Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't leave it to Bieber


Jim Morrison - picture by Pablo Flores
Licensed for use - Wikimedia, Creative Commons


In middle age, you expect to be shocked by young people. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But I'm afraid Justin Bieber has gone too far. You simply cannot advise fans to obey police instructions. That's just irresponsible. It's downright disloyal and undermines the very fabric of civilisation. Where would we be now if Spartacus had carried out his chores without a grumble or Robin Hood had filed his tax return in good time?

The trouble began with a promised marathon performance in Sydney of three songs by the pop poppet who makes Donny Osmond look like Snoop Dogg. It was organised by a commercial TV breakfast programme and was due to take place at muesli time. A pop star who can function during daylight hours is cause for suspicion but one who is up before breakfast without having spent the night in a bordello? It's surreal. And then he arrives early? That can't even be legal, surely. Anyway, this bizarre set of circumstances seems to have sparked some quite vigorous bouncing up and down by several thousand pre-teens. And then the unthinkable happened - an entire division of pink Consort-cladded girls clutching little pink hearts shunted forward and public order disintegrated. The police cancelled the next fifteen minutes and Bieber himself told the girls to do what the police said and go home. I'm shuddering even now.

Did the misguided exuberance of a few girls really have the potential to spark a citywide outbreak of civil chaos circa Paris 1968? I don't think the students had brought their parents with them to that! Do these kids not know anything? Adults panic. Never let them near anything you are doing. We managed to have three-day music festivals involving bad behaviour that historians are still struggling to fully document without drawing attention to ourselves on this level. But then we weren't daft enough to alert the moral crusaders of the dawn airwaves to our plans, much less allow them to take charge of actually organising our entertainment. Are these kids insane? No wonder pandemonium ensued. With the whole city of Sydney still in turmoil it's difficult to get confirmation but I hear that when the postman showed up on his moped, the police tear-gassed him, believing him to be a Hell's Angels hitman.

It's all changed a lot since my day, when we had genuinely heroic adolescent role models, who largely kept their promise to die before they got old. You want adventurous stars you can respect for their audacity and whose graves you can visit. Not ones who are likely to show up as your local pastor a few years down the line. They're supposed to take lots of drugs, display their bits and set fire to things, not behave like internal auditors. Think of Jim Morrison - the icon's icon - getting his dick out at the drop of a zip and expiring in Paris, yes Paris. Puccini couldn't have written him better. Think of Jimi Hendrix. What that man could do with a Stratocaster and some lighter fluid warms my heart still. Think of Janis Joplin - her signature Southern Comfort bottle and psychedelic Porsche. I drank Southern Comfort for years, even though I didn't really like it out of deference to Janis. Think of Keith Moon trashing drum kits and dynamiting hotel toilets. They just don't make them like that anymore.

I can't bear to speculate on what will happen to the youth of today with all these frightful examples being set them and only Britney doing anything even vaguely shadowy. I can imagine being shopped to the authorities in my old age for having an overdue library book or parking my mobility scooter in the wrong zone or putting the wrong kind of plastic in a recycle bin. I fear for the future. But all might not be lost. A dinky-di hell-raiser has arrived on the scene. What a stroke of luck. There are so few of them left. Guns N' Roses bad fairy Slash has offered to lead the Bieber boy astray. Hallelujah. My dotage may yet be saved from the terror of mass compliance. Oh, and Slash, see if you can't get him to drive an electric car into a swimming pool. There's a good chap...