Unlike certain demographics who are addicted to pop culture and celebrity gossip, I have never taken any interest in the lives of vapid and entitled celebrities. Stories regarding whom some Kardashian bimbo decides to date or marry are as appealing to me as steak is to a vegetarian. Unfortunately, some celebrity misbehavior is just so flagrant or ill-timed that news about their antics extends beyond the confines of gossip sites. For those of you not in the know, Canadian (he’s Dota’s cross to bear, haha) celebrity Justin Bieber’s recent misbehavior, including driving under the influence and resisting arrest, has galvanized the American masses into taking action. A petition on the White House website calling for president Obama to deport Justin Bieber has received 103,000 signatures, which exceeded the minimum 100,000 signatures necessary to command the president’s attention. Can’t a brotha catch a break? Our upstanding, beleaguered black president already has too much on his hands to deal with a petulant celebrity. The very fact that this is even made national news is indicative of how much of a bad joke our society has become, but more on that later. The rhetoric and reasoning behind the petition is most curious and is worth, pardon the word, deconstructing:
“We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture,”
You’re joking, right? If the petition is actually asserting that this misrepresentation is primarily the fault of Bieber, then where have they been? I could name various other pathological trends in culture before the name Justin Bieber even emerged. Let’s see, Jersey Shore, 50 Shades of Grey, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, and the list goes on. If they’re truly interested in reversing pernicious cultural trends, they should have been doing their job a lot earlier. They elaborate on their disgust:
“We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive and drug-abusing Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation’s youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”
I find this quote fascinating because it reflects a certain defeatism. It’s as if they’re conceding that American culture is irredeemably debased and sick, unable to resist the influence of one recalcitrant and hedonistic Canadian import. Since the American people as a whole aren’t willing to do what it takes to dispose of cultural garbage, they instead resort to asking the commander-in-chief to deport one childish, talentless singer. The way I see it, culture is a reflection of society as a whole. American pop culture is vapid garbage precisely because the U.S. has become increasingly decadent. Getting rid of a Justin Bieber or two isn’t going to undo the fundamental rot that plagues American society. What could actually undo this fundamental rot? Short of turning the West into some kind of alternative right utopian fantasy, I can’t currently say. As much as I would love to deport Justin and his legions of “beliebers,” they would only be replaced by another toxic pop culture trend.
I recognize that every generation has complained about the state of culture, the amoral proclivities of young people, as well as various other ills. But the current addiction to social media and celebrity gossip seems endemic to this time, and an indication of our society’s terminal decline. The fact that the leader of the world’s most powerful nation (for now) is being asked to serve as a glorified hall monitor and deal with a misbehaving kid like Bieber is embarrassing. Reminds me of George Carlin’s quote: “when you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”
Well, I don’t you about you, but I’ve had it with receiving tickets to a freak show. The freaks will always remain with us, but there are steps we can take to reduce their number, or at least their influence. The best thing you can possibly do is starve the bratty beast. There are other simple ways to escape the boredom of daily middle class life than vicariously living through narcissistic celebrities. Read a serious book, watch a thought provoking film, go out and bar hop, shit, even play video games. But please, do not voraciously consume mainstream pop culture or act as enablers for the degradation of our civilization.
We need fewer beliebers and more believers in Western civilization. Perhaps one day our heritage will even get to enjoy its own gossip rag.