Political Mercury

March 3rd, 2011 |



By Douglas Burns


A Red Bieber, gun lists and an Oscar snub


Beware Beliebers.


Justin is not one of us.

He's Canadian, and a little too proud of it for those of who color our worlds in red, white and blue.

In an exceedingly creepy article in the March 3 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Vanessa Grigoriadis sings the virtues of the pop-culture industry that is Justin Bieber — he of bubble gummy music and 3D movies and all things that make teen-age girls (and a disturbing number of older women) swoon. The story is more proof that gender-based double standards are alive and well. There is no way an adult male writer could have written about a 16-year-old female star with the same overtly sexual language in the Rolling Stone piece on Bieber. It was an uncomfortable read, to say the least.

Scream and fawn as they might, the fans of this sensation cannot escape the reality that Bieber is a socialist, a pretty boy with girls and Marx on the mind.

"I'll never be an American citizen," Bieber tells Rolling Stone. "You guys are evil. Canada's the best country in the world."

I'd like to see Justin say that on "Sarah Palin's Alaska."

Next comes the dead-on Red thinking from Bieber who talks about American college students putting the Canadian flag on their bags — and the virtues of north-of-the-border health care.

"We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills," Bieber tells Rolling Stone while driving around Atlanta. "My bodyguard's baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada if your baby's premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home."

So parents, it is not President Obama, but Justin Bieber who is the bona fide threat to the kids of Real America. Don't let those YouTube videos fool you. He's commie, through and through. Albeit a very, very rich one.

• • •

Bill Maher, the HBO host and progressive comedian, got off a fantastically amusing line the other night: "I can't be member of the Tea Party because I have a high school diploma, a functioning penis and a black friend."

• • •

My family's newspaper in Carroll is now publishing lists of residents of the county who obtain "shall issue" permits for carrying firearms under an Iowa law that went into effect Jan. 1, making it far easier for people to carry guns into more places.

Our decision to publish the identities of the permit-holders is by no means a challenge to the law. Rather it is surrender to the law's very intent. One of the guardrails in Iowa's new management of carry permits is sunshine, or in other words, making the names public. In the final assessment, what we are providing in the newspaper for our readers are neutral facts.

Whether these facts hold as much meaning for you as a flat can of soda, or whether they hold data with life-and-death consequences, is for you to decide, not us.

And you can't decide without seeing the names.

• • •

I find myself increasingly viewing politics, business and issues of the day — and even pop culture — through a rural-vs.-urban lens. And with the Academy Awards, we in rural America had a rooting interest in the "Best Actress" category.

In the urban corner, we have a mesmerizing performance from Natalie Portman in "Black Swan," a film about a ballet dancer, the fictional Nina Sayers, who takes a toxic blend of ambition and perfectionism to the cliff's edge of insanity — and then Evel Knievels off before our eyes. Set in New York City, this is an urban film with citified sensibilities and a main character engaging a very metro-like naval-gazing. The urban-dominated Academy clearly was drawn to this role.

But Portman shouldn't have won Sunday. The prize should have gone to Jennifer Lawrence for creating, in "Winter's Bone," a rural heroine for the ages.

In 2010's summer of melancholy Bella, of "Twilight" fame, Lawrence's Ree Dolly is a revelation. She's tough as nails, shooting squirrels in one scene and spitting out bloody teeth after a confrontation in another. No tears, either. Or hand-outs.

Lawrence's Ree Dolly is one of the strongest female characters you'll ever see in American film. Women like Ree don't come from the cities. They're minted in our nation's forgotten rural reaches. CV


Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who writes for The Carroll Daily Times Herald and offers columns for Cityview.