Perhaps B-Rack was just too unambitious with ‘Yes, We Can’. Truth be told, ‘yes we can’ is a motivational message, but unfortunately it hasn’t come ot fruit in every way he said it would. It worked well enough, and maybe he’ll try to sail on that in next year’s elections. However, it has the potential to be so much more. Pretty much everyone has guffawed at the thought of Justin Beiber being king of the world. But one thing 2011 has shown us, in his own words: ‘Never say never’.
A week ago today Justin Bieber was named the most searched human being of 2011 on Bing search engine, usurping last year’s Kim Kardashian. The Bieb takes his pride of place at spot number uno on our web surfing hit list, and the title as the only male in the top ten.
Some say astonishing, I say foreseeable, but this shuffle means that B-Rack [Obama] has fallen from No. 5 to No. 49 in one fell swoop. Justin is apparently the most trended name on Twitter ever, the most viewed on YouTube ever, and the most ‘elfed’ person on elf.com. Ever. He has his own fragrance (‘Someday’ – the advert of which depicts a girl about 6 years his senior yearning for the 17-year-old), probably a clothing line, and I wouldn’t be surprised by some kind of food brand I the near future. Never Say Never.
“Who is this guy?” some remarkably still oblivious people ask; “what makes him so popular?” I thought I had this in a nutshell – and I do stand partly by this claim. If you haven’t seen the latest Twilight film, there’s quite a disturbing, and fundamentally illegal plot twist in which Jacob, “the sexy one” (my own words…), falls in love with Bella’s baby – it was that, more than the graphic sex scenes, that had me wincing uncomfortably into my pick’n’mix. I couldn’t work out exactly from whence this idea stemmed – to romanticise paedophilia – but my best guess is that they‘re trying to get at what Bieber has done so well: be a sex god for children. It’s a peculiar trend that has been both accepted and celebrated – despite the fact that his Movember efforts were, well, brave, and he is widely acknowledged as looking like a lesbian (see lesbianwholooklikejustinbieber.tumblr.com. It’s gold).
As well as having seen the countless ‘vlogs’ of toddlers requesting his hand in marriage, or even to “sleep next to him and have lots and fun *wink*”, I have born first-hand witness to his hold over the recently-born-woman with my own flesh and blood. At the pantomime last year with my four-year-old niece on my lap, we were awaiting Hammersmith’s finest Christmas cheer, which involved listening to chart music – the pre-drinking equivalent for the very underage. A new song starts. As if competing for her life on Never Mind the Buzzcocks music round, this doe-eyed girl hears the opening two notes, and with glee exclaims ‘Justin Bieber!’ before launching into a rendition of his ‘baby’ song. Astounded that much of this was even in her vocabulary range was my first hurdle, followed swiftly by the grave realisation that she too had been hit by Usher’s cupid arrow.
What more could he do? Entice older people? Surely not?
Never say never – perfectly demonstrated by Mariah Yeater – the 20-year-old who claimed to have mothered his child. The story was flawed from the off, as my mother contested at this girl’s claim that he didn’t use a condom because ‘he really wanted to feel it’: “as if Bieber was a virgin.” Yes Mum, that’s the spirit. After an excruciating television interview, in which the channel comically interspersed footage with his song “baby, baby, baby ohhh…”, the naïve woman has since backed down (apparently due to death threats, and a counter-suit from Bieber’s “people” – as explained to me, genuinely, by a 50-year-old American male Belieber on the 44 bus in York. Never say never).
In a nutshell, this end to the year, that many conspiracy theorists claimed would never come, has taught us one valuable thing that no one – not Obama, not the Queen, not the Bible – has ever truly delivered so forcefully and miraculously: Never Say Never.