So we are greeted with the Good News, what some have already called a Christmas Miracle: that the Bieber product has tweeted today, announcing its retirement.

Worldwide joy, it seems, and the magnitude of this joy begs the question: why is Bieber’s “retirement” such good news to the ears of so many?

Besides the entertainment of the far-fetched possibility of no more anti-musical, formulaic pop pap, that is. On a side note, mark my words and make no mistake: this “retirement” is simply the first of a two-step marketing operation: Retirement followed by Resurrection. The stomach churns.

Bieber is irritating to most, that much is clear. But why?

I believe Bieber’s “nails on chalkboard” effect comes from the fact that Bieber is a particularly poignant product of a ruthless age of agelessness. The age of plastic surgery, posing, post-privacy, surveillance, photoshopping, amnesia, contextual ignorance, insatiable ego, hyper-sexual early adolescence, angular acrobatics, colourful noise, aggressive seduction codified beyond seductive. Like the Family Guy dog, none of these products ever go away: they fake disappearance in order to regain the texture that is a technical impossibility in this abyss of in-your-faceness. This culture of hallucinatory consumption even regurgitates its own History after spitting out its character: punk anthems whispered in five-star hotel bars, anyone?

Bieber is a half-baked spoiled brat desperate to prove himself as a man in an age devoid of rituals of initiation. A shadow of the Michael Jackson downfall, both re-enacting the myth as a cute compulsion and longing to shed the darkness that comes with the package. An awkward, calculated collage of prettiness, provocative sexlessness, irreverent inoffensiveness, neurosis elevated to an “ism”. An accurate, silly, cruel mirror of our dysfunctional times.

May this mirror break into a thousand pieces, may the shards be swiped into the footnotes of a disgraced culture of extreme, pointless exhibitionism. Do retire, you thing, and may you soon fade out of focus and into oblivion.


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