Robert Frost: Not a Belieber

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Robert Frost: Not a Belieber

There are occasional zeitgeists in our society that reach such a critical mass of cultural participation that they eclipse all else. The phenomenons are so seductive that millions upon millions of people fall sway to their charms. Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson are good examples.

Justin Bieber is one, too. Riots have broken out on more than one occasion due to the teeny bopper's popularity with young, frantic girls known as Beliebers. The most recent incident happened in Australia and caused the police to cancel his performance. His haircut has even been memorialized as The Bieber, though many of the young men seeking the look can't bring themselves to speak its namesake.

Another current point of widespread societal interest is American Idol. Now in its ninth season, the show has spawned huge stars and huge ratings. Billboard just decided that Kelly Clarkson is officially the biggest success story to emerge from the AI diaspora. Although Carrie Underwood has sold more albums, Clarkson wins on sales of singles and radio play.

Chris Daughtry came in third for selling about half the numbers of the girls. But I wonder where Jennifer Hudson landed. I mean, she's done pretty well for herself considering she was booted and all.

Confession: I've never watched an episode. I'm like that. I can't stand hype. When something is so immensely popular, I'm unequivocally turned off by it. Took me probably a year to give Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill a proper listen back during her initial world domination phase.

I've watched a couple of clips from AI just to understand who someone is... one of which was that girl from Texas this season bleeding all of the life out of Brandi Carlile's “The Story.” Despite Ellen DeGeneres's presence, that performance only reaffirmed my opposition to the whole AI cult.

Ripping pages from Madonna's playbook, Lady Gaga is another modern-day phenom that I have little interest in. All of her eccentricities seem utterly contrived. Make good music and leave the rest alone if you want lasting credibility rather than trending popularity. Obviously, this is not her strategy.

Now I don't begrudge anyone their success; it's more the overarching cult of personality that I take issue with. Like one of the pieces on Bieber put it: “We know this young star is very cute and has a pretty good voice. But he's just a singer. Seriously, he hasn't cured a single disease or come up with financial regulation that will help ease the ongoing economic crisis.”

We're so conditioned to want fame and riches or, at the very least, to glom onto passing fancies that make us feel like we are a part of something great. I'm sure I'm no different. Like Robert Frost, I just choose the lesser-known fancies to glom.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.



Comments [8]

Tex's picture

Mr Blieber....

threw a teeny tantrum because he didn't like the photo they put on the front cover of People magazine. What? You're on the front cover of People magazine! Don't like people tantrum prone....no matter their age.

Twitter Time @kdhales

Conlite's picture

Seems to me a music celebrity

Seems to me a music celebrity icon only deserves that status at all if they have demonstrated ability to flex with cultural shifts and create a few cultural shifts themselves.  In other words, if they maintain their megastar status for a decade or two without slowing down.

If people are still beliebers in ten years, I might go listen to some of that music.  I am not quite convinced about Gaga yet either (don't tell Julia), but her crazy videos can be entertaining to watch if you don't take them too seriously!

And yes, that contestant totally destroyed Brandi's song in a way that made me cringe.  Sad

Kelly McCartney's picture

Mum's the word.

Your secret's safe with me.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Calogero's picture

I have to admit

That I didn't even know who this Bieber kid was until a fortnight or so ago (despite twitter constantly trying to convince me that I should). Now that I do, I kind of wish that I didn't because I just don’t get it. At all.
Despite her being a not so convincing version of Madonna & Grace Jones Love child, I can sort of understand the whole Lady Gaga get up. Whilst her music will never be the greatest, she is somewhat entertaining.

Justin is just a cute kid with a bowl cut (don‘t they grow on trees?) who sings and this apparently makes young girls go crazy… I’m baffled.

The longer I can keep my daughter at 5 the better.

And the last paragraph of that linked piece did make me chuckle.

" Teachers teach and do the world good, Kings just rule and most are never understood "

Kelly McCartney's picture

Can I quote you?

I love this: "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there..."

Could also be... If you don't CARE where you are going, any road will take you there...

Yeah, Bieber. Who knows?

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Calogero's picture

Quote away

I can't take credit for it, for they are the words of Lewis Carroll. Though I think even he'd agree with your adjustment.

Very true. 

" Teachers teach and do the world good, Kings just rule and most are never understood "

minniesota's picture

Didn't jump on this popular band wagon

Confession: I only read one-and-a half Harry Potter books. And I snuck a look at the last chapter of the final one in the series to see how it ended.

But, Hey Jude, the Beatles were totally worth it.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Kelly McCartney's picture

Yeah yeah!

That's a good one. I've seen some of the Potter movies just to know what people are referring to, but I haven't read any of them. I will say, though, some of the terms in sailing sound totally Potter-esque to me... pintles and gudgeons mostly.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword