Pop Rocks

When Celebrities Assert

The subtitle to the interview (coming in the March 3 issue of Rolling Stone) reads, "How Justin Bieber became the biggest teen idol in the world," so I have to assume at some point RS reporter Vanessa Griogriadis gets to the subject of his rise to fame (and if he's familiar with the name "Ryan Cabrera"). So far, however, all we're hearing about is Bieber's "shocking" opinions about politics and abortion, to wit:

"I really don't believe in abortion," he revealed. "I think [an embryo] is a human. It's like killing a baby."

And while he thinks it's "really sad" for a woman to become pregnant after being raped, he noted that "everything happens for a reason."

An outrage! That is, until you read the very next statement:

"I don't know how that would be a reason," he conceded. "I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that."

What can we come away with from that excerpt? 1) Justine Bieber is a typically ignorant 16-year-old kid who obviously hasn't spend a hell of a lot of time forming his opinions, and 2) Who the fuck cares what Justin Bieber thinks, about abortion or anything else?

Some more gems:

"I don't think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them."

On homosexuality, Bieber said, "It's everyone's own decision to do that. It doesn't affect me and shouldn't affect anyone else."

You know, I'm not so much puzzled at the fact Rolling Stone is bothering to ask a teenager these questions (twenty years ago I'd have asked, "Why would they write about someone like him in the first place?", but that ship has long since sailed) as I am amused that the kid is already playing the middle of the road like a regular mealy-mouthed politician. Homosexuality is a "decision" (point to the Christian right), but as long as it's between consenting adults, what's the big deal (point to the moderates and left-wingers)? He doesn't come right out against premarital intercourse (half-point for...people who enjoy sex), provided you're really, you know, in love.

Because as anyone who's been 16 will attest, that's a very restrictive set of criteria.

Bieber's laughably ignorant comments might be cause for concern if he was ever in the running for the U.S. Supreme Court, but it looks like we can safely rule that possibility out:

The Canadian singer also tackled another hot-button issue: healthcare in the United States.

"[Americans] are evil," he says with a laugh. "Canada's the best country in the world. We go to the doctor, and we don't need to worry about paying him, but [in the U.S.], your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills," he said.

Point for the socialists.

What's everybody so pissed about again? That a teenager raised in a fundamentalist household has backward opinions on rape and abortion, or that a mean old Rolling Stone journalist had the temerity to ask him something besides, "What's your favorite video game?"

Personally, I'm more concerned about the kid's lack of facial hair. Shouldn't he have one of those wispy adolescent mustaches by now?

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar