Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Justin Bieber's Brilliant Backhanding

By the blog author

I’ve never met Justin Bieber and I probably never will. He’s more than a full generation younger than I am. Further, he, personally, listens to hip-hop, which I am cool-to-cold about. But he makes a lot of money, which is the connection, because I know how to count money unemotionally. I’d tell him to "lock up a couple of million a year that you can’t touch until you’re 50. And get into motion pictures for a piece of the gross – and start with comedies!" I’d also tell him not to sin (with drugs and misconduct) against his unique and genuine talent.  Finally, I'd stare at him and tell him never to drop his boyhood friends from Ontario.

Young Justin Bieber is a huge success in the entertainment business. Not only is he grossing $50 million a year, but he is a household word, his picture is on the news stands constantly, and he is an idol to tween and teenaged girls, a market segment that buys more music than any other group. He’s swamped by the paparazzi. He can only give concerts in halls filled with seats, as a bare floor might provoke a stampede.

He also provokes heroic examples of resentment. A young woman invented a seduction to claim her fetus was Justin’s and should be supported by his music income. Many young men are green with envy about Bieber, invent all kinds of stories about him, and diss his name all the time. Some would like to see him taken down, humiliated, or beaten up.

One could almost – but not quite! -- say the same things about young Elvis Presley. Presley was idolized by girls and young women, and a substantial number of young men and boys disliked him. There was even a musical about America’s love/hate relationship with Presley, "Bye Bye Byrdie." Yet this is a dead end, because the analogy doesn’t hold up.

Presley strutted and used his vocal personae in front of a large professional band. Bieber has a range of three octaves (he works on it with daily practice) and the Beeb plays four instruments himself.

Bieber’s hero was and is Michael Jackson; he even copies some of Jackson’s famous choreography and dance moves. But his voice range is wider than Jackson’s. He sings dead on key without wavering, unlike Jackson.   And Bieber sings with vulnerability and grief in his voice when he deals with the subject of love.

Further, and impressively, Bieber has a professional attitude about music.  He's surrounded by pros and he asks a lot of  questions.

Lastly, he’s a fighter, like a brawling French Canadian lumberjack throwing chairs and tables around the bar to stop a crooked poker game. He didn’t lie down or ignore the young woman trying to extort paternity money from him. Beeb went on David Letterman and talked about it on the air and then wrote a song about being manipulated by this young woman.

The ill will of resentful teenage boys and young men is a touchy subject Bieber hasn’t left alone, either. Think about this current story and review of his latest video:
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Justin Bieber’s New Video Takes Violent Turn

By Wendy Geller, Video GaGa

August 1, 2012 -- Can't stand Justin Bieber? He drives you so nuts, you'd love to punch him in the face?

Well, here's some good news for all you haters out there--the 18-year-old actually does gets beaten to a pulp, in his brand-new video released this week!

Yep, that's right: Fans and foes alike will have the pleasure (or agony, depending on which side you fall on) of seeing the Biebs bruised, bloody, and battered in the clip for his latest single, "As Long As You Love Me."

Those who don't quite despise--or adore--the superstar that much will nevertheless enjoy the video, which is shot in "short film" style and features actor Michael Madsen, whom movie buffs will recognize from Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill.

Madsen plays an overprotective father of a comely young lady that Bieber--naturally--is head-over-heels in love with. The clip opens up with a terse conversation between the two men: "I know what type of guy you are...I used to be the same thing," Madsen growls, before suggesting Bieber hit the highway and stay away from his baby. "Don't come back, 'cause if you do, it's not gonna be good for you."

Oh, boy. Better not cross this daddy--right?

But, of course, that's exactly what Bieber does, courting certain danger by convincing his lady love to run away with him. Shots of the singer sporting progressively darker bruises are cleverly interspersed with the action, until everything comes to a head and we actually get to see Madsen beating the stuffing out of the young punk who tried to steal his daughter away.

This is undoubtedly a dark turn for Bieber, which will certainly be construed by many as a message he's ready to leave his more innocent days behind him. It's probable that some of his fans may find the violence a little too much to take. However, the video also includes an awesomely choreographed sequence with a full cast of backup dancers in a parking lot, which is worth watching even for those who don't care for their teen heartthrobs...well, you know, like, dripping blood.

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