Biebermania is sweeping the nation like locusts over ancient Egypt, devouring adolescents and the stray teenager in a voracious wave of hyped media frenzy. In the latest example that the young are not always driven by the deeper roots of reason, Justin Bieber has hitched his wagon to the odious PETA or, as the teen rag Hollyscoop puts it, "another celebrity has sold his soul to PETA."
Imagine a thousand tortured youth joined in the reverent Bieber sigh "Ah-dor-ah-ble."
Dark Side Age Limits - Every tidol undergoes a pre-scripted, highly publicized transformation from playful, pure child to sex-crazed, poorly guided addict. Admittedly most of us undergo the same, albeit considerably less extreme, transformation. And, like most of us, teen idols are making the change earlier in life. But surely, given the extent of the depravity and human suffering involved, there should be some lower limit placed on the age at which these kids are run through the meat grinder.
The End Is Near
Paced Image Morphs - Tidols are expected to undergo a number of radical, short-order shifts in temperament, dramatically accelerating the pace of "growth." No doubt their handlers have determined the optimal time-in-cycle so that they can fully monetize the asset before jumping onto the next phase. The poor kids are left with heads spinning and mental whiplash as they are cranked through life's most turbulent years like widgets on an assembly line. Somebody push the big red button and stop the line!!!
It's All Downhill . . .
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First a word about PETA, an organization that has appeared before in these pages. Let's just say that, despite my love of cats, tolerance for smellier forms of domestic creatures, and acceptance of wildlife as a general matter I cannot abide the mindless devotion that these PETA zealots have for the lower forms of life that we share the planet with. They would sooner see an infant starve than see meat spoil its lips. I've seen them stage every manner of radical protest stunt to draw attention to themselves in displays so shockingly inappropriate that one can only conclude that members suffer from profound neuropathy. I don't think much of PETA.
The Bieber had this to say:
"My Dad and I used to go and hang out … just go and visit the different animals and stuff. It’s really important that people adopt. I really encourage going out to an animal shelter or a place where you can get a dog that has been abandoned or doesn’t have a home.”
Very cute and all, but I don't think The Beiber has a bead on the kinds of accomodations PETA is concerned with. PETA is fond of reminding us that our human weakness for animal flesh and dairy products results in horribly inhumane conditions for its victims. No species is spared. My propensity for guilt is littered with Michael Mooresque images of hens, cattle and pigs packed into feces-strewn quarters awaiting the slaughterhouse. Very sad stuff.
And that's where The Bieber fits in. PETA has a little image problem. They've started to piss sensible people off with their extreme antics. The Bieber, on the other hand, is known for being cute and cuddly. I don't have an adolescent daughter, but I hear tell that Beiber runs the risk of being cuddled into a magled, gory ball of cuteness every time he shows his face in a crowd of adoring kiddies. So PETA is clearly luring an unwitting, underage Bieber into representing an otherwise horrid organization by posing him with cute, furry creatures and advocating tame stuff like animal adoption. It's exploitation bordering on criminal.
I think it's time for a new PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Adolescents. The Bieber joins a long list of hopelessly doomed teen idols, or tidals as I will call them. It wasn't always this way. Remember David Cassidy and Shaun Cassidy? Two guys a generation apart that seemed to sidestep the tragedy that frequently accompanies underaged stardom, albeit to live on in a somewhat diminished capacity. Today the road is strewn with crooner wannabees who rise on a rocket's tail of glory only to burn out in a magnificent supernova. Think Brittany Spears. Next in line is Miley Cyrus, who is in the midst of a tragic migration to the dark side of tidol young adulthood. I've seen how that story ends. The Beiber is queuing up, with PETA catching him while he's still in his innocent phase.
That'll change quick, though. PETA is starting off by featuring The Beiber in all these cuddly adds where he promotes pet adoption and abstract "niceness." The poor bastard doesn't know that adoption is the last thing on PETA's mind. That's the ASPCA. PETA views adoption as a form of servitude. They'd sooner see stray dogs roaming free in the streets creating mayhem and eating their young.
What sorts of causes would the new PETA support? I thought about it a bit, and here's what I came up with:
Family Friendly Vacation Spots - Brittany and Miley were constantly showing up in glitzy places at an age just shy of appropriate. Don't ask me for examples because I don't have any, but it could be true and that's what matters. Why not keep these kids under wraps a little? Why not restrict them to nice places like the Jersey Shore? It's got the sun, a beach, a boardwalk, pizza, rides - all the fun a kid could want!