Thursday, 5 April 2012

Night of the Living Beliebers

Think back, if you will, to late 2009. Ireland were still reeling after Thierry Henry's handball, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty of Meredith Kercher's murder, Patrick Stewart became Sir Patrick Stewart, and the worst thing Canada had ever done was force Trey Parker and Matt Stone to write 'Blame Canada'. No one could be prepared for the almighty shitstorm that was about to reign upon us.

January 2010 saw the UK launch of the incredibly high-pitched, and highly-styled haircut of a certain Mr Justin Drew Bieber. The insanely annoying 'One Time' catapulted him into the hearts of millions of prepubescent girls, and into the 'I don't care' files of millions of adults. But we should have cared. Oh, boy, we should have paid more attention.

Now, the Bieber is harmless enough. His songs are, quite frankly, abysmal at times, and the oft-copied ludicrous hairstyle is but a memory now. He's just a young kid living his dream (TM) and making an absolute fortune in the process. Good on him. Who wouldn't want to be so rich it masks the pain of growing up in Canada? The problem I have isn't with the singing Canadian haircut. It's with the legion of rabid fans who have become so obsessive that I genuinely fear for their health.

The self-styled Beliebers seem harmless enough from the outside: just a small army of almost teenage girls who idolise the little Bieber (I say little as I have literally no idea how tall he is. And, also, he's younger than me, making his height a null point). Every young girl or boy goes through a stage of having their celebrity crush, or hero, but never before have I seen it taken to such drastic lengths.

Beliebers sit at their computers (which they're too young to operate correctly) playing Justin's videos on repeat on YouTube (which are amongst the most viewed videos of the site's history) and spouting actual hatred towards anyone who dares to criticise him. I'm not talking silly little "you're an idiot" type playground arguments. These little creatures launch mass attacks of the vilest kind.

There was a highly publicised incident in late 2010 in which a disgustingly high number of Beliebers took to Twitter to send absolutely disgusting and horrifying messages to Lily Allen. The singer - a prolific user of Twitter - had suffered a second heartbreaking miscarriage and the response from a high number of Beliebers on the site is enough to make anyone's skin crawl. The exact message which had been retweeted a shockingly high number of times has been deleted, but thanks to the magic of the internet, it lives on...

You may wonder what Lily Allen's crime was? She once sent a tweet stating that she wasn't a fan of the Canadian haircut. Many tried to write off the Beliebers' comments as naive and foolish, but I do not. If they are old enough to use the internet unsupervised, they are old enough to know that a miscarriage is incredibly traumatic and painful, and absolutely not a laughing matter. I can only hope they never have to go through such an ordeal.

The Belieber fuelled hatred doesn't just happen on a public level, either. I myself have received countless messages of hate from these little girls. I expressed my disdain of Bieber allegedly releasing a cover of Prince's 'Purple Rain' to be told "go die bitch", or "you shoulda been aborted". Some of the more straightforward tweets simply said "fuck you". 

Do I believe the Beliebers to be dangerous? Absolutely. Not necessarily to others, but almost certainly to themselves. They are known to send death threats (and I will undoubtedly receive a few myself if they ever catch wind of this). I get that teenage girls are often lost in the haze of puberty, but these young girls are taking it to a whole different level. They are extremely obsessive, extremely possessive, and extremely deluded. A recent trending topic on Twitter was "Justin makes me wet". God only knows if these 12 year olds even know what that means or implies.

A whole new world (you totally just sang that, didn't you? You're singing it again now!) has opened up with the Beliebers. We now have obsessive fan groups for just about every singer or celebrity out there, each group determined to be more prolific and loving for their idol. Here in the UK, we have Directioners, the ever-growing base of Wand Erection, sorry, One Direction fans who are looking to rapidly overtake the Beliebers in the contest for Most Annoying Twitter Users. I've also received death threats from Directioners.. funny little things, these teenage girls. I hear they are currently spreading across the world and, for that, I can only apologise.

Eventually, everything will die down. Beiber will either get married or go the Macaulay Culkin route and lose his beloved fans and hair. One Direction will split up after the obligatory mid-tour bust up. The little girls will grow up and become mothers and will, hopefully, shudder if they see their own offspring acting in a similar way. But at this moment in time, the Beliebers are a clear and present danger, a plague on Twitter, and should be forced to carry a warning tick on their profiles, rather than a validation tick. 

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