Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shut the Fuck Up: Justin Bieber

When I first made this site I didn’t expect it become so overloaded with D&D logs and lessons. Originally I wanted to use this site as a place to rant, rave, and review anything that came to mind—hence the “fat nerd complaining about things on the internet” tagline. Well it doesn’t seem that my D&D or manga posts will be going anywhere anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a smelly asshole and still bitch about things. However the thing I want to bitch about is other people bitching about things. Yeah, it’s pretty meta, right?

That’s what Shut the Fuck Up, or STFU, is all about. When a particular topic or person is currently getting shat on by the media or the general public, I want to use this series to stress my thoughts on the matter and explain why I think the people whining need to grow a pair and man up. Like yesterday’s From Their Eyes, STFU is a test article right now, and whether or not I’ll continue it will be dependent on the feedback. If you think this sucks, let me know and I won’t waste time writing it, but if you like it, send me a tweet (@RolloT) or leave a comment below telling me that. With the build up out of the way, let’s get into the topic of my first and potentially only STFU: Justin Bieber.

I’ll be honest, I don’t follow the pop culture scene very closely anymore and almost all of my exposure to pop music comes from ToddInTheShadow’s reviews. In fact the first time I heard of Justin Bieber at all was when I watched Todd’s Top 10 Worst Songs of 2009. But that was back when he was just breaking onto the scene and far before he became easily one of the most recognizable figures in American pop culture. Now he’s a mega-superstar appearing in music videos, Super Bowl commercials, and even his own movie documentary released in theaters—and he isn’t even 18. Pop stars in general illicit a rather negative reaction from the public considering how popular they are, and seeing Bieber this successful before he’s old enough to buy lottery tickets makes a lot of people jealous, and understandably so. I wouldn’t say Justin Bieber is particularly talented, and I certainly wouldn’t say I enjoy his music, but well… let’s cut to the chase. Have you looked at a Justin Bieber related video on YouTube?

If there’s not some 12 year old girl professing her love for him, it’s some anonymous asshole calling him a derogatory word and wishing death and rape upon him and his family. Some people seriously hate Justin Bieber, and honestly I’m not really sure why. As I said, I can understand disliking him for not being talented and being jealous of his early success, but people seem to legitimately want to beat this kid and I just don’t get that. The quote I hear a lot from people who scowl or groan at the mere mention of his name is that Bieber “represents what’s wrong with the music industry”.

Uh-huh. Okay, I’m not a music guy per say, so I wouldn’t consider this my forte necessarily, but have you listened to music in the past… ever? I know you may not like Justin Bieber because you think he’s a talentless hack who’s risen up the pop charts for being good looking(?) and the product of the American music industry, but you do realize that mainstream pop is and has always been overloaded with terrible artists more infamous for their name more than anything, right? I mean sure we get our Michael Jacksons along the way, but we get just as many Boys II Men, Beyonce, N*Sync, Hanson, R.Kelly, Jewel, and Spice Girls. Look, I’m not saying anyone I listed back there is necessarily awful, but the fact is that popular music is generally popular because of the audience and not the performer. If I put a video of me singing Take On Me by A-Ha up on YouTube, and in three months it had 12 million hits, who are you going to get upset at? You’d get upset at me, but the fact is it’s not my fault people apparently loved listening to me fuck up that high note.

Sure it’s fine to poke fun at pop stars. Like any portion of our pop culture they are acceptable targets and if you want to make fun of Bieber’s voice or his shitty hair cut that’s not a problem. No, the problem is when I mentioned his name and you reactively spit on the ground. This is not an exaggeration, and I know plenty of people who would punch this kid in the face if they met him despite the fact that Bieber is probably one of the least offensive artists out there today. It’s not like he’s Ke$ha who walks around exerting this disgusting persona in all of her music. He’s not any worse than Katy Perry who seems to exist only to make catchy songs and then walk around half-nude in everything she’s in despite how inappropriate that might be (see: Sesame Street). Heck, this kid is more reviled than Lady Gaga, and that’s the woman who showed up to her sister’s graduation wearing this. I don’t even know what that is! It’s like someone took slutty lingerie, cut out the insides, and then dropped a black veil on top of Raiden’s hat.

My point is that this vile hatred of Justin Bieber really has no grounds. Is his singing really as offensive as the dozens of artists that use auto-tune? Is Baby really worse than This Time (Dirty Bit)? I mean the Black Eyed Peas pretty much shat all over the Super Bowl and yet I don’t hear nearly as much venom slung their way. People act as if Justin Bieber having another hit single is some sleight against them and their favorite bands. Newsflash, fourteen year old girls are going to support Justin Bieber far more than you’ll ever support your local indie band. That’s the way music works people.

So my argument is this: why hate Justin Bieber? Why is that his name is spoken so vehemently in our culture? What possible valid reason is there to hate this kid?

None. There is none at all. If he represents everything you hate about the music industry, than congratulations: you just finally figured out the music industry—now read a book.

I’m Rollo T, that was my rant, and people need to learn to Shut the Fuck Up.


  1. Good article, and I agree. I'm always amazed at how much vitriol you see directed at people on the internet. I remember back when I was a teenager I absolutely loathed Apple - now I realize that was childish. Sure, I still hate their arrogance and the mindless Apple fanboys, but I can admit their integrated designs tend to be one step ahead of the rest (even if I personally don't like all the milky white and rounded corners). And I feel the same way about most other things that I dislike. There are plenty of things in the world that I can legitimately get angry about, so why not direct my energy at those?

  2. You know, I had a similar idea to do in terms of youtube videos along the same vein of telling people to quit their bitching and deal with pop culture. Though I never really got far enough to actually write anything to bother with the idea myself.

    I agree, though, music has had its fair share of garbage and trash ever since music really started. It is something I've learned to accept and tolerate, where Bieber is popular and everyone hates him, but I always argue that my generation loved Britney Spears, NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.

    Anyways, enjoyable read, and it would be interesting to see what else you could rant about for this kind of series. The biggest thing I can think of are movies and video games, but there are definitely other things.

  3. I do agree with most of what you say. People tend to forget the awful pop sensations of past years, and eventually Justin Beiber will be forgotten too. I mean, hell, the Jonas Brothers had a movie too, and when's the last time you heard anything about them?

    One thing though. You mention that Justin Beiber is inoffensive compared to other pop stars. To me, at least, this is his worst characteristic. He rally is the essence of gutless, edgeless pop pablum. At least when you're offended by something, you can say it had SOME kind of impact on you.

  4. @Ver Greeneyes - Glad you liked it. Sadly I've never had too much experience with Apple and the only Apple product I ever owned was a 1 Gen iPod Nano. I can understand the sentiment though.

    @Kai - Thanks for the feedback mate, though the thing I wnt to note is that I can recall people hating the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, but most of those peope were older. The thing is that kids today love Biber the same way kids fifteen years ago loved the Backstreet Boys. Every generation has it's Justin Bieber. As for future installments, this series will be the least frequently updated of the blogs as it's rather dependent on my mood, but two topics I would speak about that spring to mind are Twilight and John Cena.

    @MindOST - Thanks for reading chief, but honestly I don't expect a teenage kid to be singing anything but cheesey dime a dozen love songs. I realize the general lack of impact his music has disturbs people, but a lot of pop music is just guys/girls singing generic love songs. If Justin Bieber sang a song about fucking a girl then dumping her after finding out she's pregnant, I'm not sure how I would react to that.

  5. @Rollo T - Oh don't get me wrong, anyone who thinks Justin Beiber is anything worse than a mildly annoying pop artist is overreacting and getting worked up over nothing.

    I'm just saying that a little offensiveness from people like Lady Gaga now and then isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  6. I agree with you completely. I find that people complaining about Beiber at every chance is 10x more annoying that the kid himself. I don't get it myself. If you don't like him, then just ignore him. It's really not that hard to do. I've seen maybe a snippet of one of his songs, which while not great it didn't make my ears bleed like some would have you believe it would. The only reason I know of him at all is people's constant bitching. And you know what people, you're not hurting him by constantly complaining about him. Quite the opposite really, you're talking about him which only gives him more exposure.

    Also, I liked that commercial with him and Ozzy and it's kinda cool that he'd participate in a commercial that pokes fun at him like that. Granted, being payed out the wazoo probably helped, but still.

  7. With the exception of Todd's stuff, I haven't seen too much of Bieber, and I'm quite happy to keep it that way. Unfortunately, as you stated, people do seem to literally hate the kid. I'm surprised you didn't bring up the youtube comments on something completely unrelated that says "thumbs up if this kicks Bieber's ass" or something like that. Anyway, please continue this series.

  8. I'm interested to see where this goes. This could become a funny and insightful series of articles. Maybe one day you could even do a video version (though that would probably by a hassle). I hate Justin Beiber but only because my sisters take every opportunity to blast his music on their speakers. Though who am I to judge? My musical tastes are still trying to get over the death of Jimi Hendrix. Can't wait for the next one.

  9. i really don't like this kid i am sorry. i may be willing to punch him in the face. i shouldn't be wasting my time on him, and instead listening to good music. and i agree about learning pop songs from toddintheshadows. thats how i grew to hate him, and he infected some of my friends

  10. Well said man. I don't like Bieber's music but I have nothing against him personally. I actually didn't know that people hated him so much as to want to physically hurt him. Sure his music may be annoying if you not tween girl but that's no reason to truly hate the kid.

    I hope you keep doing these, it was a great read. I really liked your closing line too.

  11. I forgot what the article was about. Lady Slutty Raiden Gaga got me so distracted, that the only thing I remember from it is her, and your suggestion of singing an A-HA song (Which I'd love to hear.).

    I really like this article, because there are a lot of things you can bring up in this one. Now I'm sad... And jealous... I should've had this idea.. Now I must steal it!