Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Can Somebody Please Explain The Justin Bieber Phenomenon?

OMG, u guyz. I totally <3 BiEBeR!!!! LOLZZZZ!!!!

(Psst... OK, have the tweenyboppers left the room? Good. Let's discuss.)

Pop culture circa March 2010 has a new leader. He's 16. And he's from Canada. His name is Justin Bieber. And if you're on Twitter, you can't escape him.

This Bieber phenomenon has been brewing for nearly a year -- the kid even sang the opening verse to the recent, ill-advised "We Are The World" remake. But seriously, how did we let this suddenly become a Justin Bieber nation? Even Conan O'Brien is obsessed: his last five Tweets have been all Bieber-centric:

And America's cougar population apparently digs him as well -- at least, I assume that's who's making "Justin Bieber shirt off" among the musician's leading Google searches (people, HE'S 16. STOP.)

David Letterman wants a piece of Bieber: The teen heartthrob was on "Late Show with David Letterman" Tuesday night. And MTV is suddenly into music again, now that Bieber Fever is in full swing. The channel has several Bieber programs in the works.

Bieber's handlers have smartly torn pages from the teen heartthrob playbook: Non-threatening, yet slightly suggestive marketing (which would explain this disturbing album cover, below).

What the hell?


The jokes, the references, the Tweets? My theory: Justin Bieber is truly one of the first pop culture phenoms that those of us in our 30s and 40s didn't see coming, and still don't have a handle on.

Are we that out of touch with what the kids are listening to or paying attention to that this Bieber fellow crept out of nowhere to absolute pop culture phenom? Have we, gasp, become our parents -- after promising to ourselves that we'll always keep in tune with what's relevant, are we no longer staying relevant?

And most importantly, are we now making fun of the Justin Bieber phenomenon in order to feel like we're still on top of the trends?

Now if you excuse me, I have a few Wikipedia entries to read and You Tube videos to consume. Who is this kid??

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