Tag Archives: Justin Bieber

(ON TOPIC) Goodbye America, Hello…Somewhere Else

Part 1: Dear Generation Me…

Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes. They wake up every morning in the box of their bedroom because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box away into another box. Then they leave the box where they live and get into a box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken up into lots of little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to their house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment. They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box! Does that sound like anyone you know?

-Eustace Conway

Dear Generation Me,

What’s the ethos of our age?

Christy Wampole says it’s irony, i.e., the hipster. I say it’s irony with a little bit of a technology-induced self-indulgence on the side—that I feel crippled by the ostensibly endless array of choices in front of me right now kinda feeling.

We, those anxious young twentysomethings, know that kinda feeling well.

You know us. In addition to Wampole’s article, The New York Times devoted a whole feature to us first globals who are increasingly seeking career opportunities abroad. Lena Dunham put them on primetime TV with HBO’s Girls. They’re also walking around in that thing called the real world—those recent college graduates, confused, innocently forlorn, and buried in student loans.

In my life, more and more people seem to be subsequently packing their bags for places like Spain and Thailand and China. Do I get a job, or travel the world, or both? is an increasingly normal question for us to ask ourselves and our bank accounts. I can understand the urge to travel, so my question isn’t, Why is everybody leaving? I think it’s more, What is everyone escaping from?

Party talk (read: half-drunken drivel) tells me it’s our culture. Someone I met recently at a holiday gathering launched into a speech about how he wished he was a part of Generation X, that post-WWII diverse generation united in a combat for change. “Music. Not that digitally manipulated CRAP coming from our iPhones,” he said. Grunge, hip hop, and rock with a political influence. While I appreciated his wild hand gestures, he lost me a bit because I’m not entirely sure you can be nostalgic for times of which you were never a part. (And what about the assassination of JFK and the Chernobyl disaster and Watergate, dude?! Gen X-ers may have had some great music, but I don’t think it totally defined the times.) Are times so bad that we’re being forced to long for a time we never knew, e.g. the hipster who raids the nearest thrift store to find a vintage tee from a bygone era?

But enough about them—let’s talk about us. (We love talking about us!) We’re a part of Generation Y. Or, more aptly name, Generation Me. We’re a more narcissistic generation, totally self-involved and lost in screens—TV, computer, iPhone. We text, and we blog, too, because we have lots of feelings and want to share them with the world! We’re irreligious and ironic. We also have more and more opportunities abroad at our disposal. I’ve seen friends and family leave the country as a walking outline, anxious to be colored in by some other culture somewhere else, and then return with feelings of confidence and reassurance. And sometimes superiority. This is the part of our story that I’m interested in.

Is culture failing us, and, if so, is travel the new Holy Grail to self-improvement?

Stay tuned. I’ll write back soon.

I swear I wear my Justin Bieber tee unironically (I think),

J-Hurtz

COMING UP–

Part 2: My Cousin Who Travels the World (And Why She’s a Voice of a Generation)

This is Allyn. She's my cousin. Allyn likes to travel. A lot.

This is Allyn. She’s my cousin, and she probably travels more than you do.

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(SHORT NOTES) Last-Minute Strategies for Highly Effective New Year’s Resolutions

It’s time to turn over a new leaf.

This is something people say or Tweet right before they make a grandiose New Year’s resolution that they definitely, maybe won’t keep. I’m going to exercise every day for 30 minutes. Just stop it. Those high-flown New Year’s resolution things, and the mental burden induced by all the resolutions you haven’t kept over the years.

Here’s the thing about them. The changes resolutions require you to make involve a whole lot of commitment, and without instant results, most people are deterred from following through. “New Year’s resolutions are based on the fallacy that if only you can find sufficient motivation, you can achieve everything,” writes Oliver Burkeman in Newsweek. But motivation isn’t easy to maintain.

Pessimism is an ugly color on anyone. Let’s turn this sad, sinking ship around, yeah?

  1. Target the source. Resolutions usually stem from the feeling that something about you and/or the world is off kilter—unemployment, health care, self-image issues, Justin Bieber’s wardrobe! In any case, it’s easy to worry when there’s always somebody there to tell you that harm is near. (I was reading  “The Week” today and learned that sleeping in on the weekends can make you fat, breathing city air is bad for you, and breathing inside air is bad for you because exposure to carbon dioxide can make you dumber. Summary: We should all just hold our breath. Always.) So, put on your Perspective Helmet and zero in on the positives of the year. In 2012, for one, we’ve become increasingly gay-friendly! And drug-friendly, too! Breathe easy, you weed-smoking homosexuals.
  2. Step small. Don’t say you’re going to run 30 minutes every day. Instead, try running for five minutes and work your way up from there. Read the news for five minutes every morning. Go through your belongings and donate the excess to a local Goodwill shop. Trying being good people, ya dig?

K sorry for the preaching. Gotta get back to memorizing all the lyrics to the latest Bieber album. For now, I think I’ll just start with “Beauty and a Beat.”

It’s all about the baby steps, Baby.

Biebs 4 lyfe,

Jono

(ON TOPIC) How I Learned to Love Justin Bieber in 115 Minutes, and Why You Should, Too. Even if You’re a Guy.

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.

Bieber calls.