I have never been one for celebrity gossip. I sort of “keep up” with it by looking over the racks as I check out of the grocery store. Truthfully, if I wasn’t in youth ministry or the parent of teens I don’t know if I would care.
In the last year it has appeared that Justin Bieber has been a train wreck. He had some crazy antics with a monkey in public. A friend of mine told me he had been “spotted in a church, breaking down as He rededicated his life to the Lord.” I never followed up on the truthfulness of the story and thought briefly, “I hope it’s true.” Then all of a sudden the announcement was made that he was “retiring” at 19, egging his neighbors house, and of course, his smiling mug shot made the news this past Thursday. Truthfully, it made me sad.
My husband and I got into a discussion today about whether or not it’s fair to ask children and teens to bear the weight of the spotlight. We are a country fascinated with voyeurism. Reality television, entertainment news, social media and the Internet give us the illusion we know people we will never actually meet. Young teens are put out in the public eye and expected to be able to handle it. I am almost middle-aged and don’t know if I could.
Then earlier today a friend of mine posted this article from NPR:
“We are well aware that news outlets, websites and social media seem to be obsessed with the news that pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach early Thursday morning.
According to the Miami Herald, he’s been charged with “DUI, resisting arrest and drag-racing.” The Herald adds that:
“When stopped by police in his yellow Lamborghini, Bieber barraged officers with a string of F-bombs, babbled incoherently, refused to get out of his car and, when he finally stepped out, declined to take his hands out of his pockets, according to the police report.”
We’re not going to join in the piling on or joking about the 19-year-old Bieber’s increasingly notorious behavior.
Instead, we suggest you watch this video from 2007 when The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson talked about why he was not going to joke about another young pop star’s much-publicized problems. Ferguson, an alcoholic, spoke from the heart about how he was feeling “uncomfortable about making fun of these people” — troubled stars such as Britney Spears.
“We shouldn’t be attacking the vulnerable people,” Ferguson said. As he pointed out, celebrity Anna Nicole Smith died of a drug overdose. So did pop superstar Michael Jackson. Both had been the objects of endless fascination and jokes.
They need help, not ridicule, said Ferguson.”
(Read the rest of the story and see the Craig Ferguson video HERE)
In the 12-minute video, Craig Ferguson tells his story of alcoholism and admits at his lowest point he contemplated suicide. It’s so easy to point fingers or even shake our heads at the likes of the Miley Cyrus’ and Justin Bieber’s of the world. It’s a given that we shouldn’t poke fun at them, or is it?
Should we feel sorry for them?
Should we be praying?
Should we care at all?
When it comes to the teens in our lives. Do we use these lives as examples of choices NOT to make?
What do you think?