Tuesdays with Bieber
Pop music is basically my God. The songs, the clothes, the hairstyles: me, me, me. And I LOVE the stars. I go to all the shows, I mean, I’m basically the Kelly Clarkson of Kelly Clarkson fans. And Ke$ha?! Don’t even get me $tarted on Ke$ha. Her love is my drug—
You’re not buying any of this, are you? I don’t know the first thing about pop music. I don’t even know enough to write jokes about the idea of liking pop music. I think I said “hairstyles” back there. Who says “hairstyles?” I had to look up Kelly Clarkson…I thought she was one of those women from Gidget. Apparently not. Normally, I am blissful about my ignorance of the form, and it seems perfectly happy with the arrangement as well. It’s no more interested in me than I am in it, and we’ve had a peaceful truce for years now. Until Justin Beiber came along. That’s when shit got crazy.
Justin Bieber is sixteen years-old, and his presence regularly causes a riot. Australia, Philadelphia, London, Long Island; they’ve all been the site of unimaginable Bieber bedlam. Justin’s fans love him, more than they love not getting injured apparently, as his concerts routinely end in young women being sent to the hospital. They hyperventilate, then they get crushed by the crowd. (That happens when I perform too.) Justin also owns the Internet, as he’s been a trending topic on Twitter so long that we should probably just give up and rename the thing “Bieber”. (Follow me on Bieber @b_donovan!) Somebody making that big a stir had to be investigated, no matter how much it would hurt me to do it. And so I created my Tuesdays with Bieber project.
Each Tuesday for the last month I have listened to every song Justin Bieber has ever recorded. Why Tuesdays? Because Mondays are already loathsome enough. And thankfully, for both myself and the cat, JBiebs has only one album and one EP to his name. That’s 17 songs, plus 4 bonus tracks that really call into question the definition of the word “bonus”, every week for the last four weeks. How did it go?
The first week, I’m not going to lie, was like hell. If Satan was a 16 year-old boy with an irrationally high voice and a ridiculous hair-do. It seemed that Justin Bieber didn’t as much have 17 different songs as he did release the same song seventeen times with different names. And sometimes not even that different. Aren’t “Runaway Love” and “Never Let You Go” speaking to pretty much the same set of problems? You’re in love, someone has to leave, you don’t want them to. That’s one song, buddy boy. And what’s with all this love talk? Three of Bieber’s songs have “love” in the title, and he’s 16. I’m 32 and I occasionally tell my deli guy that I love him when he slices the smoked turkey extra thin. That’s it. Bieber should start acting his age and stick to “like” and “fond of” and “I’d like to call you on the cellular telephone.”
Wanna know how the first Tuesday with Bieber felt overall? Watch this.
Then watch this.
That about sums it up.
The second Tuesday was essentially the same, except a crew of workmen in my building forced me to listen to Bieber on headphones. I was not going to risk songs with titles like “U Smile” and “Eenie Meenie” being heard through my walls. And let me tell you, if you didn’t like Justin Bieber on speakers, you’re really not gonna like him when his sound is manually inserted into your ears. I don’t think humans are meant to be that close to such a high pitch. I was getting dizzy, and started to have insight on all the Bieber riots. Maybe the crowds were in a joyous frenzy, maybe they just couldn’t take the music anymore and thought a nice quick trampling-by-crowd was the most efficient way out. Either to a hospital, or, you know…a better place. Can’t blame ‘em one bit.
But then, on Tuesday #3, something happened. That thing was “Baby.”
“Baby”, I will say, is not a terrible song. It doesn’t make me want to kill anyone else, or even myself. Do I feel like the screaming girls in the Oprah audience? No, I do not. But when that third Tuesday rolled around, I found myself actively listening to the song instead of trying to drown it out. Then by Tuesday #4, well, it hurts me type these words, but I actually sang along. Not enthusiastically, not dancing around, not (perish the thought) in my underwear and blue button-down shirt — but I definitely sang along with Justin Bieber. I know, I’m as shocked as you are.
This is my first week sans Tuesday with Bieber, and for the most part I’m delighted. 16 of his songs are complete garbage, and the sort of thing I bet they played at Guantanamo Bay when they really wanted to freak a prisoner out. But “Baby”, that 17th song, well, I sort of get it. It’s fun, and it’s got a good beat, and…I have to stop complimenting it before I get sick, but I’m alright with “Baby.”And today, when a group of teenage Chinese girls piled onto my train and started talking about, who else, Justin Bieber, I smiled. So I guess that means I’m alright with Bieber. Please don’t tell anyone I said that.
Next up, Wednesdays with Ke$ha!
OK, maybe not.