The best way to never be taken seriously… is to ask to be taken seriously.

Tornadoes completely ripped through Oklahoma today, leaving carnage and destruction in its wake, and many are probably dead as a result. But instead, today I am going to focus on the Billboard Music Awards, which aired last night.

I love these shows. When a big awards event is scheduled to air on a Sunday night, I know I will never be lacking for material to blog about the following day. Anytime you pack so many egos in a room, essentially inviting them all to one-up each other through their performances and their gimmicks, it’s like a clash of the titans. Shit is going to go down. It also means by blog is going to become TMZ for a day.

And boy did it ever go down last night.

But before I delve into it, I need to point out a simple human observation.

Everyone wants to be respected. If you don’t have the respect of your peers, then nothing you do will really ever be taken seriously. And there is probably no greater way to insult somebody then to not take them seriously as a person. Being the butt of every joke, or being constantly laughed at, is flat-out humiliating.

So as humans, we are embarking on a never-ending quest to be taken seriously. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are desperately seeking people’s approval. What it means is that we want people to accept us for who we are, and what we’re trying to accomplish in life — whether they approve or not. That is real respect.

And If you don’t have that, well, then the one way to ensure you will never have it — is to ask for it. Outright asking to be taken seriously is barely a step above begging, and, if anything, it’s going to make people view you in an even lower regard.

Well, that’s exactly what Justin Bieber did last night.

Justin Bieber somehow managed to win a “Milestone Award” during the festivities last night. Upon stepping up to the stage, he was greeted with loud jeers from the audience, to which he responded by essentially staring everyone down for several awkward seconds before finally speaking. At which, he delivered what may be the greatest quote in our young century thus far:

“I really just want to say, it really should be about the music. It should be about the craft that I’m making. This is not a gimmick, I’m not — I’m an artist, and I should be taken seriously. And all this other bull should not be spoken of.”

We forget that Justin Bieber is still just a 19-year-old. Some will have him permanently ingrained in their minds as a 14-year-old with a mushroom cut, and others may feel like he’s been around so long that they forget he’s just a kid.

It’s hard for me to be overly critical of a 19-year-old. However, this doesn’t make him look too good. And it’s not going to help anything.

Nobody likes being booed, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

And speaking of the Biebs, check out the reaction of Taylor Swift when she spotted her friend Selena Gomez giving a smooch to her ex-boyfriend!

That’s the most “Whatever” facial expression one can possibly make.

So what else happened during last night’s Billboard Music Awards? Taylor gave yet another fun, flirtatious performance of her song “22,” rocking tight short-shorts along the way. Not that I am one to complain about that, but I do kind of miss Taylor’s refined, more subtle performances where she used to not care about gimmicks or flashiness. But… I don’t know about you, she’s just feeling 22. I guess.

Speaking of subtle performances, it’s for that reason why my two favorite performances of the night were by Ed Sheeran and Kacey Musgraves (The videos will probably be taken down before the night is over.) There was no choreography, no flashing lights, no ugly costumes — just singing. And damn good singing.

You want to talk about earning respect? That is how you do it. Justin, learn from Ed and Kacey.

Oh and in case you missed it, Miguel dropkicked a girl.

And yeah, that was like an actual, full-on dropkick, WWE style.

If you’re wondering who Miguel is, he’s actually a pretty talented R&B singer who a Grammy this past year.

But I can honestly watch that in a loop over and over again. He couldn’t have reciprocated a move like that if he tried a hundred times. He also has surprising little ups for a black man. If you look closely, he also stomps out another girl’s face with his left foot.

Don’t worry though, they laughed about it backstage.

Apparently another good way to be taken seriously is to accidentally leg drop a girl, and then laugh about it afterwards. Maybe I’ll try that the next time I’m at a bar.

So that’s all the memorable moments from last night’s festivities. I hope you all enjoyed the recap.

I also just saw a newsflash on NBC cough*inbetweencommercialbreaksforthevoice*cough about the Oklahoma tornadoes, and they said that at least 51 people are dead. So this is actually pretty devastating news that we will probably be hearing about for a while.

It reminds me of when I was in Memphis in 2011 and found myself stuck in a museum because a tornado warning was happening. I remember finding the whole situation amusing, since as an east coaster, I had never been anywhere near a tornado in my life.

But after seeing something like this — and excuse the Bieber pun — I now fully understand why the natural, raw power of a tornado absolutely must be taken seriously. Prayers out to OKC.

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