OK, now that the immediate crisis in Boston is passing (help if you can!), it’s time to take the Patented Fandom Lenses Overanalysis down a few notches and ramble on about the recent kerfluffle over the following guest book entry made by Justin Beiber in the Guest book at the Anne Frank house . The comment in question, for anyone who has been hiding under a rock and missed it:
Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.
As you can imagine, Mass Snark Ensued, to the point that my darling (and sensibly oblivious to most pop culture Drama not involving comics or science fiction) husband Kevin managed to hear about the drama yesterday morning as he sipped his coffee. The following IM conversation ensued (with some links added and typos removed):
Kevin: So apparently Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House, left some comment in the guest book about how he hoped she’d have been a belieber. A little self-obsessed, perhaps, but…honestly file that under “Murph, it’s *Dan Quayle*.”
Me: Yeah, I heard about that. “Moron” don’t even begin to cover it. I don’t know if it speaks to the dumbing down of teen idols or the dumbing down of America as a whole.
Kevin: Not sure what it says about dumbing down, on any scale. But a self-agenda’d ability to miss the point completely? yeah.
Me: the reason I say “Dumb” is because I can’t think of any possible context where making that comment would seem to be good for his image.
Kevin: And [being self agenda’d is] not exactly a new phenomenon among celebrities.
Kevin: Pff, like any of his PR has ever been managed by Justin himself. He has People for that.
Me: All celebs are egomaniacs, it’s part of the definition. The intelligent ones (and/or their people) try to mask it, though. Therein lies the problem–he’s so dim that he can’t even be trusted to make a respectful comment about Anne Frank without benefit of ghostwriters.
Kevin: True. And it’s not so much that his comment was disrespectful. More that “…yeah, Justin, because it’s all about *you*.” He’s Emperor Kuzco.
Me: One could argue that making it about him is a form of disrespect, but in any case…YES. Kuzco. You nailed it.
So…Was Justin Beiber’s comment stupid, self-obsessed, or both? Was I being too broad when I decreed that “all celebrities are egomaniacs”? Am I about to call the wrath of ten thousand Beliebers down on my head by tagging this with his name in Tumblr and Twitter? Is it possible that this drama might cause some Kuzco-esque self-reflection in Young Justin, or will this be just another celebrity teapot tempest that we all forget in a week? (ETA: Try about 4 hours…*sigh*) Should we all be cutting this kid some slack given he is A: 19 and B: has been manipulated and marketed by the celebrity-industrial complex since before his voice changed? Finally, how in God’s name did I land a man who is intelligent, sexy, lethally funny, and unconsciously buys awesome wool hats?
Next time: I think I want to talk about a fandom that is represented on every page of this site, but which I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned before. Or maybe the obsession in many fandoms re: Memorobilia and Autographs, neither of which have done much for me. Unless, of course, some other celebrity does something dumb between now and then.