It’s been a big week or so in the multi-media world that is Bieberland, a place almost impossible to avoid for even casual popular culture tourists.
Boy Justin’s movie, “Never Say Never” is a hit and there’s talk of releasing a director’s cut with new footage while the original 3-D flick is still in theaters. He made a TV splash in prime time, starring in a “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” episode that featured his characters’ shooting death and looming large in absentia in a Bieber-themed “Glee” episode. He graced the cover of Rolling Stone (we learned he likes universal healthcare, dislikes abortion) and even won the MVP award in the NBA All-Star celebrity game.
After Bieber missed out on the Best New Artist Grammy, his loyal legion of teenybopper fans tried to rewrite history through some virtual vandalism of deserving winner Esperanza Spalding’s Wikipedia page.
But the images that may endure from this past week of 451 Fahrenheit-force Bieber fever come from parodies of his disturbing “CSI” death scene. He’s getting mashed-up online, with his bloody TV stint quickly morphing into a meme that gives him more in common, at least in this respect, with Rick (“Never Gonna Give You Up”) Astley than, say, pop-rival Lady Gaga.
Some of the spots are quite clever, particularly mash-ups with “JKF,” where Kevin Costner/Jim Garrison analyzes the shooting ala the Zapruder Film, and “Bonnie and Clyde,” where the “CSI” footage is interspersed with the ear-splitting, hyper-violent final scene. But as much as we like some of the videos, we’ll admit to some ambivalence. There is something a little unsettling about images of a 16-year-old pop idol getting gunned down– even if his handlers knew or should have known Internet spoofs would be coming.
It’s probably safe to say, though, that the parody videos probably won’t be making any new cut of “Never Say Never.” Check out some Bieber meme entries below, via Funny or Die:
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.