The problem with being almost completely disconnected from modern music is that you only become aware of new bands when you hear people talking about them, which, thanks to the seemingly random names bands are choosing these days, can make it hard to tell whether people are talking about a band at all. After the Grammys I was concerned when I heard that an arcade had apparently burned down and caused so much fallout on Twitter.
Some people list Snow Patrol as one of their favorite bands; to me it sounds more like an activity or a TV show about Canadian Mounties from the late 1970s. The Flaming Lips sound painful. I know nothing at all about Deerhoof save for the fact that they are a hipster band, and I use this knowledge solely as a punchline when I’m mocking hipsters (before now my stock hipster band had been Weezer until one of my hipster friends informed me that they had become too mainstream).
I’m out of the loop, is what I’m saying. It’s not my fault – if any of these bands wanted me to listen to them, they should’ve tried harder to be Pink Floyd between 1972 and 1979. But they did not, so I’ll continue to not listen to them. Easy come, easy go, I suppose.
Needless to say, Justin Bieber totally snuck up on me.*
*Man, can you imagine how many 14-year-old girls wish they could say that?
I was in England when I first became aware of the little tyke – not by hearing his music, necessarily, although I’m sure it was in the air and I’d just mistaken it for some ex-Spice Girl’s solo album or something. No, it was when I started seeing him cropping up in my friends’ news feeds.
Some of it (exclusively from women, mind you) was remarkably positive – a lot of accolades, not necessarily about the quality of Bieber’s music, but definitely about how cute he was. Being as most of the girls saying this were at least in college, I sort of figured Justin Bieber was over the age of consent. I guess I always knew women could be into jailbait too; I’m just surprised that I’m friends with so many of them.
But the vast majority of what I saw in my news feed was people absolutely condemning Justin Bieber. Slandering him up and down. Wishing death and destruction upon him and his career. From this, I surmised that Justin Bieber was Voldemort – I mean, God only knows what sort of evil, twisted soul could inspire so much hatred among so many people.
Well, needless to say, I don’t get it. But my not getting it is twofold.
First, the obvious one: Justin Bieber sucks. I’ve heard his music and it sounds the way good music does not. And yet, he’s got a gigantic, rabid fanbase. This does not make sense.
Only, to some degree, it does. If I’ve learned one thing from N’Sync, Britney Spears, the McRib, Lady Gaga, the Saw franchise, and University of Washington athletics, it’s that terrible things will always be inexplicably popular. To be honest, I’d be a little worried if Justin Bieber wasn’t a pop sensation. I’d be handing out copies of his CDs to people at the mall, yelling, “This guy sucks and you’re Americans! Why don’t you love him?”
The second thing I don’t get is why people hate him so bad.
Again, Justin Bieber sucks. I can’t say this enough. He’s the musical equivalent of Twilight. If Justin Bieber were a sport, he would be soccer. If he were a college, he’d be the University of Wa- Oh, wait, I got them earlier.
But you should see the shit that the Internet wants to do to this kid.
And, for the purposes of comparison…
I think we need to take a step back and understand that just because somebody sucks doesn’t mean they necessarily deserve to die. I mean, good Lord, people, the boy is something like 16. I completely understand wanting to kill someone if they they’ve done something morally wrong or if they attend a school that paints their football field an abominable color, but Justin Bieber just makes really, really shitty music.
As someone who is incredibly prone to hyperbole, I understand that all the well constructed anti Justin Bieber rhetoric doesn’t really mean anything – it’s just shittalking for shittalking’s sake, and I’m all about that sort of thing. But I feel like the people who put so much energy into hating and mocking Justin Bieber are unwittingly becoming a part of the Bieber phenomenon. Let’s be honest: Justin Bieber is a commodity, and whether you love him or you hate him, you’re talking about him.*
*I get a free pass on this one because I needed something to write my blog about.
And let’s be honest here – nobody is going to be surprised if Justin Bieber gets a visit from the Attempted Suicide Fairy a time or four later in life. 16 is a vulnerable enough age when you don’t have legions of people who either deify or want to murder you; when all of this suddenly goes away in a few years he’s going to be a filthy rich adolescent who no longer has the eyes of the world keeping him from doing drugs and also groupies.
I don’t know. Speaking as someone who loves to hate things, I feel as though Justin Bieber just isn’t deserving of my ire. Just last night, for example, I went to a restaurant/nightclub where the service took forever, the waiter forgot our drink order, and the bathrooms were right next to the bar so you had to fight through a massive crowd of people every time you had to pee. I hated that place. It personally inconvenienced me and ruined my goddamn evening.
Justin Bieber just sucks, and as far as I’m concerned he can just keep right on sucking, with my blessing, as long as he wants to. This is, after all, America.
Truman Capps fully expects this update to get more hits than any of his other updates from the past three years because of its subject matter. Thanks, Search Engine Optimization!