Justin Bieber shotguns beer like an amateur, blames higher education

15 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Justin Bieber loses beer ‘shotgunning’ competition.

Shotgunning is a means of consuming a beverage, particularly beer, very quickly by punching a hole in the side of the can, near the bottom, placing the mouth over the hole, and pulling the tab to open the top.

As a Bieber buddy—black baseball cap, sunglasses—downs his beer with ease, the 21-year-old pop star in a park-ranger hat cocks his head at an awkward angle and sloppily, slowly slurps. “I lost,” Bieber’s caption says, “but I didn’t go to college.” It’s all too easy to see this scene as a symbol of Bieber in 2015, straining to prove himself as All Grown Up and not completely pulling it off. In a video posted to the 21-year-old Justin Bieber’s Instagram page, he was seen having a shotgunning contest with friend Sam Shahidi, who easily defeated him, People Magazine reports. That he would eventually struggle in this way has been part of Bieber’s narrative all along. “Naturally, none of this can last,” The Atlantic ’s James Parker wrote in a 2011 appraisal of the young Canadian. “His collision with biology can be postponed no longer.

The Biebs has been making an attempt to interrupt out of his Child bubble lately with the current launch of his mature music video for This have to be step two. Gravity, muscles, sag, paunch, depression, hair growing in the ears … All too soon, all too soon.” The same prophecies have been made about all child entertainers, of course, from those that those who managed lifelong stardom to those who disappeared into obscurity.

Perhaps that’s because, unlike with the most recent and famous example of post-teen male success, Justin Timberlake, Bieber’s story is one of self creation—he came up through amateur YouTube singing, not through the Disney pipeline, and has what appears to be a deep and sincere connection with his fandom. His musical output this year has so far consisted of electronic ballads as plaintive as the questions that give them their titles—“Where Are Ü Now” (released by Jack Ü, Diplo and Skrillex’s collaboration) and “What Do You Mean?” As pop, they’re fascinatingly restrained, discarding the chipper come-ons and pep-rally-ready choruses of Bieber’s past work and of rivals like One Direction. And unlike with Timberlake or Bieber’s contemporary Nick Jonas when they attempted to evolve, these tracks are not overt announcements of sexual maturity (though one of the videos is). At Slate, Chris Molanphy notes that the song’s placement on the charts is a “triumph of market-timing over hitmaking,” propelled—through downloads, video streams, and social-media support—by “the same rabid ‘Beliebers’ who’ve been screaming for him since 2009.” The true gatekeepers of mainstream musical success, radio programmers, have not embraced the song with as much enthusiasm. “People with jobs, degrees, and fully developed pituitary glands are the bread-and-butter of radio audience measurement and advertising, and even back to the heyday of Backstreet Boys and N Sync, radio has been cautious about overplaying boy bands and TRL fare, putting a glass ceiling over the chart success of many teenpop acts,” Molanphy writes. “That goes double for Bieber.” What Bieber still faces, then, is a perception problem—the need to be seen as a grown-up.

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