After years of being a bouncer, I know douchebags when I see them. No, it's not their dress, the music they listen to or the clubs they hang out at. Nope. It's their mentality. It's their complete obliviousness to their own personal and social failings that they unironically wave in the faces of those that can't stand them.
Look at this picture. This is NOT a douchebag. This is a good, Canadian kid that's fighting a battle billions around the world are. Except we don't have to do it like this.
I would wager that no one knows Justin Bieber better than Justin Bieber and at times his petulant, pouty, behaviour is a result of him knowing himself and wondering "how can these people claim to love me, when they don't know me? He's Justin Bieber™ and sometimes, he just wants to be Justin.
It's a challenge that alot of people face, but they don't have cameras following them around 24/7 and have the ability to figure it out in relative peace and anonymity. JB has none of that. Ever. What do you get the guy that has everything? I say nothing. Give him nothing but the space and time he requires to be himself and to figure himself out. Give him nothing but some peace and quiet, some normalcy and some privacy.
Justin Bieber's only 23. He's a kid. His brain hasn't fully developed and our society produces some real pieces of sh...uh, "work" under the best of circumstances because of that. Now imagine weaponizing it. Imagine being a little kid that no adult says no to. Imagine being a kid who's challenging his boundaries (that all kids need to do) and finding out you have none. But like all kids...wanting them and needing them.
Justin Bieber's a special case and he gets treated like it, but he's not special in this regard: The thing he loves the most, his special thing...is the thing that is killing him.
In latin, the saying is "Quod me nutrit es destruit". That which nourishes me, destroys me. All of us have to ask ourselves, what happens when your passion becomes your poison? What happens when the thing you wanted most, becomes all that you have and you realize that it just isn't enough?
"Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee" Acts 3:6.
Justin Bieber's personal turmoil to me is indicative of someone both deeply sensitive, deeply aware and deeply conflicted. Money, fame, adoration and power all sound great to those of us who lack those things. But Justin is showing us otherwise.
Personally, I think Justin needs to stop running from his fans and the cameras and start leading them. I think he needs to get this tour over with and take a nice, long hiatus, travel the world and help people. He can keep making & releasing music (he can do what George Michael did and not even appear in his own videos) while doing humanitarian work.
There are millions of people starving in Sudan & Somalia because of a man made famine, but we literally know more about Justin's underwear (or lack thereof) than that. There are reservations across Canada that lack basic facilities and clean drinking water, but we know more about girls Justin Bieber's banged, than we know about that.
That's shameful and it's not an indictment of Justin, but of us. Our society, what it raises us to value and who it teaches us to value.
Justin needs to bring the cameras and his millions of followers into those places, raise those issues and spread light on them. Even if it's the light of a 1000 cameras, they are needed.
Justin Bieber isn't a douchebag. He's a good Canadian kid that's played Icarus and is flying too close to the sun. He's reached the highest heights imaginable. I just pray that his landing when he inevitably comes back to earth is a gentle one.