We should make some things clear from the start, ranging from the most obvious to the lesser-known:
Justin Bieber is more famous than you are.
Justin Bieber is more talented than you are.
And J Biebs can solve a Rubix cube faster than you can.
Disclaimer: If you’re [insert name of next pop sensation here], not all of these apply to you. You rule.
And this is precisely why it seems JB fans remain polarized into two groups: Those who love him (aptly named “Beliebers”) and those who hate him. Or, I guess it’s really “those who believe he’s the single greatest reason for waking up each morning” and those who, well, don’t think that at all. (This makes sense though, doesn’t it? Extremist sentiments, as politics have recently taught us, are so 21st century.) Until last night I fell into the latter group. But then I saw his new documentary Never Say Never 3D: Director’s Fan Cut and I had an experience.
Let me explain.
I didn’t used to hate Justin Bieber simply because it’s uncool for guys to like Justin Bieber. I just dismissed him, as most people do, as yet another obnoxious American pop phenomenon. I blamed America and its technology for his rise to fame, but I think I really hated him because I hated how I took part in a system allowing people like him to rise to such fame and glory so quickly. And I don’t think I was alone in feeling this.
But why would I do this when, in truth, I don’t really feel this way at all. I say good for him! He took advantage of a ubiquitous Information revolution and used the Internet as a platform to launch his million-dollar career. So for all you haters, shame on you. You’re probably just jealous because Justin Bieber is resourceful and scrappy and he now has a pretty great life because of it. Success as a direct product of hard work is something I don’t think a lot of Americans understand.
With that said, also shame on you if you bash him without having listened to his music or watched his YouTube videos. Because here’s the thing: The kid got talent. He’s been drumming since he learned his fingers could make noise when hit forcefully against a table and, as the documentary highlights, he also made a movie that has grossed $54,901,755 worldwide in twenty-five days. Oh and his concert at Madison Square Garden sold out in twenty-two minutes. As the movie also points out, Michael Jackson sold out MSG, among many other musical legends. I don’t mean to liken Justin Bieber to Michael Jackson, but he’s certainly making noise like MJ did.
I guess the message I have here comes from the actual experience I had while watching the movie. For one, people employed various strategies to enter the theater. Most of the girls walked straight in and enthusiastically took their seats. Others (read: the guys) casually rolled in with their hoods and sunglasses on, most likely wanting to shout, “My girlfriend made me come. I swear I’m straight. We have sex. Lots of it. And I like it.”
Then the movie started and everyone cheered and sang and laughed like there was no tomorrow. It felt like I was at a concert, most likely because of the 3D glasses. Watching girls screaming and crying onscreen and then looking to my left and right and seeing the same thing was a unique movie going experience. He’s touched millions of people’s lives, and I’m all for someone in such a position of power using said status to create and inspire. There’s a whole lotta shit out there, and if Justin Bieber can make millions of fans believe they can hold their heads up and make some noise, I support the kid.
So am I a Belieber? Not necessarily. I need some time. But what I am saying right now is I have to go because I just bought My World 2.0 (Bonus Version) on Amazon because it’s $5.99 instead of $9.99 on iTunes and it just finished downloading.