Continuing my Blog The Alphabet theme
Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam and wrote in the guest book, "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber"
Cue the outrage.
"SELF-ABSORBED IDIOT" "MORON" "DOUCHEBAG" "SELF-CENTRED TWAT"
But then get the balanced version.
Bieber visited the museum for more than an hour, and was very interested in Anne Frank's story. It is reported that a guide at the museum had been explaining to Bieber that Anne was hugely into the pop culture of her time, and that if she had been a 15 year old girl (the age she died) who was alive today, she would have probably been a Justin Bieber fan, which may have prompted his comment.
Does that add a bit more context? It does for me.
Add to this the fact that a million 15 year old girls around the world who may have never heard of Anne Frank probably googled who she was. Half of them may look even further into her story, and half of them may be deeply moved by it. And maybe half of them will hold Anne's story in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
Look, I'm not a Bieber fan. He means nothing to me, I don't have an opinion one way or the other about him or his music. What he sings, says, thinks, or does has no bearing on my life whatsoever. My son couldn't care less about him and my daughter thinks he's a waste of space, so Bieber does not enter my world at all until the media and outraged social media users bring him in, uninvited.
Was his comment a bit dorky and clumsy? Yeah.
Was it a bit of an insensitive blunder? I guess so.
Was his heart in the right place but his words misplaced? Probably.
My kids are 20 and 18 and would probably say something equally dorky or self-centred in the same situation, either out of discomfort or as an attempt to lighten the mood, but it would not get reported around the world, picked to pieces, taken out of context and scrutinised. They would just get an elbow in the ribs and a private shellacking from me. But they're young, they'll grow, they'll learn. As will Bieber, who is 19. And we have to let him, without judgement.
At the end of the day, Justin Bieber is a kid who sings and dances.
Don't expect Mandela-type wisdom from him.
So settle down folks, there are far more important things happening than a Bieber Blunder.
B could have been for Boston Bombings.