My Unfunny Valentine: Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Christopher Dorner

Posted February 13, 2013 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

What becomes of the brokenhearted? Tales of Valentines’ scorn are revealed, and there’s hardly any sweet nothings exchanged

Lonely Boy Manifested:
The Twitter War Behind Justin Bieber and a Black Key

Justin Bieber seems to still be upset about being snubbed at the 55th annual Grammy Awards. On the night of the Grammys, the “Girlfriend” singer decided to corral his fans to Livestream for a quick interactive chat session. Because of overload issues, technical difficulties caused Bieber to shift his fan base over to Ustream. Along with a photo of his gym bod, Bieber then tweets to his Beliebers: “really now ustream is over capacity my fans are amazing but this frustrating.” The same problem followed him there. Seems like Bieber didn’t have a good night at the Grammys and at home.

Bieber’s heart seemed to be shattered when Patrick Carney – one half of Grammy golden child the Black Keys – responded to a question by TMZ about Bieber’s Grammy snub. His response wasn’t harmful. More like realistic: “I dunno … He’s rich, right? Grammys are for like music, not for money…and he’s making a lot of money. He should be happy.”

Apparently Bieber isn’t satisfied with just making money; he wants more attention and fame and respect. And Bieber lept to Twitter to sound off on Carney’s statement.







Carney, with his silly humor, replied:







Let me say this much. No disrespect to Bieber. He has his legion of fans, the Black Keys have theirs. But if you watch TMZ regularly, you’ll realize that the paparazzi usually like to throw kerosene in a fire. Normally, you wouldn’t even see Bieber and the Black Keys being mentioned in the same sentence. They are practically from two different worlds. No one expects them to ever collab together, so it’s no surprise that Carney and Bieber are not sharing Valentines’ cards this year.

But this is a surprise to me. Bieber, hungry for more press coverage, wants to “smack the black keys drummer” (guess he didn’t know his name, probably because he didn’t know who or what the Black Keys was until his publicist told him about the TMZ story). And Carney, who’s not too far from being rich thanks to their golden gramophones and the endless licensing of their music on commercials and movie trailers, wants him the Biebs to smack his ass.

This is one heck of a Valentines’ story for the books.


This Love Has Taken a Toll on Me:
Me & Maroon 5

I really don’t have a love/hate relationship with Maroon 5. I own all of their albums, and have profiled their music at HIFI and for a few other music e-zines. But I’m starting to believe that now they are getting too big for their britches; a tad bit too popular for the overpopulation that supports them. Their 2013 tour, in support of their fourth album Overexposed, will actually be making a local stop in Birmingham, Ala, a city in which I reside in. It’s been years since the pop/rock band made an Alabama stop. And when they did perform here, it was right when “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved” turned them into pop stars.

I recently reached out to their publicist to see if they had any media passes for the Birmingham, Ala. tour stop. I realized that surrounding city stops were sold out and wanted to clearly take advantage of the close proximity. Almost immediately, I received a reply stating that no media passes were available for the show. I then replied to the message, asking if this was just for this particular show or if this involved the entire tour. I didn’t want to ask again if I was going to get the answer. Hey, some people can choose to be aggressive about these things, but I wasn’t going to act like some groupie over a media pass.

Now I’ve gained easy access to many concerts, music festivals in the past. I’ve also landed my share of one-on-one interviews with artists in the past, before sound check and even after the show. And I’m very much aware that media are encouraged to attend these affairs. They help feed the machine. They are the fuel to the engine of fame. And although I’m not some big-shot journalist writing for Rolling Stone or Billboard, I find it hard to believe that no one in media has access to this particular show. Especially for a tour stop that might not even sell out.

I was told by a colleague of mine that Justin Bieber’s reps weren’t allowing media access for his 2013 “Believe” tour. They had earned access before. But not this time around. After reading the negative press from each and every tour stop, I understand their decision. The reviews were probably going to be unfavorable anyway (and they usually were). All of this reminds me of how Tyler Perry runs his movie empire. He doesn’t screen his films to critics because he knows the reviews are not going to work in his favor.  To him, the press is probably his worst enemy. But I don’t understand how acts like Justin Bieber and now Maroon 5 – which is now looking like Adam Levine’s boy band – are afraid of the press. Clearly, they relish in the glory of the press.

It’s sad to see a band that you once admire become the victim of the fame monster.

In the lyrics of “The Fame,” Lady Gaga – who has no problem issuing out media passes – said it best: “I can see myself in the movies/With my picture in the city lights/Photograph, oh my mind and whatever else/You’d like to shoot you decide.”

Not sure if Maroon 5 likes or hates the path they’ve chosen. But I don’t trust the answer supplied to me from their publicist.

I know one thing’s for sure: I better not see someone from Rolling Stone or The Birmingham News there at this show.


Django Untamed:
The Untold Tale about Black Folk’s fixation with Christopher Dorner

In case you’ve been hibernating in a cave and have missed the coverage on the ongoing saga about ex-cop Christopher Dorner and his rampage on the LAPD and The Man, there’s probably another story that’s unfamiliar to you. I encourage you to read up on the story about his manifesto and his hit list, first, before digging deep into the next set of paragraphs.

The big dude with the $1 million-dollar bounty and the Navy Seal experience is now being hailed as a hero to some in the African-American community. Sadly, this is no caped crusader and he’s obviously not going after the Joker. In fact, Dorner is wanted for murder, killing three persons. On February 12, Dorner shot at two officers in a violent shootoff, killing one and the other still in recovery. But all of this was bound to happen: In light of the LAPD’s reckless past towards racial injustice (i.e., Rodney King, the Watts riots), Dorner’s published manifesto gave a lot of  bothered African-Americans a chance to sound off about their mistreatment from law enforcement. Some are still trying to get over the  the lingering fowl smell of the Trayvon Martin fiasco in Florida, a case that’s still ongoing.

Let me read you some of the Facebook posts that showed up on my timeline from some of my black brothas and sistahs:

“I really want him to tell his story.”

“Have they caught Ro-Bro cop yet?”

“It’s a lot deeper than him getting fired. This is about the injustices that the LAPD has inflicted on countless other people who couldn’t defend themselves because they didn’t have a badge and a gun.”

“Boy gone. 

“If you disagree with my support for the former officer, do not expect an apology from me for exercising my freedom of speech.”

Trenyce Cobbins, a Season 2 contestant on American Idol, jumped into the heated conversation by showing her support towards Dorner, while also complaining about the LAPD’s actions:















And there’s plenty of Facebook pages now popping up in full support of Dorner.

“One Africa, one nation…we got your back,” one popular Facebook photo mentions.

At 6:23 p.m., the picture has been shared 180 times and liked by 93 people.

Today, I asked all supporters of Dorner’s troublesome actions to remove themselves from my Facebook page:

“I know this is going to sound like I am the first born of Uncle Ruckus, but in light of all this Christopher Dorner/LAPD madness, I must type these words: Getting fired from your job and feeling like the world’s biggest loser gives you no excuse to go out and kill people. And if you feel that’s okay, then please remove me as a friend from Facebook. I care too much about my life to seriously care about yours.”

Apparently this reaction, very familiar to those of black power militants of the Sixties and early Seventies, are rallying behind Dorner as if he’s some real-life superhero, as if they want to see Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained come to life. It’s pretty sad that this kind of action is being encouraged, especially in the middle of Black History Month and in the month of love. Cupid may have shot an arrow into this story, but it’s apparently clear that this arrow was meant to kill. To prop up someone like Dorner as if he’s some DC Comics’ vigilante is dangerous to our society. I love Arrow, I love that show on CW and I’m an advocate for justice. But this story is beyond ridiculous.

So what do you think?
Post your comments below. 

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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