Suppose for a moment that you’re responsible for writing an opinion column for the Daily. Suppose again that you happened to forget about this responsibility until less than 24 hours before the column was due. And suppose that in this hypothetical situation you are stuck in a non-air-conditioned 90-degree room with a fan hypnotically blowing in your face and a severe case of writer’s block. What do you do?
Well, for me the answer is simple — write about a topic that requires absolutely no thinking. But, of course, I, as a seasoned opinion columnist, would never find myself in such a situation. And this brings me to the unquestionably thought-intensive topic for this column: Justin Bieber.
Put your thinking hats on, because to discuss Justin Bieber is an even more intellectually strenuous task than discussing the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, the founder of the modern deconstructionist movement (basically, a group of people who philosophize about how everything we take for granted is based on false assumptions). This becomes apparent by comparing their work.
Derrida once wrote, “The event is what comes and … it consists in that, that I do not comprehend: that which I do not comprehend and first of all that I do not comprehend, the fact that I do not comprehend: my incomprehension.” If I had to rank the intellectual strain required to understand what Derrida is saying on a scale from 1 to 10, I’d give it about a 6.5 — amateurish. It’s obvious that Derrida is childishly complaining about his inability to comprehend the music video of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
So let’s compare Derrida’s “philosophizing” to some of Bieber’s most recent seminal work. In one of Bieber’s more complex and noteworthy melodies, he states: “And I was like baby, baby, baby oh, like baby, baby, baby no, like baby, baby, baby oh, I thought you’d always be mine, mine. Baby, baby, baby oh, like baby, baby, baby no, like baby, baby, baby oh, I thought you’d always be mine, mine (oh oh).” Notice how Bieber surprises us by adding “oh oh” to the end of the second line instead of simply repeating the previous line and ending with “mine.” And Bieber’s poetic brilliance is only rivaled by the complexity of his message — though it’s taken me months to decipher the subtle intricacies of Bieber’s master work, I think I’ve finally cracked the code.
Bieber is cunningly criticizing the feminist movement, particularly its most unreasonably radical factions, who demand that women should not be seen as objects, but rather as individuals. By attacking us with a barrage of “baby,” Bieber manages to distract his critics from his desire for property rights: “Thought you’d always be mine.” Could you or I ever get away with saying that women should be treated as objects to be possessed? Of course not. But then again, we don’t possess Bieber’s awe-inspiring intellect. Bieber delivers his caustic critique, while simultaneously being the ultimate ladies’ man.
I used to be cynical about contemporary society. But no more; any society that recognizes Bieber’s genius and then proceeds to worship him religiously is nothing short of a mature intelligentsia. Quite seriously, we should purge our society of the bad apples that do not appreciate Bieber’s work. Consider the subversive comments made by Ringo Starr, member of the questionably talented ’60s band known as The Beatles. Starr stated in a recent interview that he’d rather trade spots with Lady Gaga than with Bieber because he likes to “dress up.” I submit that this cheap shot at one of the great minds of our time is surely worthy of society’s condemnation. Another deserving candidate for life imprisonment is the blasphemy recently uttered by Daniel Radcliffe, the lackluster star of the “Harry Potter” movie series. When asked about his thoughts regarding Bieber, Radcliffe said, “I genuinely thought it was a woman singing.” Despicable.
Yet despite the unfortunate existence of a few subversives who have failed to experience the wonders of “Bieber fever,” there are plenty of reasons to stay positive. For one, Bieber is only 16 years old, meaning that he will thankfully continue to provoke us into meaningful thought for years to come. So, while the hypothetical writer continues to struggle with writer’s block, I am soaking up every lyric that Bieber mutters. And thanks to him, writing about complex matters has never been so easy.
Tommaso Pavone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.