Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bieber Fever (or maybe it's just another hot flash)

For me, the Grammy Awards are not as important as the Oscars.

Which is to say, I don’t set aside the day as a time for ritual. For the Oscars, there is always a gathering at my place, and the menu always circles around my famous and mysterious cold sesame noodles. While indulging in the culinary offerings, we watch the show with respect. We are quiet for much of the ceremony, and when we are not quiet, we are exchanging witty observations.

Combining reverence with acerbic commentary, the Oscars are an event here at Katie’s place.

The Grammys, though? Not an event. In fact, each year, as the day arrives and I anticipate watching them, I am hard-pressed to justify my interest. I have to come up with something to do while the show is on. I can’t simply sit there, taking in the broadcast. And yet, I am drawn to the annual ceremony.

So this past Sunday evening, just before the Grammys were scheduled to begin, I pulled out the card table and set it up in front of the television. And as the broadcast progressed, I used that table as my work station – going through all my current client files, culling outdated documents, and finding their destinations in the archive folders. The exercise was relatively mindless, and so it allowed me to stop when the entertainment on the screen called for stopping.

What’s cool about the Grammys is that, as an awards show, it is more about performance than it is about trophies and speeches. I don’t think it was always this way, but in the past several years, the awards telecast has become – more than anything – a phenomenally eclectic concert. And so, there were many moments when I stopped the busy work I was doing and simply took in what was emanating from my television…

Lady Gaga, a remarkable performance artist who clearly knows about marketing (and I’m not talking about the meat market, though a case could be made…); Mick Jagger, who – at WHAT AGE? – can command a stage without props or pyrotechnics; Arcade Fire, who seemingly came out of nowhere to win (deservedly) Album of the Year; Barbra Streisand, who ended her performance of Evergreen with a facial expression that revealed the fear she’d brought with her to the stage; and Justin Bieber…

Justin Bieber.

Oh my.

I realize this kid from Canada has received more than his share of press lately, and he sure as hell doesn’t need for me to chime in, but sorry, I can’t help but share a few words.

The dude is fucking awesome, okay?

I realize that modifier (i.e., the f-word, above) is too old for his boyish good looks, but please?! OMG, the way he performs, the tone of his voice, his dance moves, his command of the stage… Frankly, I’m rather blown away.

There’s also the hair, of course. (Could he be the next Breck girl?)

Ah, see… there… I’m dating myself.

Justin Bieber was undoubtedly born after the last Breck girl.

And it doesn’t matter.

Although the kid could have a career in shampoo commercials, he will not need to take that route. He is uber-talented. He is… remarkable.

And this fever ain’t no hot flash.

I’m just making an observation.


Jules said...

Good observation, not a Bieber fan but yes, he does have talent. The concert is why I watch but never do I sit in front of the box and just watch. Have to be doing something else or my mind goes numb :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Heidi-"Heidi in Real Life" said...

I love this one. I always wanted to be the Breck girl! Cougar crush much? Personally, I like Zac Efron. ;-)

Cheryl said...

Never watch and I'm totally bummed since I hear Bob Dylan was actually coherent enough to be understood. That may never ever happen again in my lifetime.

And Bieber's hair? My 19-yo nephew cut his when someone told he looked a bit Bieberish.

Deb Shucka said...

You are so funny! I'm not a Justin fan myself, but may consider giving him a shot because of your endorsement. :-)

I'm a huge Oscars fan, too. Wish we lived closer so I could crash your party. It's the only time I sit in front of the television for all those hours, from pre-show until the credits roll, as happy as it's possible to be.

Green Monkey said...

HYSTERICAL!!!! this fever ain't no hot flash! FANTASTIC KATIE!

Breck Girl... funny you would bring that up... I was on a similar train but afraid no one would remember "short and sassy"

great post!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I've never seen Bieber perform. I don't even know what song he sings. I think that shows my mental age better than anything I else I could say.

Martha Gates-Mawson said...

Didn't watch, but now wish I had. Dylan, Jagger, and Streisand would have been my pull. Bieber? No opinion really...a bit frightened for his meteoric rise. Hope his head stays screwed on straight.

Sioux Roslawski said...

I try to avoid Justin Bieber whenever possible, As a 3rd grade teacher, my female students work themselves into a frenzy whenever his name is mentioned.

In fact, we have monthly "auctions" where the kids bid on things using their behavior bucks. I bought a thick magazine of Justin Bieber posters, unstapled them so could auction them off one by one, and when each one was held up for the bidding to start, the sound of 25 girls (we had 2 classes in on the activity) shrieking as loudly and as piercing as they did---terrified us.

I missed the performances and agree with Cheryl and Martha Gates-Mawson...Streisand and Dylan would have gotten me glued to the TV.

Linda Medrano said...

Two of my granddaughters want to marry Justin. I had never seen him before the Grammys. I mean, I had seen his photo, but the young man has "presence" and he can move and sing like a young Michael Jackson. Adorable! Now I see what all the hullabaloo was about!

Cheryl D. said...

I'm so not into the Grammy's. I didn't watch them, but my husband did. He showed me his favorites from the show on Monday night. I loved C-Lo and Gyneth Paltrow! That was so great--in a truly bizarre way!

Next up is the Oscars! I do prefer that to the Grammy's any day!

Katie Gates said...

Fun responses to this post! I should clarify that, until his performance Sunday night, I wasn't so blown away by the would-be Breck Girl. (I've seen him on late night shows, and I've acknowledged his talent, but...) So, anyway, I don't REALLY have Bieber fever! As for those who do, it does seem frighteningly over the top, but is it that different from Beatlemania? Okay, I'll give you this: Bieber is about 4-5 years younger (than any Beatle was), and there aren't four of him. Otherwise, the sociological situations are comparable, and us old folks can only sit back and shake our heads at the madness.

Anonymous said...

I think the Bieb is really talented, too. I have a hard time sitting through anything that is more than 30 minutes long so I'm always piddling around while watching tv.

Anonymous said...

Since my only real experience of bieber fever came at a friend's pre Christmas party and took the form of a dozen five year olds hopping around on the dance floor and shrieking to his latest track, I don't feel qualified to comment though only time will tell if he can cross from teeny weeny fans to teens or maybe they will stick with him into their dotage :-)

cj Schlottman said...

Katie! What a great post. I've never been a Grammy fan, but for some reason, this year I watched until I fell asleep (I get up at quarter to five on work days). Stupidly, I didn't record the program, so I missed Mick, the only real reason I was watching. Never heard of Justin Beiber until that night. Talk about showing one's age...and I wanted to see Dylan as well.

Next year, may I come to your house for noodles and acerbic commentary?


WhisperingWriter said...

Basically I just wish Justin Bieber would go away. But that's just me :)