Forget next year’s election, America’s biggest decision is Justin Bieber vs. One Direction

The world almost made it a full week without a high-profile terrorist attack. So close. This time havoc struck western Africa, in a hotel in Mali last Friday morning, where Islamic militants took 170 hostages and killed 19 of them.

There’s really not much else you can say or do but to believe in the power and resilience of humanity. We may not be living in a fairy tale, but one has to remain hopeful that good will always prevail over evil, even in the darkest of times.

If you’re having trouble believing that yourself, then take strength in Antoine Leiris, who, despite losing his wife in the Bataclan attack, refuses to bear hatred for those who pulled the trigger that fateful night.

If a man who lost so much can see the bigger picture, then maybe we can too.

Remember, it’s our decisions we make that truly define us.

Justin BieberAnd this past weekend, a decision was upon the world that, one way or the other, really showed our true colors.

Justin Bieber vs. One Direction.

And the Beliebers won.

The solo artist and boy band have combined to warp an entire generation of young girls’ musical tastes. They’ve both cultivated a sweeping fan base, and in the last few days, their popularity was put to the test.

Justin Bieber’s fourth studio album, Purpose, came out on the same day as One Direction’s fifth, titled Made in the A.M, their first album since their quintet became a quartet following the departure of Zayn Malik. In the end, Bieber sold some 649,000 albums to One Direction’s 459,000.

The dual releases created the biggest quandary for teenage girls since the Hunger Games made them decide between Peeta and Gale.

(I still can’t believe Katniss chose Peeta.)

(I mean … I never read them.)

(I read them.)

I’ve been pretty hard on the Biebs on this blog. I won’t deny it. Mainly because I can’t deny it since a search of his name will reveal myriad angst-ridden posts about him dating back to 2010.

But I will go on record, right now, by saying that I am willing to wipe the slate clean on Justin Bieber. Henceforth, I will only judge him on his actions moving forward, starting with Sunday night’s closing performance at the American Music Awards.

If I took one thing away from it, it’s that I didn’t realize he’s actually a pretty good dancer. His voice has always been fine. It’s nothing show-stopping, but he’d probably get at least three out of four chairs to turn on a blind audition of The Voice. No way Pharrell would turn. No way.

(I don’t actually watch The Voice.)

(I’m watching it right now.)

But now it’s time to see if Bieber has learned anything from his past transgressions.

Hey, Ben Carson, once stabbed a dude — allegedly — and tried to hit his mom on the head with a hammer — again, allegedly — and the guy might be our next president. All can be forgiven.

Don’t let me down, Bieber. I want to like you. I really do.

Otherwise, I’m spending my entire fortune on One Direction’s next album to make sure you don’t win Round 2.

That’s smarter than starting a 401K, right?

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