When “news” broke that Justin Bieber has the most twitter followers in the world, over 33 million in fact, I couldn’t have been more apathetic towards any piece of information that could possibly exist, now or ever.
Then something happened. Like from Inception, out of nowhere the seedling of an idea was supplanted in my brain and it began to grow. And grow. And.
And it won’t go away.
33 MILLION FUCKING PEOPLE CARE about what this man child has to say. That’s more than 10 percent of the U.S population. It also doesn’t even account for the other millions, or potentially billions, of people that for one reason or another don’t follow him on Twitter but hear about his every bowel movement through media pollution (this blog is not immune), gossip and rumor. Or, if not that, they have heard the public, amplified sounds layered on top of his harmonious voice which some people have classified as music. Love him or hate him, its a phenomenal feat. Good for you, JB. No ill will, I swear it.
So. It is an undeniable, observational fact that Justin Bieber has a profound amount of influence in our current day in age, a day in age that has rapidly expanded humanity’s ability to communicate and connect across the world. Poof. Just like that. In an instant, boundaries are breaking. We, as in humanity on earth, are building our own digital Tower of Babel and unifying under a singular language of symbols: hashtags, at signs, acronyms, exclamations, imagery, et.al. (@Babel #lol)
Now let’s backtrack for a moment. My Judeo-Christian upbringing, with sprinklings of Catholic, Islam and even Agnosticism, has socialized me among a variety of philosophical ideologies, and given me an informed perspective of a lot of things, I think. Not in any authoritative way, but just as a personal lens to analyze culture with some degree of potency. I don’t classify myself to any label because none of it appeals to me. I prefer neutrality and objectivity. I am, I suppose, open to all possibilities and paradigms. For instance, I think it’s really cute that some have claimed to discovered Noah’s Ark and perhaps apart of me wants it to be true. Only because truth is better than fiction.
So when the Mayan Apocalypse didn’t actually happen in December of 2012, I think it ruffled a lot of non-indigenous feathers. Mainly hipsters. In fact, there have been so many false starts for the End Times and the Rapture over the decades, we grow weary of such claims. But there is also the strong Christian contingent of Biblical literalists that aren’t looking for blood and hellfire. There are some who are quietly awaiting the second coming of Christ to take an escalator down from heaven. And if some people have to die in the process, so be it – it would make a really great episode of Dirty Jobs. But if He did impart on the world in its current form, what would He look like, be like? How could He unify us?
So what if Justin Bieber, or someone like Bieber, were Jesus Christ, incarnate?
Before you get angry and call me a blasphemous bastard, just listen for a moment. Let’s set aside some of the superficial parallels, just to get those out of the way. They were both born from young, struggling mothers who were beacons of inspiration throughout their life’s path. They’re both young men with intrinsic talents, manifested at a very early age. The both contain the propensity to captivate an audience. They are both given a platform to extend their worldview and draw a motley crew of followers, followers that both bring purpose to their life’s work, yet also allow the ruling and authoritative structures to dismiss their influence and credibility. They both contain the magnetism to deliver powerful opinion and, well, give reason to their fame. And lets not forget how close the initials are.
So if Jesus Christ were to actually return to the 21st century, he would need to do so in a culturally relevant way, and in a way that speaks to a global audience in a language of unity. He would need to be a daft communicator that could navigate the sea-change and inspire within the rules of a new culture. The Miracle, as He has come to know, has given way to technology and engineering. It has given way to NASA, “the cloud,” Adobe CS products, illusionists and magicians, eastern and western medicine. The New Jesus would need to change the world with a You Tube video, with a kick-ass Instagram feed and a compelling brand story.
So given God’s influence as we have historically come to understand it, at any moment Divine Inspiration could shake the hair gel out of Bieber’s highlighted locks overnight. He could take his 33 million (and growing) fan base and turn it all around in an instant. He could be the conduit to a greater message delivered via satellite direct from Heaven’s Gate.
Then would you truly Bielibe?
- Where: San Francisco
- Weather: Foggy, cool. Highs – low 60s.
- Consumed: 1 cup strong coffee, french press
- Mood: Calm, quiet
- Extenuating circumstances: Insomnia. Will continue to deny following Justin Bieber on Twitter.