You know how when a sitcom goes on too long and gets desperate for laughs the writers make the characters exaggerated caricatures of themselves in an effort to try to squeeze a few more laughs out of the tired, stereotyped, cliched neuroses that we originally found endearing when they were expressed much more subtly early in the show? (How I Met Your Mother for example. Seriously, Ted should have met the mother two seasons ago and wrapped up the series then)
This past week Justin Bieber became a caricature of himself and by proxy all celebrities. Yes, I will mock him here, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Karla Cripps of CNN.com said it best: “Just when you thought you might enjoy a week without any news of Justin Bieber annoying the world, along comes evidence that the most beloved/disliked self-involved teenager on the planet has broken one of the most sacred unspoken rules of travel — don’t use your bodyguards to carry you up the Great Wall of China.” The entire article can be read by clicking the hyper-linked CNN.com above. That’s right, the perfectly able-bodied twenty-one year old Bieber asked to be carried up the stairs at the Great Wall; and his flunkies did it! It’s that kind of attitude that explains why Selena Gomez broke up with him.
Sometimes I think this happens with celebrities and it isn’t necessarily their fault. That’s right. I say don’t blame celebrities for their idiotic behavior. It’s our fault as a society.
Celebrities are great. When the director says “action!” they’re incredibly talented and very entertaining. They’re funny, musical, and sometimes even emotionally moving when their words and actions are scripted for them. It’s when they go off-script and improv, such as in everyday life, that they tend to lose perspective.
Just like Robin Williams and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, I would hold the Bieber close and say, “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault” as he sobbed on my shoulder.
Yes, I know you’re saying to yourself, “But Phil,” which is an odd thing to say to yourself, “why isn’t it celebrities fault when they act like out-of-touch-with-reality caricatures of all bad celebrity stereotypes?” Wow, that’s a mouthful. Thanks for asking. I’ll tell you why. In response, I’ll ask you a question: If you have a dog and you’ve never taught it to sit or stay, is it the dogs fault that it runs around like rabid gerbil high on Candy Corn M&M’s when you have company over? No! It’s your fault because you didn’t train your dog. The dog doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. People need training just like dogs.
If you take a normal, human two year old and spend twenty years fawning over them and bending the rules for them of course they’re going to think they’re the center of the universe. It’s time we start raising our celebrities to be real human beings. That’s why my next book will be titled “The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Celebrity.” When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will pass a law stating that until age 30 all celebrities must be accompanied 24/7 by a behavioral psychologist who will hit them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper any time they do anything vaguely out of touch or ego-centric. Don’t worry though, the training won’t be all punitive. They’ll be rewarded with pieces of candy when they perform appropriate behaviors in public. Before long our celebrities will all be nice, normal people that won’t frighten your children.
If you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s related to a Nickelodeon cartoon from the 90’s called The Angry Beavers. About two years ago my son & his friends started a band and they all had Justin Bieber haircuts so I suggested they name their band The Angry Biebers. I thought the idea was much funnier than they did.
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