Justin Bieber Gets Weird In Interview, Compares Tacos To Christianity
What is it about Justin Bieber, is a question I frequently find myself asking. It’s not that he’s particularly talented (although he is, in his way), or charming, or handsome, or funny, or smart, and unlike most of his fandom, I wasn’t swept away by the boy-wonder who cried “Baby.” In fact, I thought it was pretty annoying.
My fascination with Justin Bieber began with the song “Boyfriend”, picked up speed with “All That Matters” and “Confident”, and before I knew it, I was waking up at eight in the morning for the sole purpose of listening to “What Do You Mean.”
I like to think I’m not alone in all of this, and yesterday Complex gave me hope that I wans’t. Picking up on the overall sense of confusion that surrounds most adult fascination of the Biebs, yesterday the magazine released a very odd, and very quotable interview with the 21-year-old pop star caught somewhere between sagacity and idiocy.
It all starts with the image of Justin Bieber submerged in water, struggling to escape from the chains that bind him. Complex wants this to mean something to you, and even the dimmest bulbs among us can’t help but be hit over the head with the magazine’s not-so-subtle way of reminding us just how much Justin Bieber has struggled to escape both his good boy and his bad boy pasts.
While you have to hand it to Complex for their commitment to metaphor, the pictures are weird and their over-abundance of sincerity and gravity is enough to make you start laughing, even before you get to the interview portion of the article.
Even before we get a chance to hear from Bieber himself, Skrillex rears his asymetrical head. Apparently, Skrillex has a lot to teach us about the Bieber, namely that he’s “hypercompetitive” and “good at everything.” It will surprise nobody to learn that Justin Bieber went on to say, “growing up, I literally got my identity through being good at stuff. I always wanted to be the best because I felt that’s how I got my self-worth,” adding that “I think that also got me in trouble when I was young, because people don’t like when people are good at stuff. They just hate on it, and that has a lot to do with my hate in general.”
Actually, many would argue that their hate towards Justin Bieber doesn’t originate from the stuff he’s so good at, but what he’s so bad at: namely, using tact. Throughout the rest of the interview’s first act, Justin Bieber goes on to say he’s “not really a fan of what’s going on right now in music,” going on to insinuate that only him and his crew (aka Skrillex and Diplo) know how to make dance music “the right way.”
While you can hardly fault Bieber for his confidence, it’s easy to see where the hate comes in. Justin Bieber reminds me of myself when I was twenty-one, only dialed up to a 20. Back then, I thought I had all the answers. I thought I knew the right direction for pop culture to move in – what was missing from art, and how to correct that. I did. In a much larger sense, maybe the root of our collective hatred towards Justin Bieber is that not only does he remind us of the spark we all used to have, but we can see how absolutely hollow his perception really is. When you’re 21, you think you’re grown. Even three years into the future, you see how much of a baby you still were.
In act two, Justin Bieber addresses his rebellious times, insisiting “I was doing anything. I was doing so many things that I shouldn’t even be on the planet still,” not that he’s appologizing, or anything. “It’s been a cool journey, an awesome learning experience. I wouldn’t take back anything. I wouldn’t do anything over again. I would do it all the same way.” Reminder, this “cool journey” of his included spending 24 hours in jail, which Bieber describes as “cold” and “uncomfortable” but possible to endure thanks to the support of his his fellow “cats” who would encourage him on by telling him, “Bieber! We f*ck with you, bro!”
And then, unsurprisingly, the subject turns to religion. If you’ve been paying attention to Justin Bieber on social media, you know God has been playing a larger part in the young man’s life, but hearing him talk about what religion means to him is a little confusing
To start things off, you should probably know that Justin doesn’t really consider himself religious. Yes he believes that Jesus Christ is his salvation, and repeatedly calls himself a Christian, but just like many feminists, he shrinks back from the label’s unsavory reputation. Still, he honestly wants to “live like Jesus. Not be Jesus – I could never,” adding that “sometimes when I don’t feel like doing something, but I know it’s right, I remember, I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don’t have to feel what we should have to feel.”
Earlier on in that same paragraph he wrestles with the ancient debate over science v. religion by sharing a parable of his own: “Imagine putting a bunch of gold into a box, shaking up the box, and out comes a Rolex.” I assure you Justin, most of us can’t imagine this. Justin later goes on to compare having an “awesome, bomb girlfriend” with “God” (“I’m gonna wanna show her off and go around and tell people my girl is the sh*t”) and insists that “you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.”
He has a point.
However, in a larger sense, he doesn’t, quite. Overall, the problem is that this interview is trying to sell us an image of Justin Bieber as an older, wiser, more grounded man, but he comes off as just as childish before, albeit with a different focus. As a 21-year-old, his ideas about life, love, and religion are half-baked, and it’s painful to watch, because it reminds us all of who we used to be, in both the worst and best possible ways. Still, it makes for one hell of a read.