There was a bus stop close to our home in Australia that for a very long time, had a poster promoting Justin’s Bieber’s concert-documentary “Never Say Never”. He’s standing in the middle on the road, and one one side is cold, forbidding, grey Stratford, Ontario–and on the other side the bright lights of…who’s cares what city–it’s AMERICA!
OK… I didn’t pay close enough attention to the ad–that looks like New York city.
Anyhoo, I’ve never give much though to the ole Bieb’s, after all, I am hardly his demographic. Which is why when I told my mother that I had bought tickets to see Justin Timberlake, she looked confused.
“Well I hope that he just sorts himself out after that whole London thing”.
“Wha? No, mom, that’s Justin Bieber“.
“Oh, okay, phew! I was really concerned there for a minute”.
This mistake did allow for the hilarious mental image of my 6’9” husband standing amongst a flood of shrieking girls. But she was not the only person to make the mistake. While at work one morning, the radio announcing every minute detail about the Boston bombings, a conversation followed that is now generic at this point. “Why do people do things like this? Why do things like this happen?” A general quiet followed, as if everyone was contemplated the violence, when I piped up about the recent Bieber-backlash after his visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. In the guest book he wrote:
“Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
We all laughed at the remark. And then my co-worker said” “When are you seeing him?” This confused the ever loving shit out of me. Had I just hallucinated this conversation? When am I seeing Justin Bieber?”
“Aren’t you seeing him in concert?”
Just then I wanted to step onto a platform and bark into a megaphone. “TIMBERLAKE, PEOPLE NOT BIEBER!”. My god, am I just walking around, striking people as a card carrying belieber?
Because I’m not.
Okay, in doing today’s research, I will admit, his face is structurally sound, and even aliens from distant planets would agree that there is an attractiveness quotient happening there.
But that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t feel so good to punch him in the nose, wrench off his spiky little ball cap and thwack him in the face and pull those god damned pants up so high, I’m practically giving him a wedgie. Shit, why not just go for gold and give him an all-out wedgie?
“And this is for Anne Frank! You ignorant A-hole!”
One could imagine that going to the museum was arranged through some public relations scheme. I suppose this comment isn’t that terrible when he could have written: “I just found out about you not ten minutes ago…and what was the deal with the Holocaust? This is all news to me! Love Justin”. Bieber just needs to sing more and talk less. Or take a page out of the other Justin’s book–and work hard, gain respect, don’t be a dick, and never make assumptions about the preferences of Holocaust victims.
And of course, there is a heap of articles about Frank because of Bieber’s comment, so there is some gold being spun–”yes, it was ignorant, but isn’t it nice that Anne Frank is making a comeback?” Yes, but in a hashtag-Anne-Frank kind of way. She’s this year’s “Gangnam Style“. It also reveals a bit about what Bieber’s prime fan base knows about the holocaust and one of it’s most famous victim. In fact, that has been the butt of a million jokes–Ricky Gervais cracked wise about all the illiterate teenaged girls who are fuming over this mystery girl. There are arguments back and forth whether Anne Frank would have been a belieber…she was a teenager, she liked movie stars–so there are some saying ‘why not Bieber?’ And sure, she may have liked him, if she were a modern girl in a contemporary world. One rabbi, speaking in defense of Bieber, said that Anne Frank would have been a fan, possibly going as far as to follow him on Twitter.
Nonetheless, Bieber is in some kind of moral danger. Lord knows that history has a tendency to repeat himself. There have been others before him that have tried and failed to survive their success. Hello Elvis? He was a total babe, and then came the jumpsuits and dying on the crapper, and now that’s all people really remember. And Bieber’s out there buying strange monkeys–which is edging towards Micheal Jackson territory–and we all know how well that all worked out. It was not that long ago that little baby Bieber was a boy from Ontario, with a dream, a camera and a You-Tube account.
Look at that sweet little face…couldn’t you just picture that on the wall of the secret attic?
You know, I hate to admit it–but there is a similarity between these two–they were once kids with dreams of success–Anne Frank wanted to be a journalist, a writer, an actress. Her father Otto had her journals published as a way to honour that dream, and now she is a symbol of lost innocence. Bieber had dreams of being a famous singer, and his mom published a book about being…his mom. (There has not been a more important birth since Mary and her boy Jesus). But his innocence has been lost as well–not in a horrific manner like Anne, but in having too much–money, fame, attention. And it’s a shame, for he could be a neat little Canadian success story; instead he is turning into a tragic tale of entitlement and decadence. But if there’s anything to be learned from Anne Frank is that we are remembered by what we write down, and leave it to Bieber to add these eye-roll worthy remarks to his already sterling legacy. Hopefully next time, Bieber could be a bit more frank instead.