We all love a train wreck, and by “we” I mean all of us, collectively, as an American People.
That’s why “we” went crazy on Thursday morning when unknown-rapper-turned-teen-heartthrob-turned-spoiled-brat-turned-Canadian-National-Joke Justin Bieber was arrested on suspicion of DUI charges in Miami. This, of course, came a week after Bieber’s California mansion was raided by police who were looking for evidence in an egg-throwing incident at a neighbor’s house.
Oh, how we love to see the pedestal crumble and those standing upon it fall back to the earth.
Needless to say, this isn’t about the music. I wouldn’t know a Justin Bieber song if it was played for me right now. I know he’s far more Vanilla Ice than he is Eminem. I certainly didn’t put Bieber on the pedestal, but I am from The Generation whose sons and daughters did. They paid big money for his concerts, for his albums, for his movies.
He is there Elvis, not ours. But we all know how Elvis ended up, don’t we?
All I know is that Bieber is in our national conscience because he’s 19 years old, has more money than God and has a knack for doing stupid shit that gets him noticed for all the wrong reasons. And why is it happening? That’s pretty simple, isn’t it?
He’s 19. He has money. And, he has so many money-grubbing souls hanging on to his coat tails, he has access to any thing he wants. Drinks, drugs, girls.
When I was 19, I had access to drinks, drugs and girls, too. I just didn’t have as much money, and also didn’t have the paparazzi following my every move, just waiting for me to screw up.
But, we’ve seen all of this before, haven’t we? Lindsay Lohan? Amanda Bynes? Hell, let’s go back even further and look at Leif Garrett and Danny Bonaduce. This isn’t anything new to our society.
We love to see famous people fall. I almost wrote fail there, but that’s not quite true, is it?
We don’t want them to fail because they entertain us. They make us laugh (Bynes was an up-and-coming comedy actress from the Nickelodeon family of future stars), make us think (Lohan, regardless of what you think of her, is an actress who drawn many positive critical reviews before her downfall) and even make some of us sing. (Granted, it’s probably our 13-year-old daughters doing the singing with Bieber, but I digress).
We don’t want them to fail, but oh how we want them to fall.
Over the last week, we’ve learned that Bieber throws like a girl (egg-throwing incident) , has a serious drug problem that nobody will do anything about (intervention, family?) and now he’s been nailed for drinking and driving.
He claims he had one drink, took some prescription medicine and smoked some weed. Of course, he was behind the wheel of a car after he did those things which means this story could have ended two other ways, in addition to his arrest:
1 — He could have gotten away with it thereby delaying the next headline for another time,
2 — He could have wrapped his banana-yellow Lamborghini around a tree, or worse yet into another vehicle, thereby taking his own life, the life of his passenger, or perhaps innocent victims in another car.
Fortunately, he spent Thursday morning in a Miami jail cell where, hopefully, he had time to think about things and look at the big picture. He really does have it all: Boy-ish good looks, the money, and throngs that adore him for whatever reason. Like Charles Barkley before him, though, he obviously has no interest in being a role model. But what 19 year old does?
It’s appears obvious that Bieber’s world is in a tailspin. It appears to many of the collective “we” that he needs help of some sort.
To the rest of us, we’d rather just trade him back to Canada for an NHL star to be named later.
Where will this story go from here?
Comedy or tragedy?
Stay tuned, folks. “We” as a people, sadly, can’t wait to hear what happens next and I think that says a lot more about us than it does for Bieber, who is just being 19 and stupid just like so many others who have come before him.