I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be writing a blog post about him.
I would say there are very few North Americans who haven’t heard his name. The kid (he just turned 18 on March 1st) has made some rather big strides since making Youtube videos at home with his mom in Stratford in 2007.
Regardless of your thoughts on him, he’s big, and he’s got hoards of folks listening to him: screaming 12 year olds, obsessed 20 year olds, and anyone listening to any hit radio station. The Observer reported that he’s more influential in the social networking sphere than Barack Obama or The Dalai Lama.
After watching his video for the song “Pray” (released December 11, 2010 on Facebook), our class had quite the discussion.
The video features shots of: Port-au-Prince and other various disaster shots of Haiti after the earthquake; homeless people, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, refugees, soldiers, various animals in poor situations, hospitals (positive dancing and despairing situations), workers on strike, all around and amongst shots of Justin Bieber playing at concerts, and giving hugs to patients at hospitals as part of the “make a wish” foundation.
A comment in class that described the video as – it’s like a grade 8 student hashed together a bunch of video clips of world problems – couldn’t be more accurate.
We can thank Bieber for bringing plenty of world issues to the thoughts of prepubescent girls minds.
But, can we also thank him for using charity to promote and sell himself? Can we assume that he is sincere? Surely, Bieber is a constructed popular image, and him being his Christian self requires some form of charity?
How about the Christianity we see portrayed? Bieber’s “close my eyes and pray”, “and I can see a better day” compel the listener to (other than prayer) see the problems of the world and know there’s “sunshine behind that rain”. This is hardly what Jesus calls his disciples to.
What do you think?