How do we deal with Justin Bieber? As the beloved—by some particularly virulent fans—pop star gets weirder and weirder, it seems something is enabling him. And that something needs to be stopped, for the sanity of both the general observant public and the 19-year-old himself. Our sincere solution, or at least hope, is that all-around adulthood will finally stop the weirdness.
And things have been pretty weird of late. On Tuesday, for instance, we learned that schools in Norway decided to move exams so they wouldn't coincide with Bieber's concerts in the country. We also found out that if Bieber doesn't pick up his pet monkey—yes, you read that right, his pet monkey—in four weeks from a German shelter where it is being kept on quarantine, his pet monkey will be put in to permanent care. Monday, Bieber aimed his army of fans at TMZ with an April Fools' prank. And of course last week he got into that spat with his neighbor involving a Ferrari that resulted in legal charges and, yes, literal spit. (There was also something recently about being banned from an Austrian club but that a "source close to The Biebs" told Perez Hilton—oh boy—that Bieber didn't even go to that club.)
Indeed, it seems like no day can pass without another wild Bieber story, so much so that the May Teen Vogue cover declaring Justin Bieber's "Crazy Year" can be taken quite literally, as The Cut implies: "Teen Vogue probably hopes post–Selena Gomez Bieber and his U.K. hospitalization, topless TSA treat, neighborly spitting, and German monkey abadonment will a good cover story make." So, yeah, that's 2013 in the life of Justin Bieber and, because he is unavoidable, in our lives as well.
We've argued before that Bieber's infantry of fans, willing to throw themselves at him both figuratively and literally, can act as a kind of shield for the kid, all the better to protect him from the big bad prying media that's been the downfall of so many young stars. But there's a flip side: His fans also end up as enablers. Norwegian young'uns will follow Bieber with such devotion that their schools cave to his every whim. So how do we put an end to this insufferable madness? Not to get all "mom" on everyone, but everyone needs to start acting like a grownup here.
Bieber, of course, is 19, a burgeoning adult who never got to really be a child. So he's exhibiting the approximate petulance of a five-year-old (i.e. spitting) mixed with the rebelliousness of a teenager. Here's hoping he grows up into someone who actually puts a shirt on when he walks through airports, and here's hoping that this sort of semi-normal behavior dawns upon him soon.
Somebody beyond the fan cave is going to have help this guy, though. What about his handlers? Shouldn't they start acting like the adults they are? The gkidy gave away his hamster, may it rest in peace, so who thought a pet monkey was a good idea for a birthday present? Spiegel Online reported that Bieber landed in Munich without proper documentation for the capuchin, Mally, and even days after Mally was taken away from him hadn't contacted the animal sanctuary director or the city's veterinary authority. Now, why didn't someone say to Bieber, "How about you check up on your pet monkey?" This is not stunt PR; this is stupidity.
And then there are the teachers in Norway. Why are five schools in the town of Aalesund giving into the mania? Even Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles (full disclosure, this writer's alma mater) is cracking down on kids who skip school to go to Coachella.
And there are still those fans. They should at least grow up with him, or maybe, possibly start to see the douche behind those big brown eyes. That may be asking a lot, but it's all for Bieber's own good. Because Justin Bieber is not going away, not from our everyday live's, at least not anytime soon. Time for someone to get him to behave. At least not like such a weirdo.
(P.S. If you were wondering how the pet monkey's doing, he's apparently "cheerful" but attached to a stuffed cat.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.