In her infinite wisdom, Julia Roberts once said that “a fever is an expression of inner rage”. I think she’s right. In fact, guru Roberts’ wise words suggest that there might actually be something in this so-called ‘Bieber Fever’. After all, the tweens and teens that have been affected by this condition are angry. Fuck me, are they angry. And what’s worse, there’s apparently no cure.
Justin Bieber seems to have been everywhere this past week – the Grammys, the Brits, Rolling Stone magazine, and the London premiere of his new film Never Deny Me Awards Or My Minions Will Kill You. Given his omnipresence I suspect he operates like Saddam Hussein, employing several doubles to travel around the world on his behalf. When Peter Andre was presiding over a gut-twistingly awful interview with Bieber on the Brits’ red carpet the other night, what’s to say it was even the real Bieber? How would you know if you were punching the right one?
Anyway, back to his fans.
Justin Bieber’s week began at the Grammys, where he was nominated for the ‘Best New Artist’ award. However, the result was to stun the entire world (well, those who cared) when jazz star Esperanza Spalding scooped the prize ahead of him. Now, I’m not going to pretend I’ve ever heard of Esperanza Spalding, because I haven’t. If someone had mentioned her name to me prior to the Grammys I would’ve assumed they were talking about a law firm. But that’s not to say she isn’t a talented musician and an extremely worthy winner. Of course, Bieber’s fans thought differently. To them, it was simple: their idol had been robbed by a nobody.
In response, Bieber’s army of incensed screamers focused all their rage on Esperanza Spalding’s Wikipedia page, which was edited (i.e. vandalised) to include abusive messages and truly random put-downs. For instance, her middle name was changed to “Quesadilla”, which is an odd choice of insult to hurl at a woman born in Portland, Oregon. But given the influence of Justin Bieber, maybe we’ll all be using Mexican food references as insults soon. “I want that report on my desk by Monday, TACO BREATH!” / “I put it to the Prime Minister – David Guacamole Cameron – that government cuts are destroying this country.”
Another addition to Esperanza’s Wikipedia page was: “SHE IS F****** REATARD THAT NO ONE HAS HEARD OF SO B**** PLEASE DIE!”. (You’ve got to admit, it takes a special kind of retard to misspell ‘retard’.) Twitter also lit up with a disturbing amount of death threats aimed at the jazz artist. One brilliantly stupid tweet was: “go die in a whole (sic) Esperanza Spalding or whatever the hell your name is.” (For future reference, the “whatever the hell your name is” part doesn’t really work after you’ve referred to that person by name.) It seemed there were lots of Bieber fans who were keen to see Esperanza die in a hole. One person even confidently proclaimed: “I’m going to murder Esperanza Spalding.”
What lovely, warm, cuddly fans they are! And I guess we shouldn’t be too shocked at the appalling spelling, given that these people spell “believer” with two b’s.
[To compound Justin Bieber’s misery, his new film was pipped to the post at the Box Office by Jennifer Aniston’s latest film Just Go With It. As Bieber’s film was typically expected to conquer everything in its path, much was made of the fact that there was only a few hundred thousand dollars separating first and second place. Although, to be honest, I could probably make a four hour film of a cigarette butt bobbing around in a fetid urinal and it would still give a Jennifer Aniston rom-com a run for its money at the box office.]
The next target for Bieber’s fans was Twitter. The social networking site updated the algorithm behind its Trending Topics feature last May, which prevented Bieber from trending almost constantly. At the time, Bieber tweeted @twitter, saying: “I heard you changed your system to stop my fans from making trending topics?? Really?? Where is the love??”
So while the Esperanza Spalding rage was still pulsing through their veins, Bieber’s fans took to Twitter on Tuesday to outwit the trending topics algorithm. The result? “Justin Biebber” started trending, thanks to an avalanche of vitriolic tweets from his fans who intentionally misspelt their idol’s name.
One fan tweeted: “Dear Twitter, next time you think about stopping Beliebers trending something, think again. We run this place. #justsaying JUSTIN BIEBBER.”
The fact is, though, that Bieber’s fans don’t actually tweet or trend anything interesting. Repeatedly tweeting: “RT this if you love Justin Bieber!” is as pointless as tweeting “RT this if you enjoy wearing a warm pair of slippers”. It doesn’t actually mean anything. His fans enjoy his work, which is fair enough, but what’s the point in bleeting on about it? I sincerely hope Twitter is now working tirelessly to prevent names like “Justin Biebbber”, “Just in Beeber” and “Bustin Jieber” from trending in future. In fact, every possible variation of his name should be outlawed.
Unfortunately, Justin Bieber’s not even turned seventeen yet so we’re going to be stuck with him for some time. And his forthcoming European tour is also going to include 10 year-old Willow Smith, who we’re going to be stuck with for even longer.
Aside from her burgeoning music career (probably nothing at all to do with her parents Will and Jada Pinkett Smith), Willow recently landed her first fashion shoot for Teen Vogue (again, probably nothing to do with her parents whatsoever), where she talked about her style. “I wear anything I feel like. If I want to put on a pair of Converse with a pencil stuck through them, I will.”
After she’s supported Bieber on tour, I dare say tweens everywhere will be walking around with pencils stuck through their trainers, protractors sellotaped to their socks, and wearing pencil sharpeners for earrings, like feral children emerging from a ransacked storeroom in a branch of Staples.
I weep for the future.
Anyway, in the meanwhile, Bieberettes, why not calm down a little? The rest of the world doesn’t care that you love Justin Bieber, so turn the volume down on your hysteria and try and remember that your Canadian pop prince isn’t entitled to every accolade and award going simply for having good hair and a winning smile.
Justin Bieber may have his lucrative music and acting career, earnings approaching £100m, his own brands of nail varnish, anal suppositories, and Tasers (only one of those is true), and considered by analysts to be the most influential person on the Internet, ahead of Barack Obama, but he can only remain a teen idol for so long. I mean, just look at David Cassidy.