Breaking Bieber

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In a court room before a judge the famous man stands in an orange prison jumpsuit.  Cameras flash and pop as the piranhas of the “entertainment” business catch their daily scoop which will be read and seen by millions across the world.  The man looks disheveled, unshaven and in his eyes appears to look like a cornered animal.  The judge asks him if he has anything to say and for a few moments it looks as if he might remain silent as this moment of great embarrassment seems to linger on for what seems like hours.  Finally he coughs and clears his throat and then admits his guilt, “please, don’t send me to jail, I’m an addict and I am so sorry… It’s like I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth, my finger on the trigger and I like the taste of gun metal.”  

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These words weren’t spoken by Justin Bieber in his recent court appearance in Miami, nor were they the words of troubled actor turned director Shia Labeouf.

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 These were the words of famous current A-lister Actor Robert Downey Jr in 1999 when we was sentenced to jail.    He could have easily died from his addiction like Actor Philip Seymor Hoffman did this past weekend (which is horribly sad in and of itself!). 

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His life was in ruins and he knew it.  He was fighting to stay out of jail but worse he had demons of addiction attempting to break down the doors.  

Justin Bieber hasn’t risen yet to the raucous, embarrassing spectacle that was Charlie Sheen, but honestly, the never ending slew of one-liner jokes and national punch lines aren’t helping.  The 19 year old,  who is still two years away from being a legal adult (drinking age in the US) is seemingly the butt of every joke.  I cannot begin to imagine the stress that he is under night in and night out to perform at the level his fans around the world are used to seeing.  

Some might remember me slamming Miley Cyrus for her actions in recent months, and I am certainly not condoning or excusing  Bieber for his drunken drag racing incident recently or his near fist-a-cuffs with a reporter…these actions are inexcusable.  But what I am suggesting is that if people like Bieber are going to survive the next five years of their lives then the carrion culture who places such stars on pedestals and then lights the pedestal on fire needs to end.  I’ve slammed production companies and talent scouts who prey on young families of would be television stardom before, but I can’t stress it enough that the parents of out-of-control stars need to step up and set their child straight.  

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The pressures must be immense at these levels, I can’t even begin to imagine…but we the public also have a role to play in this.  Sometimes I think we’re like circling vultures who are avidly watching a hurting/dying animal below.  We’re just waiting for the shine to wear off and for the dying animal to keel over.  We’re so blood thirsty at times for the next juicy tidbit of gossip all the while we have celebrity death pool picks online to guess which star is going to self-destruct next.  

Call me a naive fool, but I can’t help but think that our ever increasing fascination with stardom is killing people.  It’s easy to tell or listen to the next Justin Bieber joke (I’m guilty of this, I admit it)…he’s an easy target, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy too.  He’s become the next Michael Jackson of ridicule and idiocy.  

As a Christ-follower I see people like Bieber and many others and I see pain.  I see that despite all of the accolades and fame these are people who have lost or are losing their true identity to a world-wide marketing image of what they should be.  We can continue to rail against clothing designers (big fortune 500 names) who have forced or fired models because they want them thinner, but we forget that the same kind of image market drives teen stars and celebrities.  We forget that these are people too, not just objects of our hopes for the next big movie block buster or platinum album.  

I’m just sick of watching these actors and musicians self-destruct while we watch hungrily from our self-made Roman Coliseums also known as our living rooms.  If God made everyone of us in His image, this means he loves every single person on this planet.  He loves the super star and He loves the common person just the same.  Life is precious, and I’m tired of seeing it devalued day after day coupled with the plight of addictions and worldly pressures.  

I pray for people like Justin Bieber…seriously I do.  I pray for people like Miley Cyrus, and Lindsey Lohan, and Shia Labeouf…and so many more just like them.  I pray answers may be found for each of them.  That they never lose their true identities in the midst of public spectacles and courting fame. Most importantly I pray for Salvation and Restoration in their lives by the One living source of all Hope, Glory, Peace, Love and Healing – Jesus Christ Himself!

 I’m tired of reading about the latest teen sensation or child-turned-adult-actor who has committed suicide or died of a supposed overdose.  

Give em a brake, pray for them, and perhaps something amazing will take place because of it.  

-Just a thought.   

 

Robin…about these Blurred Lines…where have all the Gentlemen gone?

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I was criticized yesterday for writing specifically about Miley Cyrus and not even mentioning Robin Thicke, who also displayed deplorable acts on stage recently during the VMA’s that left many heads shaking…it was most definitely not a PG rated performance on national television.   I haven’t intentionally given him a pass by any means.   Let me just say this directly: Robin you are no better than your female counter parts…in fact you may be worse.  Your womanizing ways are impressing upon young men around the world and in effect saying that it’s okay to objectify women and act like a dog on and off stage.  Your persona exploits women and sexualizes them as mere objects instead of people.  This whole ‘sexual shock pop’ is undoubtedly about making money.  But again the message you’re sending to guys out there is that this is how women wish to be treated. You’re selling sex to make money, it’s not a new ploy, but it truly is a bottom-feeding business.

In 2012 over 25% (http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/famsoc1.asp) of all American kids were being brought up in a single family household…why do I mention this? Because only 1% of that statistics represents single fathers, the rest are single mothers trying to bring up their children as best they can.  Some were unwed while others because of Divorce, but there is a growing demographic of young men out there that thinks it’s okay to sleep around, get women pregnant and then bail.  Why would that be?  Some of it can be directly attributed to guys like you who prance on performing stages and sing about the next women you’re going to sleep with.  Bill Cosby, actor and Doctor of Education even rails against this issue within the African American community…but it’s not just an African American issue, it’s a cultural issue.

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This country has lost its Gentlemen, men who respect women.  Men who know how to treat a woman.  This country needs less Robin Thickes’ and more guy willing to man-up, step up and take responsibility.  The crude remarks, the condescending humor, the sexist attitudes…it isn’t improving matters, it’s making them worse.  Robin, have some common decency…although I doubt anyone will read this, It’s solely my opinion…and since it’s still a free country I will share that with you.

Some have suggested that we pray for you and others in the entertainment industry.   I do.  I really do.  I don’t say it like someone does in a casual conversation as they walk down the hallway, ‘well I’ll pray for you’, I really will pray for you.  I will pray for Miley too.  I cannot imagine the stress artists like you are under to perform…that doesn’t take you off the hook for acting like a dog, but I can’t imagine.  I don’t pretend to have all of the answers for any of you.  And as someone rightly said, it’s the parents job to teach their children how to live.  I for one am focused first and foremost on my kids.  I’m concerned how this whole media circus effects kids, but my kids won’t be subjected to this garbage.  I plan on raising my kids better than that.  But I know that there are kids out there who don’t have parents who either know better or who care what they watch, read and listen to.  I’m concerned about those kids too.  They’re vulnerable.  They’re susceptible to these lies that you’re selling.  It’s like a drug to the mind, ear candy that holds no nutrition to grow and mature with.

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For the Guys: 

Guys, don’t look up to Dogs like this.  I don’t wish to be mean to either Miley or Robin here…but their actions make them dogs on stage.  Don’t be a dog.  Treat women with respect that they deserve.  They aren’t objects.  They aren’t pieces of meat on display.  Don’t buy the lie that musciains like Mr. Thicke are selling.  We need more gentleman in this world.  We need guys who will step up and be role models, who will set a good example for others to follow.  Who won’t be led by their lusts.  Who will think with their brains instead of their pants.  It doesn’t take much to be dude or a dog…but it takes guts to be a gentleman.  Be modest.  It takes brains to act like a man…a real man.  Show some respect, and step up.

For the Girls:

Don’t just fall for the first guy you see.  Don’t be pressured to be someone you’re not or pressured into sexual activity prematurely.  Be modest.  Don’t buy the lie about what you should wear or how skinny you need to be. Or have any kind of body image issue because of what the entertainment industry is telling you.  Don’t be swayed by the dogs of this world.  Have some self-respect for yourself, some self-confidence…you are an important creation of God!  You were created individually unique so don’t let some guy tell you who you are or how you should act or live.

Parents: 

Step up to the plate.  Filter what your kids are watching.  Filter what your kids are listening to.  Have conversations about this stuff.  Be a parent, not a friend.  They are your kids, raise them right!  Proverbs 22:6 says: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

About my last article: https://scottstrissel.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/miley-you-make-me-sick/

It was initially called ‘Miley…you make me sick’ and I changed it to ‘Miley…please stop’.  Let me clarify, I’m not sick about people in general I’m sick of the actions of people.  Male or female, either and both.  I see celebrities and musicians who have so much potential and yet they settle for this ‘shock’ garbage…and it makes me sick.  I’m a parent of four kids, they’re my kids and my responsibility to raise and I won’t subject them to this junk.  I spoke rather harshly yesterday, I recognize that…it’s not place to judge but I am passionate about this for two reasons, 1) my kids and what media is trying to sell them, & 2) other kids, guys and girls who either don’t know better or have parents who don’t care enough or know enough to teach them right.  My issue isn’t solely with these two individuals that I named but, they are just at the forefront right now…the poster children, so to speak.

Sincerely, just another concerned Dad.

Miley…please stop!

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I don’t mean to be rude or hurtful today, that’s not my intention. What I mean by that is this: Miley Cyrus…please stop! I think it’s safe to say that there are so many fathers out there shaking their heads in disgust. Is this what we want our daughters to become? You started out as a Disney star…kids looked up to you. I taught Sunday school and there were little girls who wore your Hannah Montana t-shirts. They wanted to not only meet you, they wanted to be you.

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Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not healthy to want to be someone else, but when you’re on a public stage in this world, people will listen to you. People, specifically kids, will want to look up to you as a role model…and right now the life you’re modeling on stage makes me sick. It not only comes across as a desperate ploy to maintain a certain status and lifestyle, but it also comes across as extremely derogatory to the entire female gender. I don’t mean to sound hurtful, but your actions will have consequences and those consequences, like a ripple effect on a pond will impact the lives of many young impressionable girls in our world.

I know some could argue; “it’s her life let her live it the way she wants to“…rightly so, but at the same time how you conduct yourself and act on a stage like you did recently at the VMA’s is deplorable, and simply lacks musical substance and craves for any kind of public attention.

In this over-sexualized world in which we live, we need less Miley sex-shock rock and more female role models who have more respective for themselves and for their bodies. We need women who will show young impressionable girls how to conduct themselves in public and have respect for themselves. How to make decisions based on not what guys view them as physically but what will nurture and help them grow. As a father who has a daughter in my house, I want more female role models who will display at least some measure of modesty. As a father who has a daughter in my house, you certainly don’t meet those requirements of the type of female role model I ever want my daughter to look up to.

Here’s some advice, stop trying to be someone you’re not. Stop shocking the world with your antics…it’s the same tired old routine tried by many, many starlets and artists and it never ends well. Look around you, it may be your life but there are people watching and looking up to you. Find some self-respect.

-Just a thought.

Now I like this woman…she totally makes a valid point:

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