Maybe Means Probably Not
I never wanted to like Justin Bieber. This general inclination stretches back to my own tween and teen years, back when the Go-Gos and then Madonna hit the scene.
It wasn’t so much the music I minded. It was the hair. The hair, and in Madonna’s case, the visible underwear. I know this is no way to judge a pop star. But we all have our quirks.
So, Justin Bieber. I really, really do not understand the hair. It looks like a hat made of melting daisy.
Someday, I’d like to sit his hair down in a room with Jon Bon Jovi’s old hair and let them have a conversation at a nice restaurant about stardom and regrets and where hair plays into that. And I will remind them to tip the hair of the Flock of Seagulls guy, who is probably their server for the evening.
My point is simply this: Justin Bieber’s hairdo. Not great.
But I am finding myself really liking Justin Bieber. Loving him, actually. Not for his music, but for his parenting technique.
A few weeks ago, a boy named Kevin Kristopik—who is going to be a high school sophomore and should know better—hacked into the Facebook page of one of Justin Bieber’s friends. Kevin did this with his mother’s knowledge.
She told a Detroit newspaper columnist, “He'd say, 'Oh, I've been trying to figure out Justin Bieber's phone number.' I didn't really get all worked up about it. We were just joking around by the campfire.”
Apparently, it was a long joke or a really slow-burning campfire. With his mom’s knowledge, he apparently spent days trying to guess the password. At last, he did. Then, for several weeks, he sent Justin Bieber text messages. As many as 10 per day.
Justin Bieber (and his hair, ostensibly) asked Kevin to stop. But Kevin kept sending text messages. Finally, Justin shared Kevin’s number on Twitter. Something like 30,000 people called in two days—including several calls from national news media.
Kevin was apparently scared by all of the attention, his mother told the columnist. What he did was wrong, she said. But “he could have sold the number or given it out.”
This is a little bit like saying that it was wrong of Kevin to punch his playmate in the stomach. But at least he didn’t hit him in the face. Whatever happened to unqualified admissions of guilt? Apologies without strings?
Something like this: “My son was wrong to break into a Facebook account, steal a phone number, and use it to harass someone repeatedly for weeks. I was wrong not to stop him when he first said he planned to do this. We have learned a painful lesson and we apologize sincerely to Justin Bieber.”
Apparently we are supposed to feel sympathy for Kevin because he pays for his own cell phone bill by mowing the lawn and doing chores.
It’s sort of sad, actually. Kevin lost his phone this spring because he got bad grades, something that affects him and him alone. He got it back because he aced a summer computer course (apparently in hacking).
But he won’t lose his phone for breaking into someone’s Facebook account, stealing a phone number, and using it to harass someone. No, he just got a new phone number.
If there’s one bit of cheer in this whole story, it’s knowing that the best parent in it is Justin Bieber.
The son of a single, teenage mother who taught himself how to sing and play several musical instruments, Justin asked Kevin to stop harassing him. When Kevin wouldn’t stop, he gave him consequences. Big ones.
I might not like Justin Bieber’s hairstyle. But when it comes to the style that matters, I’m a fan.
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