In Defense of Justin Bieber


Had to do it sometime, didn’t it? And what better opportunity than after Bieber’s first murder/castration plot? Sniff… they grow up so fast.

Although, as a Bieber blogger, I should probably avoid talking about castration. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all that… Anyway, back to business.

I don’t need to talk about his meteoric rise to stardom, do I? You know that during the summer of 2010 he was hotter than baseball, marriage, cookies, Jesus, Twilight, American Idol, Star Wars and chocolate, right? Do I need to show you the graphs, because I can.

Now if you love playing around in Google Trends (who doesn’t?), you’ll notice I set my charts during the Bieb’s heyday. That is true. But extend those to the present, and only two of those terms beat him by a sizable margin. Three cheers for chocolate and baseball!

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 10.07.30 PM

For a time, Bieber was more popular than shoes. HE WAS BEATING SHOES, how does that happen?

Biebs went platinum. Twice. He got himself a documentary. According to Klout Magazine, he has more influence than Barack Obama or the Dalai Lama. The term “popular” barely begins to touch him, even as we caress him in steamy dreams. I assume you’re a teenage girl, my key demographic.

Well, teenage girls and psychopaths. Surely you’re the former.

But evil castration plots are nothing new (the world is a strange and scary place). Let’s just be glad nothing happened and Biebs has an army of bodyguards.

And he needs them. For murder plots, sure, but also for the legions of rabid fans.



But as I’ve covered before (with Twilight), disliking something because of fans is really, really, profoundly stupid. Got that? Good. So what angle do I take this week?

Well… I’m not sure. Crap. What’s the difference between Justin Bieber and Twilight? Um… let’s go back to Google Trends, shall we?

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 10.07.41 PM

I’VE GOT IT! Take Twilight and shoes, then compare their relative popularity to Justin Bieber over time! Pop culture calculus! How could I have been so blind!?!

Wah… I’ve become a teenage girl, haven’t I? Prophecy fulfilled… I’ll start revving up my screeching voice…

For most pop stars, popularity goes up and down. It’s true for Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, my “beloved” Ke$ha, et al. Bieber is no exception. However, look at Twilight. Look at how it dips when movies aren’t being released. Now look at the stability of shoes. In terms of popularity, Justin Bieber has more in common with footwear than an overindulgent teenage pop culture powerhouse. I know!

So let’s conclude with many, many more words.

Bieber has the fanbase. I’ve visted 17 different Justin Bieber websites, all of which exclaim identical updates (HE WAS ON ELLEN!, HE HAS A NEW ALBUM!, HE TWEETED ABOUT HIS ABS!, HE SHOWED HIS UNDERWEAR!), but they all maintain substantial web traffic. Sure, there’s an “official” one, but it doesn’t have the panache of the others. And there is enough sheer fandom to validate,,, and (my personal favorite), among many, many others.

Granted, I only like it because his torso was hastily glued to his hips.

Granted, I only like it because his torso was hastily glued to his hips.

Bieber has the talent. No matter how you feel about his songs, the ability to learn multiple instruments without training is impressive. Just look at his YouTube drum solos if you don’t believe me. He’s also a pretty good dancer when not pretending to be a thug. He may be a relatively forgettable singer, but let’s face it… he’s better than a lot of his pop music contemporaries.

Bieber has a creepy basketball avatar in NBA 2K13. For some reason.

They glued his head onto a 40-year-old meth addict, why?

They glued his head onto a 40-year-old meth addict, why?

Bieber also has a bootleg, unofficial sex doll. For… other reasons.

But even with all that, what sets him apart is the lasting popularity. He is like shoes, not Twilight. Justin Bieber has powerful gravity in modern pop culture. You can grumble about his songs all you want, but you will never escape them. The world has changed, and Bieber sits atop our zeitgeist, for better or worse. And trust me, it could be much, much worse.

Not helping...

Not helping…

Defending Justin Bieber comes down to an exercise of surrender. You can be critical of him, but his star is not fading. One Direction will fall before Bieber, you can count on it. The Biebs is here to stay.

So even if you don’t like him, just wait a few years. Maybe his talent will manifest further. He’ll certainly be around, proving you wrong whenever possible (not that he cares about you in the slightest). Just wait and come to terms with him. You will never defeat him. Otherwise, you’re just a medieval curmudgeon screaming about the printing press: ignorant, short-sighted, and infected with cholera.

Just go with the tide, my friend. Go with the tide.

Though you probably shouldn't take me too seriously. After all, I blog about Justin Bieber... wah.

Though you probably shouldn’t take me too seriously. After all, I blog about Justin Bieber… wah.


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