Bieber the individual—the institution—drives me a little nuts, but that we focus on him and not the machine that made that institution possible illustrates how beholden we are to an industry that manufactures and thrives on the boom/bust economy of pop stars’ lives as a means of entertainment. We elevate, we celebrate, we tear down. We find a new body, we do it again. Our emotional dependence on this process is as nasty and complicit in fostering the bad behavior we get off on nay-saying as the players are themselves.
The only thing sadder than the most recent “newsworthy” thing that Bieber has done is the millions of people trying to get a laugh out of it by out-snarking their peers with different versions of the same obvious jokes.
Bieber is dead to us, like Britney—the Bieber of my generation—was to us a decade ago. Move over, kid; WE’RE HUNGRY DAMNIT.
These kids are very well off indentured servants to a still-vibrant entertainment machine and the lifespans of their relevance are short. Lucky for that machine, it is difficult to evoke sympathy from the masses for a child who has a little bit of money. And so it squeezes their blood out of them and serves it to us to satiate our appetites the rise and miserable fall of innocence. We love them for it. After all, it makes our own falls feel less tragic.