Sympathy For The Devil by Paul Featherstone

Justin Bieber. The name alone stirs feelings in most people.

If you’re a teenage girl its probably a verging-on-the-unhealthy positive reaction, to put it mildly. If you’re everyone else? Well…..

It was intriguing to say the least when Bieber visited the UK last month. It was like a social experiment on whether one of the world’s biggest stars could cope with the daily spotlight normally afforded to the likes of Amy Childs or Jodie Marsh.

Bieber of course didn’t cope too well. Lord only knows how he would have reacted if someone had got an up-skirt shot of him? Watching a burly cockney call him a “fucking little prick” was a guilty joy for me. We may have lost all the psycho’s at football grounds, but our paps were still flying the flag of picking fights with people who had the gall to be born anywhere but our tiny island.

It topped off a tour where he was seen out wearing two watches so he wouldn’t be late. A system devised if you break it down, on the basis that a glance at the wrong wrist, would lead him to believe the laws of time had failed to exist anymore.

These laws did fail to exist at the O2 arena, where he was late by nearly two hours. As his fans haven’t been to a Guns N Roses gig before, it didn’t go down well and teary eyed teenage girls were led home to catch the last bus. Presumably with their finger nails deeply driven into the chairs they were dragged out of.

Those army of fans, and it is an army, call themselves “Beliebers”. A cult for our modern times, they even took to Twitter posting photos of themselves self harming to stop him smoking weed. Rolling Stones fans they are not. Bordering on the dangerous they may be, however. Threatening anyone who opposes Bieber with devastating consequences, a career in Pyongyang, North Korea awaits everyone of them.

Most people can’t even name a Bieber song here too. He has never had a Number One single, with most failing to trouble the top twenty. His fans may be loyal, but they sure don’t care about stealing his music.

So why is he such big news, ingrained on the collective consciousness? The answer seems to be that he inspires such vitriol and nothing keeps you in the headlines like people wanting your head on a spike. Fuck me, half the celebrities on reality shows fill their fridge on the principle.

And yet, and yet……I kind of like having him around, and for one reason only. He’s clearly going down the bonkers pop star route. We haven’t had one since Jackson “Night Nursed” himself to death, despite the tiresome efforts of Lady Gaga.

People are so disenfranchised with the charts because the mainstay of them, Pop, has become boring. No oxygen tanks, no Elephant Man bones, nothing. Many think Bieber is a car crash waiting to happen, much like Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. Maybe he is, but I hope it’s just a sign of things to come.

I welcome the madness. I would have flourished in Vietnam. The last two stories I heard about Bieber are a) that he got stopped with a pet monkey at a German airport, so he just left it there. Just left it. Like sandshoes he didn’t have baggage allowance for. Then b) he illegally tattooed his friend.

The biggest rock bands in the world sure as shit aren’t doing any of this, or if they are, they have really great PR people keeping it quiet. Like the bassist for a really famous band, with really good lawyers, who I saw doing Coke with his own specially made glass straw in the toilets of the NME awards.

So for the time being I’m pinning my hopes on Bieber being the next Bobby Brown or Michael Jackson. It’s a slim hope, but maybe Pop needs him more than it likes to admit. If he can rip open the sterile shrink wrap around it, maybe he may just become interesting enough for people to like him.

I may even follow him on Twitter. If you hear about me planning a Sarin gas attack on a Japanese subway in his name, you know this is where I joined the cult.


Paul FeatherstonePaul Featherstone is 31 years old and lives in Hull. Most people call him “Fev.” He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of football and music and uses the word “c*nt” far too much in everyday conversation. He spends a lot of his time blagging his way into celebrity parties. He is to be commended for once meeting Jo Whiley and refraining from beating her to death with a big stick. You can read more of his vitirolic comments on


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