Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Don't Usually Talk About Justin Bieber Here...

...but ohhhhhhhhhhhhh dear.

Let us note that at age 13, Bieber was this sweet-looking kid out of Ontario, his mom was posting pictures of him singing to YouTube. Then music exec Scooter Braun found him. Over the years, I've gotten rather used to the idea of fame just completely going to his head and getting in with the wrong crowd and corrupting Selena Gomez and being increasingly likely at any given moment to do any given thing. Chucking watermelons off a highway overpass, perhaps, or walking into a police station blindfolded and swinging a bat as if attempting to hit a pinata.

Well, it seems he was liable to do these things from the very start, as we have a video surfacing of him, at age 14, taking his song One Less Lonely Girl and altering the lyrics to discuss such topics as joining the KKK, killing black people, and using the N word. The altered title became 'One Less Lonely [N-word]'.

This goes along with another such video from age 15.

Now, as bad as that is, and as unlikely as it sounds with Bieber, there actually seem to be some mitigating circumstances here. According to what Bieber's team told TMZ, they wanted this video out, as Bieber was not the only person that knew of the video- the reason he could do something like this and still be in good with the hip-hop community is that years ago, he realized, at least on this particular front, what an absolute goddamned idiot he was, fessed up to Usher and Will Smith about the videos, and Usher responded by hustling him into a room and showing him videos of what racism really meant and what weight those words carried to people like him.

Others that knew of the video had been trying to blackmail him to keep it out of the press, and as David Letterman demonstrated in 2009, the best, if not most uncomfortable, way to get yourself out from under a blackmail attempt is to fess up to whatever it is you did, ratting on the blackmailer in the process and nullifying their power over you from then on. And so that's what Bieber did: fess up.

Of course, fessing up only works if what you're fessing up to is something your career could actually survive. Sometimes the blackmailed information truly is fatal to your career or even your freedom, even if blackmail is the method used to convey it. And it's unclear as to whether this is survivable. Racist statements are right now just about the single most damaging thing someone could be busted on. No matter how much you have in life, it is being shown right now that an ill-timed racist remark can take it all away. And Bieber, already vulnerable via the natural forces of the music industry waiting to shove him aside for the next big thing, has much to take away.

I suppose the only thing to do is wait and see.

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