Remember Justin Bieber Next Time You Want to Take a Celeb Seriously.


Let's blame Canada for this one.

Canadian-born singing phenom Justin Bieber recently visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and managed to say something truly awful by writing in the museum's guestbook:

"Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."

Of course, the world will little note what Justin Bieber says at one of the most powerful sites demonstrating the Holocaust's obscenity. But it should remind us that, most of the time, celebrities are taken seriously at their own peril.

And sometimes ours.

Never forget this:

"Contemporary stars are well-paid but impotent puppets," writes economist Tyler Cowen in his engaging recent study of celebrity, What Price Fame?. Cowen traces the evolution of fame from a phenomenon associated with military leaders who often demanded sacrifice from their citizens to a commercial-based process by which an audience seeks pleasure through symbolic affiliation. "They serve their fans rather than making their fans serve them," argues Cowen. 

Related: Watch Remy's answer to Jay-Z and Beyonce's recent trip to Cuba.

NEXT: What a Libertarian Future Looks Like, Summed Up in a Single Tweet

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Eh, I don’t see what the fuss is about. He basically said, “I’m a fan of yours, hope you would have been a fan of me”. Not the deepest sentiment around but certainly not truly awful, just a little self-centered. So, who is taking celebrities too seriously here?

    1. Yea, but when there are also confirmed photographs of Bieber and his friend shadow-boxing in the gift shop– it shows his shallow depth of humanity.

  2. I don’t understand why people are angry at Bieber. Ann Frank was a typical teenage girl. That is what makes her story so compelling and interesting and so illustrative or the horrors of the Holocaust. So yea, if where were alive today and the same age, she probably would be a Bieber fan. Most girls that age are.

    1. While I don’t care enough about what he or anyone else famous for entertainment has to say to be angry, it was a fucking stupid remark. And it shows once again how out of touch these celebrities, particularly the ones who had celebrity young, are with normal culture and values.

      1. Yeah I can see that. BTW I see they have giant snails in Florida now. First, giant pythons and now this. It is going to be Land of the Lost down there before too long.

        1. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger. Or kill us later.

          1. The next evolutionary step will be to develop poisons – the Florida will by like a soggy australia.

  3. Self centered piece of crap aka typical celebrity. Who needs these people besides their millions of brain-dead followers. Boo! Go away.

  4. C’mon. Imagine back when you were 19, but you had unlimited wealth, all the trim you could bone, worldwide fame, and a crew of syncophants who say “good idea” to every stupid thing you say.

    1. But all of his groupies are underage. It would have been great fun being Bieber right up until you turned 18 and all of your groupies became off limits.

      1. The fans of his music might be underage, but the fans of his money? Plenty of legal gold diggers in the sea.

        1. Plenty of legal gold diggers in the sea.

          And illegal ones too. Yarr, matey!

      2. Depends on the AoC. Most states don’t have a hard (pun intended) cutoff at 18.

    2. Lacked the unlimited wealth, but had the crew who said good idea to every stupid thing I said. The only thing it got me was labeled “ring leader” and shipped off to reform school.

    3. Bieber is something like 5’5 and has the voice, body, intellect, and personality of a 15 year old. The only demographics he’s going to be boning are underage girls and the bizarro 40+ year old moms that are infatuated with him.

      1. And he also has fame, which is more than enough to make up for those defects.

  5. Today is the anniversary of Bergen-Belsen being liberated, so timely post. Frank died there, however Geedy Lee’s mom survived.


    1. I didn’t know Geddy Lee’s mom (and, after looking it up, dad, too) was a Holocaust survivor. Wow.

      1. Yeah, they met and were married at the Bergen-Belsen camp post liberation.

        He was imprisoned in a different camp.

        1. I thought they were in a camp together for awhile before being seperated? The story as I heard it was Geddy’s father was looking, and found her, after liberation?

          1. Could be. Sounds familiar. They met at the “processing center” of something, got sent to different camps, then remet afterwords at the allied set up camp post-liberation.

            Which, IIRC, was at the officer’s camp at Bergen-Belsen.

      2. Red Sector A is based on her story, roughly. Peart changed it to apply to any prison camp anywhere, not just holocaust.

        But the “Are the liberators here? do I hope or do I fear?” is directly from her. She had given up hope because she assumed all civilization outside was dead if what was happening there was allowed to occur.

      3. Yep. Which made it hilarious/embarrassing when some music reviewer likened Rush’s lyrics to (paraphrasing) a neo-nazi diatribe, or something like that.

        1. Most of what the critics said about Rush was embarrassing.

          1. People who think Ayn Rand is fascist simply reveal themselves to be more enthralled of state power than actual fascists.

      4. Damn. I was a Rush fan through High School and college (still am, but not as fanatical as I was), and I never heard that story about Geddy Lee’s mom and dad.

        I remember looking at the back of the 2112 album when I was in Junior High and wondering, “Who the hell is Ayn Rand?”

        They used to play “Temples of Syrinx” at our High School dances. Annoyed the shit out of the girls, who would say, “You can’t dance to this!” But we loved it.

        1. It’s easier to dance to than just about any other Rush song.

          I’d make a terrible DJ. I’d just put on the whole thing of 2112.

      5. He’s called “Geddy” because he was named Gary, but his mom pronounced it that way with her Yiddish accent.

        1. He legally changed it to Geddy eventually.

    2. Today is also Corrie ten Boom’s b-day. In showbiz, timing is everything.

  6. I have no problem whatsoever with this comment, but as soon as I heard about it I knew there would be some unhinged derping over it.

  7. “Hey girl. Sorry you died in the holocaust or whatever. Hopefully, if you were still alive, you’d be a fan of Taco Bell’s new Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme. Peace.”

    1. And this nicely illustrates just what was wrong with Bieber’s idiotic comment.

    2. Even if she’s dead she may still be a fan. That taco has resurrective capabilities.

  8. Wasn’t he home-schooled by Canada Free Press subscribers?

  9. I’ll never understand why someone who warbles in a microphone or plays pretend for money, are held up in such high regard. But they get the bully pulpit, and are sycophantic public laps up whatever garbage they spew. Celebrity culture is part and parcel of why we have populace that will not live within it’s means…and this worship is quite sickening.

    1. These masses don’t reward anything good or interesting, so of course their other thought processes won’t be any better.

      Groupthink is learned behavior.

  10. Wait, so by becoming famous I won’t get an army of mindless drones to go forth and do my bidding?

    Back to the lab to finish the mind control ray, I guess.

  11. So does this mean Drew Carey is no longer welcome at Reason?

  12. Thankfully commercial music for me died in 1992 so I am spared the pain of these “icons”

  13. Don’t these people have handlers who can control their smartphone usage?

  14. “Celebrities” are egomaniacal little sociopaths?

    Why, you could knock me down with a feather.

  15. “Hopefully she would have been a belieber”

    “…or hey, if not, she can still go die in a Nazi concentration camp. Whatever!”

    I personally think that is one of the most awesome things a celebrity has ever said. Its just too good. For the rest of his life, people who interview him should be like, “so…. Hellen Keller = Belieber? How about this starving Somali from Live Aid in 1985? TOTALLY a Belieber? How about this ditch full of Cambodians executed by Pol Pot??….”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.