Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Justin Bieber's fan lose their cool

I would not expect fans of Justin Bieber, that paragon of youthful virtue, to lose their cool. Ever. I would expect them to "be Bieber," and accept with equanimity that which they cannot change. However, on Sunday night, when Mr. Bieber failed to join Milli Vanilli, Evanescence, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, and Hootie ampersand the Blowfish in that elite group of "Best New Artist" Grammy award winners, his fans reacted... negatively.

And their negativity was directed not so much at the voters for that auspicious award, "the Grammy," but the person who was anointed over Mr. Bieber, a young woman with the fantastic name Esperanza Spalding.
"Esperanza Spalding" became the most hated words in a Belieber's vocabulary next to "potty training time" when she drop kicked Justin Bieber's high chair by beating him in the Best New Artist category at the Grammys last night. While most us were Googling Esperanza Spalding to find out who the f*ck she is, the Beliebers (who were already suffering through a severe kind of hyperness from staying up past their bedtimes) vandalized her Wikipedia page with their sprays of Gerber graffiti.
Here, courtesy of Gawker, is a screenshot of Ms. Spalding's vandalized wikipedia page:


The president might like her, but that's not enough to protect her.

Why did they even bother having other nominees, I wonder. Certainly the "Beliebers" must have thought the same thing. It was supposed to be a coronation. Mr. Bieber's fans should have begun their campaign of cyber terror and bullying before the awards. Clearly, they fell asleep on this. Like any fan that is submerged in his world of fandom, they thought there was absolutely no way that their golden boy could lose. And now that he has, they're flailing.

Mr. Bieber had the number two movie in America over the weekend, with nearly $30 million collected. He lost out to a film in which Adam Sandler starred with Jennifer Aniston. Perhaps Mr. Bieber's fans should also vandalize their wikipedia pages? While they're at it, they should go after every single musician whose work outsells Mr. Bieber's. Surely they don't want to live in a world in which we don't all! just! LOVE! Justin!?

There is a weird, very intense strain of fandom in which any deviation from an accepted idea is viewed with contempt -- even hostility. Marketing people know this, I promise you. And they use it. Mr. Bieber's fans are part of the power structure that's been set up to promote him, and they take their job very seriously. If you don't absolutely adore Justin, you are an enemy! You don't like me! And I can use any tools at my disposal to take you down and show the world just how terrible you really are.

The "Beliebers" aren't the only ones -- just check the message boards at Rotten Tomatoes whenever Armond White's new columns go up.

Also: The Washington Post yes The Washington Post has a collection of Bieber fan "reaction" videos, if you're into that sort of thing. Can there be any more pathetic form of groveling narcissism than creating a video displaying your shocked reaction at the loss of an award by your favored celebrity?

Sometimes, it's hard to stay optimistic.

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