It hasn’t been a very good last couple of months for Justin Bieber.
First, the 19-year-old pop sensation announced on Dec. 24 that he is “officially retiring” through the most unprofessional way imaginable — his Twitter account — only to have his management team immediately release a statement shortly after that he was kidding. Three weeks later, Bieber made headlines again, this time for “EggGate,” when he allegedly threw eggs at a neighbor’s house in Los Angeles.
Justin Bieber has a pretty devoted fan base, who I’m told go by the name of Beliebers. And when you’re so fanatical about something or some one, you can always find the silver lining to excuse any type of behavior.
So I could see how Beliebers could have easily spun these two items. As for the faux retirement, they could say he was simply overcome by the stresses of his line of work. Which would be kind of understandable. He’s already released three studio albums, embarked on multiple nationwide tours, and been the subject of two documentaries before he turned 20.
And by doing it through Twitter, they could say that Bieber was simply trying to speak to his many fans through most the direct means possible, and considering that the majority of his fans are about 14 and 15 years old, Twitter makes sense.
As for the egg thing, that could be shrugged off with a single sentence. “He’s 19! Who didn’t egg their neighbors’ homes when they were they were that age? It’s no big deal.”
That’s all well and good. But this morning, Bieber made headlines again, and I’d like to see the Beliebers try to justify this one.
As most of you probably know already, Bieber was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after a police officer observed him street racing in a yellow Lamborghini in Miami Beach.
Even his most diehard fans can’t possibly defend this. Everyone understands the recklessness of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and racing it down a city street in the middle of the night.
Nelson Mandela, right before he died, could have been arrested and charged with the same thing, and people would still think he’s an asshole. Because there’s nothing more selfish than drinking and driving. Harming yourself is one thing, but potentially injuring or even killing an innocent person in the process is one of the most egregious acts any human being can undertake. For all we know, Bieber could have killed a Belieber with his thoughtless behavior.
He already didn’t have the most positive public perception before this. But even so, the reasons why most people hated him were fairly weak. It was either because they didn’t like his music, or didn’t like his style, or didn’t like his tendency to demand “to be taken seriously” during acceptance speeches — or all of the above. Mostly, though, people were simply just jealous of him, and that’s where a lot of the animosity came from.
That’s plenty reason to not be a fan of somebody, but to hate them?
Well, Bieber took care of that for us, because now we have ample reason to hate him. If pop stars had approval ratings, like how presidents do, it’s safe to say that Bieber’s will never be lower.
In all seriousness, one can only hope he learns from this, and that it won’t ignite a downward spiral that ends with him completely falling off of the map and into rehab. He’s still young, so he can use the “immaturity” card, and try to spend the next few years redeeming himself and repairing his public image.
What he did isn’t quite Chris Brown-like, so at least he’s not the worst person in the world. He can take some comfort in that.
But, when it’s all said and done, I think there’s a lot less Beliebers in the world today than there was yesterday.
And that’s the real tragedy of the story.