If you're a Justin Bieber fan I suggest you stop reading this post right now. I'm going to give you all a little history lesson about the Taliban, then talk about the similarities between a deadly militant insurgency found in modern pop music, and Mullah Omar's chums over in Afghanistan.
I'm very quickly brushing over this; but following the soviet withdrawal in 1989, Afghanistan was left in a pretty bad state. From there things didn't get much better and people were getting pretty fed up with the local war lords who were almost autonomously running their own little fiefdoms within the country. It all started to change in 1994 when Mullah Omar rocked up.
The story varies, and could be considered to be somewhat of an urban myth, but in the spring of 1994 the local governor of an area in Afghanistan is reported to have kidnapped two minors. A small number of Taliban (with minimal weapons) led by Mullah Omar freed the minors, and subsequently are alleged to have hanged the governor.
Mullah Omar doesn't sound like too much of a nice chap, but in a country where people had spent most of their lives existing in a living hell, you can undoubtedly understand why people began to follow him; thus the Taliban were born. Before they were overthrown by Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. Following 2001 and to this current day, they are considered by some to be a thorn in the side of ISAF forces, and have an almost psychotic mental grip on their followers. Just imagine watching the film Four Lions, and having a country full of Bieber fans like that; except in Afghanistan they really do manage to get the job done, i.e. harming serving British (and other foreign) forces.
Justin Bieber was discovered at a relatively young age because of videos he uploaded to YouTube in 2007 (aged 12). He is recognised by some to be more influential than the President of the United States when it comes to social networking. Bieber's fans known as Beliebers have in my eyes a bigger case of the crazies than the Taliban do. Over three years ago in November 2009, Bieber was scheduled to appear at a shopping mall in the United States. The appearance was cancelled after a number of fans received minor injuries cue to "pushing and shoving". Bieber hysteria has had another three years to develop and has only got worse.
Bieber's fan base can easily be compared to a religious extremist group. They seem to want to take over the world and convert anyone in their path. The worst bit about them is not the sheer disgraceful manner that many (but admittedly not all) behave in when someone disagrees with them.
Take for example the historical claims (November 2011) made by a woman who alleged that Bieber is the father of her child. Disregarding the fact that if it was true she may be liable for a statutory rape charge in the US (Bieber was 16 at the time), the woman received countless number of death threats. I know people have been getting excited about pop stars for many a year, but have you ever left a negative comment on twitter about Bieber? I suggest you don't as you'll get eaten alive by young scary militant fans that will make it their every intent to hunt you down.
Bieber has been groomed to be a commercial cash cow which goads young impressionable people into swallowing and buying into all the tat and intrigue that goes on in Bieber land. It's akin to an endless cycle of greed where the end users (the fans) have been indoctrinated. It's not the faceless corporations which cause me worry. People keep on telling me that they are part of the 99%, and it's the 99% who are the real worry here. Yes the 1% may have screwed you over, but it's the Bieber fans within the 99% who are going to be the downfall of us all; either us or the monkey population if you worry about animals rights and the recent detention of Bieber's pet monkey. Finally, how long can you stand too many screaming excited teenagers, before your ears start to bleed?
There is however hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Following Mr Bieber's recent visit to the United Kingdom, he not only turned up nearly two hours late to a performance, he also pissed off a number of his fans and promised not to come back to the UK again. The UK has always had a special relationship with the US. To the United States, I hope this shows that we've got your back on this one.