In my last column, I waxed poetic on the dominance of Justin Timberlake. And even though I don’t usually listen to pop, I have to admit when an artist is on top of his game — and at the same time, on top of the world.

And though I wouldn’t call myself a Timberlake connoisseur, I’m definitely a fan of the guy himself. So it stung even more when a friend read my JT column and suggested, “Jeez Elliot, Timberlake? You might as well just write about Bieber.” Ouch. But it made me think … I never write about pop. So why not make it two in a row?

I’m here to talk Bieber — but no, not quite in the same way I lauded Timberlake’s mounting achievements. When I made my best “challenge accepted” face and plugged away to research the Biebster, it took only a few minutes to witness a pattern emerging.

Justin Bieber is beginning his slow, albeit hilarious, spiral into cultural obsolescence.

I absolutely agree that Bieberoni is still one of the most popular performers of the modern era, selling out concerts and causing tweens to swoon en masse. I’m sure there’s still a multitude of fans ready to throw cash at anything with the young star’s name on it. But the man(-child) is completely losing it.

This week seemed to culminate an already rollercoaster year for Biebster — first, the news broke that the Bieb-man was likely getting prosecuted for spitting at a neighbor. Which might be expected for a rock star, but the neighbor was reportedly a father of three concerned that Bieber was speeding around the residential neighborhood at over 100 mph.

I’d like to think that, if I were him, I’d maybe consider cooling it to at least the low 50s. But Bieber’s alleged response?

“Get the fuck out of here! I’m gonna fucking kill you!” Cue saliva.

Then, word from Germany arrived that Bieber’s pet monkey (which he tried to smuggle through security) would be quarantined in the country until further notice. I can only imagine the heart-wrenching scene, where Bieber sits on one side of the glass with a telephone, and his capuchin monkey on the other side. The monkey extends a paw and presses it against the glass. Bieber touches the glass in the same place, and then sprints away, tears streaming down his face. Hollywood, I think you know where the next Oscar paydirt is.

But it didn’t stop there: It also came out that Bieber has since been banned from an Austrian nightclub for smashing paparazzi cameras. I mean, if I had a pet monkey hanging out with me, I’d probably feel a bit rebellious too, but he should know he’s in the spotlight. He needs to quit … (place sunglasses on head, Roger Daltrey screams intro to “Won’t Get Fooled Again”) monkeying around.

Ultimately, the events (which, I repeat, all occurred within one week) seemed to cap off an already rough year for the artist. It looks like everything began with his publicized break-up with Selena Gomez, and the tabloid-frenetics trying to document his affairs, but does anyone remember the last time the singer actually made headlines for his music? The only one I remember from this year was his “extreme” displeasure at the fact that Believe wasn’t nominated for a Grammy.

To be clear, I’m not even a celebrity-gossip follower. I can’t name a single Selena Gomez song — in fact, I actually had to look up the name of Bieber’s most recent album. But I do follow news, and for some reason, the Bieberini makes headlines every time his birthday isn’t up to his standards. It’s gotten to the point where Bieber-bashers like me get material from The Huffington Post’s most read articles.

And though I like to joke about the scrawny munchkin, I have to admit I’m concerned about him. Think of all the teen idols of the past decade — how many have dignified themselves in their transition to adulthood, especially after beginning a tabloid headline-fueled descent?

Let’s compare him to, say, some other pop success story, no one in particular — oh, how about Justin Timberlake? When was the last time you remember JT punching paparazzi and walking shirtless through airport security? How many capuchin monkeys does Timberlake seem to be smuggling on his tour?

None. Because he’s not a child, and he probably realized that even before his solo career took off. Fame can be fleeting, but talent and poise make an icon. And just like all of the other tween pop-idols before him (Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Hillary Duff), the maturity to achieve lasting fame just doesn’t seem to be there for Bieber.

So unless you’re a Belieber or a hardcore sympathizer, take a few tips from me: Pull up a chair, kick back and watch the entertainment unfold.

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