Justin Bieber And Twitter's Heart Of Darkness


Justin Bieber’s new album drops today. Well, great. Except that Justin Bieber is absolutely terrifying.

Granted, I fear that which I don’t understand, and I don’t know much about Mr. Bieber (I use “Mr.” in a pat-on-the-head sense). But here’s an example of why he makes me tremble:

The health care bill that passed through the U.S. House [Sunday] night dethroned Justin Bieber on Twitter’s trending topics…

That insight, however, is no longer valid; Bieber’s back in the top-trenders game! But take note: The one thing that (briefly) distracted the web’s collective consciousness from this kid’s grip was almost a century in the making.

The Bieber basics, as I (barely) understand them: The kid is everywhere. Friday’s Nightline interview or Katie Couric’s sit down with him or his appearance on the Today Show or his BBC1 interview — even the ladies of The View have tried to understand him. Bieber seems to be the perfectly engineered product of a youth-obsessed popular culture that can reason to itself that 17-year-old Miley Cyrus is “more adult.” At 16, Bieber is therefore on the cusp of pop-culture manhood — but he has the voice and face of a pre-pubescent angel (and sports an unnaturally side-swept mop of hair which, despite looking soft, never moves, and that makes my bangs jealous). That’s about it. But he’s frighteningly pervasive.

If I’m honest with myself, I can concede that couple of decades ago I would’ve been enthralled with Bieber. I would have stared at his dreamy Tiger Beat covers, concocting elaborate fantasies and incredibly realistic scenarios as to how he really could fall in love with a girl like me. He would’ve been my Joey McIntyre. And I would have Twittered endlessly about him.

And ultimately, it’s the Twitter thing that suggests Bieber is a source for concern. As tempting as it may be for me to actually dissect the Bieber phenomenon in a quest to define it (besides being fodder for punchlines), really I only need to go to Twitter to understand what this fetal celebrity is all about. With a glance at Bieber-related Twitter updates (and sometimes there are more than 20 new BieberTweets in under a minute), even the most isolated foreigner could understand everything one needs to know about Bieber, and the dangerous stranglehold he has over us. Herewith, the Bieber Talking Points:

He causes hallucinations, speaking directly to fans when he appears.

He destroys the concept of personal boundaries.

He has brainwashed Chuck Norris.

He is an international threat.

He doesn’t really care about education; school is merely a platform upon which Bieber can spread more rapidly.

He leads to the dissolution of the English Language.

He turns people into sex zombies.

He’s a bad influence, encouraging fans to talk to their mothers with those mouths.

He turns his fans into cultish stalkers, inspiring more hallucinations of intimate interaction.

He supports teen pregnancy.

And, amongst dissenters, he inspires violent fantasies.

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