you likely can get the best seat in your favourite restaurant. There are all the screaming fans who are happy to see you.

There are also drawbacks, such as the people who hate you just because you're famous or because they believe you don't deserve your lot in life even though you work like a dog.

I posted a pro-Justin Bieber message on Facebook and Twitter the other day that got quite a response.

As an adult, I've been appalled at the venom this kid seems to draw out of people. By the way some people react, you'd think that he just walked up to your brand new car and keyed it, then relieved himself in your coffee cup.

Justin Bieber is only 16. He's Canadian. From everything I've seen or read about him, he seems to be a decent kid. I've seen him on talk shows. Quite frankly, he's funny and self-deprecating. He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. Talk show hosts love him because he's a great guest and ratings usually go up when he's on.

Even if you're not into his brand of music - pure bubblegum pop - you can at least enjoy his interviews.

And if you can't bring yourself to enjoy his talk shows appearances, have fun laughing at the girls' reactions whenever he wiggles a finger or shakes his head to rearrange his famous mop of hair. The girls scream. They love it. I don't laugh to deride the girls. I just like watching their reaction to someone they idolize.

But the pure hatred and venom Justin Bieber seems to draw out of certain people is a social phenomenon in itself. They hate his music, so they hate him.

If you're a 40-year-old male, his music is not geared toward you, trust me. So just take a pill, relax and be happy for the kid.

There are certainly those who think that by spewing hatred toward him, that it somehow solidifies the "fact" that they're heterosexual.

Buddy, if you're at the point of trashing Justin Bieber just to try to prove to others that you're straight, you may want to look at yourself in the mirror and come to terms with a few things.

Some people hate him because he's over-exposed. Yeah, he's kind of everywhere, isn't he? He has the most-watched video (by far!) on YouTube. He's second only to Lady Gaga for the most followers on Twitter and also has a legion of rabid followers on Facebook. If he'd put a message on Twitter asking his fans to kill you, you'd have a few thousand angry teenage girls knocking at your door.

While this may sound like the start of certain people's favourite dreams, angry Bieber fans would be baring their fangs and carrying sharp knives.

This dream would have no happy ending, trust me.

And no, trashing Justin Bieber isn't going to make you any cuter. The transparency of some people's jealousy is evident. I mean, c'mon... he's a cute kid. Anyone would have to admit that. So unless you're reasonably attractive, just shut up about him having lots of fans who think he's cute.

Some people I know who trash him can't sing and are as ugly as sin. And poor, too.

But they sit there and criticize him like he's the cause incarnate of cancer, heart disease, peanut allergies, hemorrhoids and hangnails.

Everyone's welcome to their opinion - that's true - but we also need to remember that sometimes trashing someone reflects worse on you than it does on the person you're targeting.

Who am I to criticize him? He's Canadian and - as a proud Canadian - I'm happy for his worldwide success. He's certainly a good ambassador for the country. He's younger and cuter and richer than I am. I'm supposed to criticize him for that?

Regardless of whether his music is your thing, he does sing well and can play the drums like a possessed demon (in a good way). And he's got nicer hair than most people, especially me. Heck . . . everyone has nicer (and more) hair than me. I guess that's not a bulletin.

I wasn't around when The Beatles arrived on the scene, but I wonder if teenage boys were as vicious toward them as they are against Justin Bieber?

Throngs of girls screamed for The Beatles. Did their boyfriends and male classmates get all critical and jealous to supposedly prove their manhood? Maybe, I'm not sure.

The Beatles, of course, have become legends and have stood the test of time to the "Nth" degree, but at the time they were probably also over-exposed. Whether Justin Bieber has any staying power remains to be seen. If he doesn't, I hope he has good money managers and keeps his head screwed on straight.

If he does, he'll go from being a very wealthy seemingly well-adjusted teenager to an even wealthier well-adjusted adult.

Luckily, he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously and seems to play well with others. He has said he wants to be a good role model for kids. Heck, your kids could do worse. They could worship bad-behaviour train wrecks such as Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan or Snooki.

In the grand scheme of things, Bieber is harmless.

I think we should all try to tone down the anti-Bieber rhetoric. We trash teens who do bad things. We can't also trash the ones who work hard, behave themselves and try to do some good in the world. Take a deep breath, everyone. He's just a kid, not Satan.