The Bieber Burn . . . Thank You Gordon Pinsent!

Post Update . . . they are doing a remake of the hit movie Dirty Dancing scheduled for release in 2012.  Guess who has been cast to play Patrick Swayze's role . . . brace yourself . . . Justin Bieber!

The following post will tell you everything you need to know to get a sense as to how I feel about this . . .

I of course grew up in an era in which my father made what was then considered a decent wage of $60 per week - enough so that my mother could stay at home to raise me and my three brothers, and where there was always more than enough food in the fridge, and clothes in our closets.

It was a time when the famous words of John Houseman They make money the old-fashioned way. They earn it reverberated within our collective sensibilities reflecting the values of the day. When the concept of actually earning something related as much to character as it did to money.  A time when a personal brand going viral was neighbors and friends commenting over a cup coffee about that Joe being as steady as a rock.

So you have to excuse me if I was somewhat surprised when Justin Bieber came out with a book about his life . . . all 16 years of it, under the title “Justin Bieber (First Steps 2 Forever: My Story).”

I am sure that after 16 years on the planet the young Mr. Bieber believes that he has learned a great deal and therefore has a story to tell.  To be quite frank didn’t we ourselves, at that ripe old age, believe that we knew everything and wondered sometimes openly about how our parents actually made it to adulthood.  It is a right of passage to think that you have all the angles figured out when you are young.  However, no young entertainer at that time had the audacity to seriously think that their accomplishments warranted a book.  Perhaps a few paragraphs in the hot teen magazine of the day . . . but a book?!

On this front,  I must admit that I appreciated (okay enjoyed) the humorous poke directed at Bieber by a real Canadian icon Gorden Pinsent.

Now some might equate the Pinsent parody with the fuddy duddy’s who returned their medals, after The Beatles were awarded the Member of the British Empire or M.B.E. by the Queen in 1965 – an honor that had traditionally been reserved for long-serving members of the military or as a reward for long civic service.

According to one article, the occasional entertainer or sports figure also received such honors, but usually only after many years of endeavor in their field.  However, and within the realms of the music industry itself, Bieber as yet to realistically attain the stature of the Beatles even though it was early in their careers that they received the honor.  If memory serves me, I do not think that any member of the Beatles actually wrote a book about the journey that was to that point their lives.

Just as an aside, the Beatles did not receive their M.B.E. honor for their music per say, but as a result of their service to exports in that their record sales actually boosted the sagging British economy.  Correct me if I am wrong, but have Beiber’s sales pulled the U.S. economy out of the proverbial tank?

Suffice to say, the silliness in all this is that accomplishments based on the sustaining contributions of something truly tangible has been cheapened by an individual’s fleeting if not meteoric rise to fame that in and of itself rarely endures, yet somehow attracts followers like moths to a flame.

Perhaps when the young Bieber has been in the business for 20, even 10 years for that matter, generating hit after hit and showing himself to be a true example for others to follow, a book might be in order.  In fact, and even being advanced in years at that time, I would probably buy the book.  Sadly, at this early stage while I celebrate his success and congratulate him on it, I hardly believe that he has earned the right to offer a life story.

I would rather my young daughter learn about the Churchills and the Kennedys of this world, or the Helen Kellers and Martin Luther Kings from whose lives, however flawed, a foundation of values can be established.


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  • Books Written by Jon Hansen

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