I’m just going to put it out there, I don’t like that Bieber fellow. Frankly his decision to never come back to the UK makes me want to smear myself in Shepherds pie and wave a Union flag on the white cliffs of Dover in the biggest show of British victory since Colonel Archibald Featheringstonehaugh III famously drove a double-decker bus through Napoleon’s living room stopping only to let his bulldog Agincourt defecate in the Emporer’s favourite slippers.
But there was one incident this week that made me feel for the annoying little tyke. I don’t know whether you’ve seen this video: http://goo.gl/msUR8 (I’m going to assume you have now). It seems Bieber was exiting his hotel after, frankly a disastrous spell in the UK, when some paparazzi photographers took umbrage at his minders getting in the way of their cameras.
Now you’ve seen the video, watch it again. But first, try and forget everything you know (hate) about Bieber and look on him as what he is, a teenager and a human being (just). What we actually have here, is two men who look like they moonlight as hired goons from a third rate gangster film, abusing, swearing at and threatening a teenage boy. Why? Do they have an ethical problem with the corporate nature of his music? Did they spend hundreds of pounds for their pre-teen daughter to go to his show just to have him saunter on stage when he bloody well feels like it? No, they do it because the teenage boy tried to avoid the cameras shoved in his face.
Yes, the photographers (and I use that in the loosest possible sense) had probably been stood there for sometime. Yes it’s their job to take photos of celebrities. But they chose that job and since most paparazzi are freelancers nobody asked them to do it. They stalk celebrities and take photos in the hope some sub-toilet paper magazine will buy them like bent Victorian doctors bought scavenged body parts.
I can only assume that the photographer who was telling Bieber to “lose the fuckin’ bouncers” was resentful of the popstar’s fame having just been told that even in 21st century Britain looking like Phil Mitchell is not enough to guarantee you a spot on “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” (not yet anyway).
In my humble (yeah, right) opinion, paparazzi are some of the worst people in society. They’re somewhere between the coalition and personal injury lawyers.
There’s one thing I’ve always wanted to know about the paparazzi. Why is it if a man were to hide in the bushes and take pictures of topless women (while, I can only assume, laughing so lecherously he makes Sid James look like Germaine Greer) he would be arrested and put on the sex-offenders register (quite rightly) but if the woman is famous and he’s intending on selling said photos to a magazine for public display and his own financial gain it’s journalism?
That’s not a rhetorical question either, I actually want to know. I’ve heard some “people” (because filth is such an ugly word) defend it as being in the public interest. Exposing political corruption is in the public interest. Reporting on the state of the economy is in the public interest. News about medical breakthroughs are in the public interest. Photographs of celebrity’s boobs, however interesting they may be, are not in the public interest. Unless they are magic boobs that can somehow predict a forthcoming catastrophes. (Seriously, Google “Queen Victoria Wall Street Crash”.)
I can’t put the blame solely on the shoulders of the “paps” though. If people didn’t buy rags like Heat and OK and other such contemptible, mononymed publications there wouldn’t be anyone to sell the pictures to and these scavengers wouldn’t have jobs. I mean if you will insist on living in a toilet you can’t complain when someone urinates on your head. (I think that’s probably the worst metaphor I’ve ever created.)
I don’t really understand why people want to see endless streams of photographs of celebrities either. “Oh my god, look at *insert actor* going to the shops!” “Look at *insert musician* walking around, just like a normal person!” I don’t know if everyone gets this, but it’s like when someone you only usually see in one place, school/work/your support group, tells you they saw you the other day. As if your existence outside of the usual meeting place is worthy of note. “I saw you in the highstreet the other day, I thought it was strange because I assumed you got packed away at the end of the day in the cupboard with the art supplies.
In the Bieber case though, I think one of the worst parts of it is that so many of the videos on the internet are titled things like “Angsty popstar lashes out at photographer” totally neglecting the fact that said “angsty popstar” had just repeatedly been called a “fucking prick” by a total stranger. Now whether or not you (or I) think that’s a pretty good summary of the popstar in question is beside the point. Most people are going to be a little peeved when subjected to it.
Ok so celebrities (I really hate that word) should, for all their money and influence, just man-up and take a side order of abuse with their steaming bowl of adoration. I’ve been called a lot worse than that and it wasn’t while I was sat on a huge pile of money and diamond encrusted peacock burgers.
But still, they don’t really owe us anything. I know it’s a cliché but we create monsters and then despise and try to destroy them in a fashion that would make Mary Shelley give up writing and look for a career in spray tanning.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and give myself 30 lashes and dowse myself in vinegar for expressing sympathy for the already too often mentioned pop-weasel.