For The Love Of Bieber


Nina Shen Rastogi studies fandom's darkside:

[L]ots of fans [of Justin Bieber] reacted [to his Grammy loss] in ways that seem less sweet than scary. Spalding's Wikipedia page was attacked that night, with one irate Bieber fan commanding the woman to "GO DIE IN A HOLE." Twitter lit up with vicious chatter in the same vein. ... At the same time, you could argue that Bieber devotees are just acting out a key part of what it means to be a fan of something (if in a slightly deranged version).

After all, fandom isn't just about celebration; it's also, ultimately, about competitionwhether it's "my football team can crush your football team," or "I can name more obscure Bob Dylan B-sides than you can," or "I love Justin Bieber more than you do, and I'm going to PROVE IT." Plenty of us managed to outgrow our pre-adolescent passions and become relatively sane, normal adults.

(Photo: Justin Bieber fans show their support at Circular Quay on April 26, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. By Graham Denholm/Getty Images)