Thursday, February 17, 2011

An outlet for Bieber Mania, and an explanation about the White House

After Esperanza Spalding took the Grammy for Best New Artist, fans of Justin Bieber were aghast, and resorted to the sort of juvenile outbursts that, I suppose, is entirely consistent with the sort of thing those who are devoted to the teen star would do. They lashed out against the jazz bassist on the internet, defacing her Wikipedia page and filling the Twittersphere with vitriol.

I suppose that's the suitable outburst in a digital era; the time of a good old-fashioned record burning are passed—not merely because burning records would be unwise due to probable toxic chemicals released by combustion, but also because records are for a collector's market these days and thus are too valuable to exploit for a pointless cathartic gesture.

The fact that Ms. Spalding was not the one bestowing upon herself nor was she one who voted in the decision that bestowed upon her the honor is irrelevant; the anger felt by the "Bielibers" in their adolescent state is unconcerned with who deserves the blame. As well they shouldn't.

I, for one, am glad that they have this avenue for their venting period of stupidity; if it made them feel better to issue some angry tweets and temporarily post some insults on Wikipedia (before the page is restored), I imagine Esperanza Spalding can ignore that (much in the same way that those Bieber fans had been ignoring her up to that point). I'd much rather they get it out of their system with nothing more than some expended electrons.

When they get older they can go out and set police cars on fire and get arrested for being part of the riot that erupts in the wake of their sports team winning a championship. You know, the mature way that grown-ups deal with intense emotions.

I'm certainly not going to point out that Justin Bieber is, at best, a mediocre talent, and that only those blinded by thinking he's dreamy could believe he deserved to be feted as "best"; I don't need those crazy little girls hacking my site in retribution. Even as a grown man nothing frightens me more* than the notion of adolescent females en masse—especially ones with broadband and time on their hands and a need for a new target. Nope, I ain't putting that bullseye here.

Hey, are there any tickets to that 3D movie of his left...


A lot of people blame the fact our nation has never had a female president on male insecurity, but that's too vague; attributing anything to insecurity is akin to attributing daylight to the sun. Of course men are insecure, but the fact is women are a slight majority, so conceivably if women all got together and voted for a woman she would win.

Let's instead focus for a moment on the way adolescent girls, generation after generation, continue to go through this phase of worshipping some pretty boy pop star (and I use "worshipping" in the most literal sense). Ricky Nelson, the Beatles (in their early period), David Cassidy, the New Kids on the Block, etc., and now on to this latest phenom.

Perhaps both genders remember this as adults and are unconsciously wary of the sort of mania that the females exhibited in their formative years. Although consciously we all know it's ridiculous that a female president would be so enamored with some handsome singer who can only moderately carry a tune that she'd deck out the Oval Office with posters and pillows emblazoned with his face, there's that tiny little speck in the recesses of our unconsciousness that cannot quite dismiss that association when we step into the voting booth.

[Insert your own joke here about what adolescent boys do and how that could possibly allow us to vote for men in light of that.]


Swinging too wildly from the sincere to the sarcastic above?

(I'll leave it up to you to distinguish which is which.)


* Seriously: To this day when I think of when my younger sister was a pre-teen and had a slumber party with a bunch of other screaming girls I have a strong desire to go board myself up in my room until the next morning.


  1. I think that's great, that Esperanza Spalding (someone I've never heard of) got a Grammy, and Bieber (someone who's relentlessly promoted by the media, and yet I've never heard any of his music) didn't. Ha!

  2. The Grammy voters learned their lesson with Milli Vanilli years ago, Marvin.


So, what do you think?