Hey, Teacher, Leave Justin Bieber Alone

Adults are slippery characters.

Hypocrites, if you will.

They make the fatal mistake of thinking they know better, despite forgetting just how forgetful they’ve become.

Adulthood is a sickly cocktail of self-righteousness and prurience that, should a bartender be asked to prepare it, would undoubtedly be a putrid shade of green.

I am brought to this conclusion (yet again, if I may be honest) by the adult disdain being projected towards Justin Bieber.

Where once there was, so the story goes, a playful entertainer with a sweet, almost naive disposition, now there is snarling brat, ready to stagger around and abuse Bill Clinton.

I would no sooner repeat rumors that the former president likes a little abuse once in a while, than I would condemn Bieber for his apparently abusive ways.

When I was 19, I was a complete idiot.

I am not saying this has changed all that much. However, I feel as if my expressions of it have become less noisy and more elegant.

Where once I would rage not merely against the machine, but against what I saw as the machinations of humans who were all conspiring against my happiness, now I know that, though this was largely true, my raging didn’t help my cause.

Oh, let him live a little.

Oh, let him live a little.

It’s odd, then, that so many adults seem to want to rage at Bieber’s raging.

Don’t they remember the insane, stupid, puerile, offensive desperation of being 19?

Don’t they remember how hard it was to be taken seriously by people of even a vaguely similar age?

Have they forgotten how embarrassing it was to try and get served at a bar (in America, at least) or how long it took to live down a level of drunkenness that involved public vomiting, constant reminders and the pitying looks of a parent?

Just because Justin Bieber is famous, it’s as if he’s forsaken his right — his God-given, hormone-driven right — to behave like a complete arsehole.

Isn’t there something peculiarly heartening that, even though he knows he’s recognizable to just about every human on the planet, he still has every intention of living up (and down) to his age?

Isn’t there something uplifting in the idea that, perhaps somewhere inside, there is a knowledge that he might annoy or offend, but that’s the price of being young and, by definition, under the control of concoctions of (mostly) naturally-occurring chemicals?

Isn’t Justin Bieber raging against the machine that is us?

If we (yes, I’m using the term quite loosely here) weren’t so obsessed about knowing about every breath Bieber takes and every breast he might covet, he might be able to get away with a quiet dinner, as I imagine Tom Hanks does these days.

Instead, his every move needs to be followed and, most importantly, commented on by a mass of parents who can no more control their own kids than Bieber can control his splurges and urges.

There’s something quite sad about Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette, feeling herself forced to explain that her son “isn’t perfect,” when those who cast stones, jeers and advice his way sometimes turn out to be the Beelzebubs of their own particular suburb.

So, dear Justin, if you want to yob your way around for a while, please go right ahead.

You’ll get bored of it at some point, I imagine. But you’ll unquestionably have some fun, laughs and, most importantly, memories.

The last of those is what your critics seem to be struggling with most.


Image: ClevverTV/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk