On March 1, 2013, Justin Drew Bieber tweeted that he had just experienced the “worst birthday.” It was later revealed that the vague message had something to do with a club’s owners throwing Bieber and his pals out because they suspected some were underage. Bieber disputed this, and I dispute that this qualifies as a “worst” birthday. While some see the tiny Canadian’s angst-filled tweet as the start of a terrible downward spiral, it’s not. That brief note was the moment when Bieber finally became interesting.
By my count, there are a total of 26 musical acts performing at the Jefferson, the Pavilion and John Paul Jones Arena this summer. Since C’Ville is a small town, none of them are anywhere near the level of Bieber’s stardom. You could certainly argue that they’re all more talented than Bieber, but none—even Taylor Swift who’s coming to JPJ in September—would generate the type of mass hysteria that the singer would bring. Especially now. Since his 19th birthday, Bieber has conducted himself in a way that has made people genuinely worry. Or at least worry as much as a stranger can possibly worry about another stranger who happens to have nice hair. Everywhere you turn, people are asking “What’s wrong with Bieber?” In fact, if Dr. Drew doesn’t host an hour-long show on the subject soon, I’m going to start worrying about Dr. Drew.
Not that people don’t have reasons to be concerned. Here’s a brief rundown of some of Bieber’s antics over the past few months, in no particular order: He was photographed with weed; he tried to fight a photographer; German customs officials seized his monkey (not a euphemism); Keyshawn Johnson yelled at him for speeding; he’s being sued by another photographer for allegedly stealing his camera’s memory card; he and his manager booked a flight with Virgin Galactic to travel into space; and he wore gold chains, sunglasses, leather pants, and a leather button up shirt to an NBA game.
While the outfit seems to indicate a need for extensive counseling, everything else strikes me as a 19-year-old multi-millionaire finally being able to act like a person. Bieber’s career began when he was just 13 years old. He has never had the chance to be stupid like a normal, stupid teenager can be. This random weird behavior is a good thing. I want more immaturity from Bieber, not less. The same goes for the nation’s public, media outlets, and critics. They’re proclaiming their concern while smiling internally, because this is exactly what we want out of our celebrities: constant (purported) insanity sprinkled with (minor) respectability. Bieber is now following the formula, making him more American than he’ll ever know. U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.
Celebrities Actually Worth Worrying About, Ranked From “They’ll Probably Be Okay” to “Should Be Hospitalized.”
The Goo Goo Dolls