Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Justin Bieber and The GRAMMYs

I've watched, with amusement and not a little chagrin the actions of supposed Justin Bieber fans this week in response to his not-so-shocking loss of the Best New Artist award to Esperanza Spalding at Sunday night''s GRAMMY Awards.  Being a fan of music is about connecting with an artist or song, not about abject hatred of anything you don't understand.  The actions of those who chose to debase Spalding's wikipedia page and post other hateful things about her at various hotspots around the internet are truly reprehensible and reflect some of the darkest aspects of human nature.

While it's acknowledged that the propagators are mostly young (tween and teen girls), the utter viciousness of the attacks gives pause, especially considering that all the hoopla is about an award show that's generally more about publicity and whose label conducts the better PR campaign to GRAMMY voters than it is about musical talent.  I'll openly acknowledge that we received Spalding's album here last year and chose not to review it.  Spalding has an unusual take on songwriting that is perhaps more heralded for the fact that it's different as for anything else, but is probably an acquired taste.  This is the great thing about music; different people like different things.  I can respect what Spalding does even if I don't personally like it.  The same goes (marginally) for Justin Bieber.  I understand where the music comes from.  I think it's cynically manipulative of teen and tween hormones and that his popularity is based more on young hormones than anything remotely musical, but to each their own.

Nevertheless, it would be great to hear Bieber address this weeks internet tantrums with his fans.  I doubt it will happen, but it would speak well of the artist.