Justin Bieber: The Callow Kid

I must confess that I take special amusement in incidents like “Justin Bieber booed, Lightfoot lauded at splashy Grey Cup halftime show” (Toronto Star – November 26, 2012). Schadenfreude surely qualifies as a most unchristian of personal qualities. However, as much as I might consider Bieber a decent and nice lad, the disdain has more to do with what he represents. More importantly; in those boos, lay some hope that there remains a modicum of vitality of soul in modern humanity.

The only “chumps” are those who think it’s acceptable, even laudable, to boo an 18 year-old kid. It’s rude and uncultured.

Pathetic, He’s a young kid. What ever happened to behaving like adults and having manners?? Seems it was a crowd of ill-mannered rednecks, which sadly reflects the general intellect of Canadians these days.

Next year get the Trailer Park boys and dogs chasing frisbees, so CFL fans can cheer their own type while some 60’s geezer band plays.

(not uncommon sentiments found on Toronto Star comments in response to story)

Little in me will be found to exist in common with these supposedly rustic “rubes”, which attend football games. I was more that high school nerd than jock. However, on the basis of $400 ticket prices to these events, it is highly doubtful that those aspersions are any more than expression of effete prejudices of the self-regarding intelligentsia and culturati. The one thing to appreciate about these plain, simple and “vulgar” rustics is their closer fidelity to authenticity and soul.

I doubt that I would have audacity to join in on such a communal groan. I have anal-retentive self-regard for dignity and decorum. However, I cannot say that I disapprove. After one saunters past aisles upon aisles in Zellers or Wal-Mart; plastered with  Bieber’s face and torso over what seems to be every product from industrial-strength power tools to tampon pads; it is not rocket science to figure out that the lad’s song and dance is a manufactured product; a triumph of packaging over content.

And it is not as if Bieber is an unknowing and unwilling participant of this overbearing marketing. The rags-to-riches narrative that his handlers promulgate is one of a child from impoverished single mom family, who through his own shrewd self-promotion over the Internet became success story. He represents a true model of “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” capitalist success; the “overcoming overwhelming adversity” theme promoted by libertarian conservative propagandists. Give the kid kudos for mastering the game of branding and networking. But in an age where people “will be judged by the [smoothness] of their skin [rather than] by the content of their character”, the Horatio Alger mythology is pretty thin narrative for one with such a pretty face.

The communal groan, I hope, emanates from disgust with the vacuity of culture that the capitalist ethos invariably produces. As much as capitalism provides a useful device, one component for producing prosperity; there is difference between exploiting capitalism’s utility and celebrating capitalism’s ethos. Neither should one think that civic generated culture is any less inane. As a favour from my sister, I was granted a few day sabbatical from my sabbatical in camp grounds near Lake Huron last summer. As part of camp activities, we were subjected to a “stage play” that quickly deteriorated to pedantic local history lesson and bludgeoning morality play about environmentalism and conservation. When bureaucrats do culture!

Just as Bieber, and his marketing idol Michael Jackson, finds it necessary to tug on crotches to juice up the affections of their “Glee” ridden audience, these campground “posers” resorted to heavy reliance on coarse jest and innuendo to keep the mosquito pestered audience in their seats.

God protect culture from the vapidity of capitalist marketing and the heavy handedness of statist propaganda! They produce such a vacuous sterility of ersatz culture, which speaks no poetry to the soul.

However, if football fans represented redneck rubes, in their appreciation for a 74 year old geezer in a youth oriented culture, and whose lyrics show some artistry and depth of soul; they must be more cultivated than their detractors. Compare the sentiments of the best from the respective artists and let them justify themselves.

Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind (1970)

If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
‘Bout a ghost from a wishin’ well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost that you can’t see
If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind that drugstores sell
When you reach the part where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take

I’d walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two
A movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me
But for now love, let’s be real
* I never thought I could ACT this way *
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feelin’s gone
And I just can’t get it back
If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
‘Bout a ghost from a wishin’ well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
But stories always end
And if you read between the lines
You’ll know that I’m just tryin’ to understand

The feelin’s that you lack
I never thought I could feel this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feelin’s gone
And I just can’t get it back

Justin Bieber – “Beauty and A Beat” (2012)

Show you off
Tonight I wanna show you off (aye,aye,aye)
What you got
A billion could’ve never bought (aye,aye,aye)

We gonna party like it’s 3012 tonight
I wanna show you all the finer things in life
So just forget about the world, we’re young tonight
I’m coming for ya, I’m coming for ya

Cause all.
I need, is a Beauty and a Beat
Who can make my life complete
It’s all..
Bout you, when the music makes you move
Baby do it like you do
Cause.

Body rock,
Girl, I can feel your body rock (aye,aye,aye)
Take a bow, you on the hottest ticket now (aye,aye,aye)

We gonna party like it’s 3012 tonight
I wanna show you all the finer things in life
So just forget about the world, we’re young tonight
I’m coming for ya, I’m coming for ya

Cause all.
I need, is a Beauty and a Beat
Who can make my life complete
It’s all..
Bout you, when the music makes you move
Baby do it like you do

Uh, Uh
In time, ink lines, b-bitches couldn’t get on my incline
World tour, it’s mine, ten little letters, on a big sign
Justin.. Bieber, you know Imma hit ’em with the ether
Buns out, weiner, but I gotta keep an eye out for Selena
Beauty, Beauty and the Beast
Beauty from the east, beautiful confessions of the priest
Beast, beauty from the streets, we don’t get deceased
Every time a beauty on the beats
(Body rock, girl, I wanna feel your body rock)
(Yeah, Yeah, yeah, Let’s go, Let’s go!)

Cause all
I need, is a Beauty and a Beat
Who can make my life complete
It’s all..
Bout you, when the music makes you move
Baby do it like you do
Cause…

The lyrics of popular songs in this generation do not deviate much from the Hallmark inanities in “Beauty and A Beat”. To be fair, there were songs of vacuity in generations ago. However, one with soul did occasion the top hit parade. Is there anything of even Lightfoot’s quality in this frivolous age? So, is it really just a matter of being a crotchety middle-aged man with that universal complaint about the fecklessness of youth? Or am I representative of a people aching for escape from the sawdust that corporate profit and statist agenda foist upon us?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s