Pop culture figures have a pretty consistent life cycle. First the person is adored by a small group, then the critics appear, then the figure is violently slaughtered on the altar of our disinterest, then snacks. Sometimes it's really hard to tell when it stops being cool to like someone (Christopher Nolan sucks now, right? Is that what we're supposed to think?), but sometimes the media help us out by finding the next person in line for sacrifice and arbitrarily deciding that everything he or she does is awful. Like when Justin Bieber ...
#4. Was Late for a Show
If you've been on the Internet in the past few days, you've probably heard about the fact that Beibz was a whole two hours late to his own show in London -- a crime that's bad enough to make even his most die-hard fans say, "We were all fans and now we hate him."
"I hate this 19-year-old boy." -- The grown-up in this picture.
Which is an amazing story, because it proves that these people have never been to a rock concert in their goddamn lives. When was the last time a headlining act hit the stage when they said they were going to? Rock bands like Guns n' Roses actually plan ahead on being late. You can say it's ridiculous to compare pop stars to rock legends like that, but to be fair, they do have the same job.
Oh, and by the way: According to both Bieber and people who were actually at the concert, he was just 40 minutes late. "Two hours" is just something some pissed-off parents said in an interview while also complaining about how it was a school night, and then everyone just ran with it.
Chiaki Nozu / Getty
Screw school. This is the only real-world education those kids will ever need.
#3. Took Off His Shirt
After some pictures of Bieber "parading around London shirtless" appeared online, websites and the actress Olivia Wilde were both quick to give him shit about it, the latter saying, "put your fucking shirt on." No, we're not going to show you pictures of a shirtless 19-year-old boy. You can Google that yourself.
Frankly, we're surprised Bieber has gone this long without taking his shirt off in public. Compare him to 50 Cent, or Robert Plant, or Sid Vicious, or any of the other hundreds of male rock stars who know that shirts are for squares, and Bieber seems downright conservative. Especially next to Iggy Pop.
"Oh yeah, going shirtless. That's hardcore."
It's part of the act because, again, he's a performer.
#2. Has Crazy Fans
We're not gonna mince words here: "Beliebers" are really fucking annoying. But you have to look at them in the proper context. Bieber appeals primarily to teen and preteen girls -- two groups that are drawn to pop idols like moths to a vacuum cleaner. Bieber's been carefully modeled by really smart marketing executives to be that vacuum cleaner. And he's definitely not the first model.
So why are people writing panicky, alarmist bullshit about how obsessive his fans are? The guy writing that article says that people tweeting that they'd "do anything" to meet Bieber "scares" him, which confuses us because 1) teenagers say ridiculous stuff like that all the time and 2) everyone on Twitter is full of shit. While it's definitely fucked up that people are waging hate campaigns against those who say they don't like Bieber on Twitter, blaming that on Bieber himself is just as dumb as blaming horny Internet creeps on My Little Pony.
#1. Had His "Worst Birthday"
Justin Bieber's 19th birthday was on March 1. That's a piece of knowledge that's in our heads now, and you know why? Because the Internet just would not shut up about it. It was pretty much the biggest story in the world at the beginning of March, and if you didn't do your homework, you may not have realized that the whole thing came down to two words in a single tweet: "worst birthday."
"I blew the candles out with my tears."
That's it. That's the whole story: A 19-year-old kid thought that his birthday was the worst one of all the birthdays just long enough to type it up on his phone. Then he got over it. We looked into what pissed him off, but it turns out it was something stupid and we don't care.
Here's the point: The kid's a plastic-mold pop star, which means his career has had an expiration date stamped on it since day one. This whole Justin Bieber thing is gonna run its course, and once it's over, hopefully the guy will have a nice life. If you don't like his music, that's really all there is to say.
Chiaki Nozu / Getty
Stay away from heroin and go easy on the plastic surgery, 'kay?