I've seen this around the internet several times over the past couple months, with varying captions to communicate the wretched pit of stupid that popular music has fallen into. Pretty much every time, my response is something along the lines of "Oh shut the heck up."
It's not that I think Justin Bieber is this great uber-god of music and that they are likely to be playing his greatest hits at Classical Music concerts 400 years down the road. I do, however, think it's completely unfair to compare him to Frank Sinatra.
Slide him up next to New Kids on The Block and he doesn't fare quite as badly. "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Hangin' Tough!"
The Bee-Gees? "Ah ah ah ah Stayin' Alive. Stayin' Alive."
Let's go back even further to the 50's. "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to!"
I'm not sure why it's an awful thing for some music to simply be... fun. While I'm sure it's entirely possible that young Mr Bieber considers himself a paragon of lyrical poetry, pop music in general is just supposed to be fun, and I'm not sure what's wrong with that.
"There is... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."
I think the same can be said of music. It comes in hundreds of different forms, and while I don't LIKE all of them, they're all good for something. I'm not sure why "just being fun" isn't a valid form of expression.
Maybe I'm just sensitive to this... not Justin Bieber in particular (though I do end up listening to a lot of him because my youngest daughter was a big fan for three years), but just this idea of musical bigotry and elitism.
For the last 4 1/2 years, I've been a big fan of Celtic Thunder. BIG. And okay yes. Sometimes maybe they're sort of like an Irish manband. But I don't really care, I LIKE them. Their music makes me happy. But, I can't tell you the number of times I've felt like I have to defend them because someone else thinks they're stupid.
I also developed a love for country music when we moved to Washington. There was a stretch of highway between here and my mom's house in Oregon that country music was the only radio station you could get (well okay, also one that plays Mexican polkas). At the time, the CD and cassette players in my van were also dead, so if I wanted any music (and I can't stay awake driving without it), country music it was! I found I liked it a lot. I loved the story that was embedded into country music, the real life.
Sure, sometimes there are dumb songs like "Red Solo Cup" (which annoys the pants off of me) or equally silly "Country Girl Shake It For Me" (which I love to bits). But there are far more that are pure, sweet, and heartfelt. I have often posted videos of songs onto my Facebook with notes like "I really like this song" or "This song means a lot to me" only to have people I'm friends with decide that "oh that sucks" or "I hate country music" is something that would be nice to say.
Justin Bieber went out of style here a couple years ago. He was no longer the "in" thing at school. And yet, my Alicia still went on liking him. At a parent-teacher conference, we were laughing about her devotion to her pop idol and her teacher asked me, "I know he isn't 'in' anymore... does she get teased about that?" I didn't know... but I loved that she continued liking Justin Bieber (and she did for two more years), not because he was the popular thing to like, but because she just earnestly liked him. That's awesome.
So, Mr Bieber... You go on making the music you make. My girls, you go on liking the music you like. And don't let anyone tell you that the things that make your heart go pitter-pat aren't okay.