By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
Teen idol and Canadian citizen Justin Bieber just entered the consciousness of serious adults but it wasn’t for his singing or making their teenage daughters swoon. No, Justin set the world ablaze due to a pot smoke-filled airline cabin and a felony arrest for egging a neighbor’s house. And lest you think the American Congress has better things to do than follow the shenanigans of today’s latest pop star, think again. At least one senator has called for his deportation and an on-line petition to jump-start that process has gathered 100,000 signatures.
The story starts out as it often does with talent out-racing maturity and stage parents ever-willing to cash in with little regard for the consequences. Bieber made his splash in Hollywood with an album entitled “My World” after bumping around YouTube. The record went platinum in 2009 and his career was off. What followed was more songs and awards by the dozens along with 40 million followers on Twitter. Money followed fame and Bieber moved to LA taking full advantage of his O-1 visa but eschewing American citizenship.
After money came the seemingly inevitable skirmishes with the law. Charged with vandalism in Brazil, the 19-year-old added to his blotter with missteps in Australia and Columbia for his graffiti filled nights. There were of course the drug busts and reckless driving and DUI arrest, and then of course assaulting a limo driver who had the temerity to suggest that maybe the kid has imbibed a little too much. LA neighbors got involved after Bieber egged a house and a felony arrest followed.
The recent fiasco involves a little charter trip for Justin and his dad. According to the pilots, marijuana fumes from the passenger compartment were so intense that the pair had to don breathing masks to avoid becoming intoxicated and hence subject to FAA sanction. Like a bad Cheech & Chong movie, the father-son pair in the rear were partying it up. Maybe they were yucking it up talking about Bieber’s on-again, off-again romance with actress Selena Gomez whom Bieber reported bragged about taking her virginity. Gomez has since gone into alcohol rehab and the anti-abortion Christian Bieber is sticking to his line that “I don’t think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them.” The couple has broken up according to many sources.
Which all leads to the hallowed halls of the United States Congress. Virginia Senator Mark Warner is no Bieleber, as Justin’s fans call themselves. The father of three daughters, Warner said he’d step right up to sign the deportation petition circulating on-line and now with over 100,000 signatures. “As a dad with three daughters, is there some place I can sign?,” he asked radio station WNOR recently. Most Americans have about the same opinion of Bieber. A recent poll showed Bieber being viewed unfavorably by 54% of those polled.
And in the entertainment business your popularity is your fortune. This can’t possibly end well.
What do you think? Should Bieber go or stay?
~Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor