So I wake up on this sunny Sunday, nursing a slight sunburn from the birthday party for my one year old great-grandniece her grandmother held in her backyard yesterday, to see the Twitter world is all atwitter over something Justin Bieber said. Seems the young Canadian lad and pop music teen idol visited the Anne Frank House yesterday, spending an hour or so there, then wrote in the guestbook how inspirational she was and that he hoped she would have been a “belieber.” For the uninitiated, “belieber” is the nickname Bieber’s great in number and even greater in fervor fan base of tween and teenage girls proudly wear.
From the right, the reaction has been a torrent of how abhorrent Bieber’s note was, or at least should be, to one and all. How dare he trivialize Anne Frank in this manner; what a maroon if not in fact dumber and more ego drenched than the lead singer of Maroon 5, etc etc etc and all the usual things you see on Twitchy when people grow outraged over the latest outrageous outrage.
Actually, the only people behaving outrageously are those professing outrage and/or leveling their snark attacks at Bieber over his comment. Shall we review?
Has it occurred to anyone that Bieber might have been expressing a wish that in a better world the toughest situation Anne Frank would have felt compelled to write about in her diary was choosing between the Justin Bieber and One Dimension of her day? That perhaps he meant no disrespect, nor was tripping over his own ego, by expressing a wish that Frank could have had a normal teenage life, not to mention life period, and that instead of his writing a note in the guestbook she’d be writing a check at the local record store to buy one of her granddaughters a Justin Bieber CD? That the face of the Holocaust could have instead been presently making a face at the silly antics of teenage girls going nuts over whoever’s picture is on this month’s Tiger Beat?
Some more facts, if you please. Bieber has 32.5 million Twitter followers. Thirty-two and a half million. Given the well-chronicled disaster that is public education, what are the odds that more than a handful of these kids have so much as heard of Anne Frank? If this non-incident gets copies of The Diary of Anne Frank in their hands, if this sparks interest in who she is and why their dreamboat visited her house, how can this be a bad thing?
Are we so accustomed to slamming celebrities every which way for everything and every slight that we are no longer capable of discerning when the issue is reasl or imagined? C’mon, people. Pick your battles.
No wonder we keep losing the cultural as well as the political war.