Anybody wanna feel like a far-seeing fortune teller today? Read this new essay on Justin Bieber and use the benefit of hindsight to marvel at the irony of the quotes from his mom, Pattie Malette and his manager, Scooter Braun.
The piece appears on Vulture, and the quotes within it come from interviews that the author, Vanessa Grigoriadis, conducted three years ago, before Bieber began his troubling downward spiral. I’d tell you that the essay actually gave me a little insight into and sympathy for why Justin acts out the way he does, but that would wound my pride (plus we’d have to check the sky for flying pigs), so instead I’ll just point out the many instances that three years worth of hindsight make highly ironic:
1. When Scooter told us that his job description is essentially ‘parent’.
“Do I have to help Justin grow up, do I have to set boundaries, do I have to help him become a man? I think that’s 99 percent of my job.”
2. And that he warned Justin that the only way to kill his career was by making mistakes in his personal life.
“Justin is already talented—I can find records for him all day. No child star has ever lost as an adult because of their talent, ever. You can’t say, ‘Oh, their talent just disappeared when they hit 20.’ They always lose because of their personal life—drugs, alcohol—every single time. So I tell Justin, ‘The few exceptions just didn’t fall into that shit.’”
3. Justin told Scooter that he didn’t even want to be famous.
“Justin sat down and told me he didn’t like being famous.”
4. …and Scooter told him that if he played things right, he could have a career like Michael Jackson.
“[I said] we can do the teenage-pop-star thing with no long-term career plan, and we can ride this thing for a few years, and your career will be done—and I mean over—or we can stick to our current plan, which is following in the creative footsteps of Michael Jackson. But if you want the Michael Jackson career you have to grasp that you’re never going to be normal again.””
You’re telling me we had an opportunity for Justin’s career to be over and us to never hear from him again and we didn’t take it???
5. Justin felt like he could keep things under control.
“I can’t have normalcy in my life, but I don’t have to get crazy about it.”
6. His mom made a big deal about how different things would be when he turned eighteen.
“I hope I’ve instilled enough values in Justin that he makes the right choices.”
She told him once he passed that magic number, he wouldn’t have to go to school, or bring her along on tour with him…or follow rules anymore. And he listened! This all started pretty much the day he turned eighteen.
7. She was the one who first compared him to Britney Spears.
“Everyone goes through experimentation, whether in partying or another aspect of their life. They want to experience their own independence. And for Britney and some of the others, having to make those mistakes judged by the entire world [is hard].”
8. And she didn’t think he’d act out much, if at all.
“I don’t believe Justin will go down that road. And if he does, I think it would be short-lived.”
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a time machine more than I do in this moment.