The Rant 

Petitioning the White House, deporting Justin Bieber, and other weighty matters.

So I just learned that you, me, or anyone else can go online at whitehouse.gov and create a petition to the government of the United States about almost anything. As part of the First Amendment of the Constitution, we have the right to petition the government. We've always had it, but the Obama Administration is the first to make it as easy as going online, creating an account, and getting it out there for the world to see.

click to enlarge Justin Bieber - SBUKLEY | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Sbukley | Dreamstime.com
  • Justin Bieber

It's serious business. I just checked the open petitions and these are two of the newest ones: "Hold the EPA and State of Utah accountable to protect public health and uphold the Clean Air Act." That one was created on January 22, 2014, and at this writing, it has garnered 266 signatures toward the goal of 100,000, at which point the White House might address it. Also created on that day was: "Ask the United Nation to move peacekeeping troops contingent into Ukraine in reaction to police snipers murdering people." At this writing, it has 745 signatures toward the same 100,000 goal. See? I told you this is serious business.

And here is one that was created on January 23, 2014: "Deport Justin Bieber, and revoke his green card." That was on the day of his arrest in Florida for DUI, resisting arrest, and drag racing in a residential neighborhood. At this writing, it has 6,696 signatures, making those other two pathetic causes pale in comparison. Oops, make that 6,761 as of the past 45 seconds. President Obama, you better get a handle on the Bieber.

I never in a million years thought that I would be writing about Justin Bieber. And I should preface that by admitting that I have never heard one of his songs or seen him perform. I have, however, caught little bits and pieces of interviews with him when he was even younger than he is now (19) and was just starting to catapult to international stardom for whatever reason, and I always caught myself thinking that he seemed like a pretty decent kid. Now, I'm not so sure.

And it's not that I really even care about what Justin Bieber does or doesn't do, but the public relations professional in me just wants to say to him, "Shut the F up and hide, you little brat." (Really, I am shocking even myself by writing about this. I am a portly, middle-aged man with a white beard who listens almost exclusively to music made by black artists between 1960 and 1978 with the occasional Cat Stevens and David Bowie hit in between.) I don't know who the Spice Girls are, and they are probably already washed up and gone. I don't know who Daft Punk is. I just looked at the nominees for GRAMMY Song of the Year and read this:

"Song title: 'Roar;' Songwriters: Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter; Artist: Katy Perry; Label: Capitol; Publishers: When I'm Rich You'll Be My Bitch/Kasz Money Publishing/MXM/Kobalt Songs Music Publishing, Inc./Bonnie McKee Music/Where Da Kasz At?/Songs Of Pulse Recording/Oneirology Publishing/Prescription Songs."

Not only do I not know who those people are, I don't even know what language that is. It froze the spell-check device on my computer for a second. For the love of Sam & Dave, who are these people, and is "When I'm Rich You'll Be My Bitch" the name of a publishing company? Really? Am I missing out on something here that the rest of the world is in on?

But back to Justin Bieber. Really, Justin? You got pulled over for drag racing while drunk in a Miami neighborhood, cursed at the police, and then told them you had also been smoking weed and popping pills? You are a bazillionaire superstar with something like 50 million followers on Twitter, and no one in your life has told you to shut the F up? And did you really get out of jail and, as you were being escorted from the pokey, jump on the top of your SUV and wave to your fans, or, as they are called, your "Beliebers?" Could one of your Beliebers not have told you that when you get pulled over for a DUI, you don't volunteer that you're also high on pot and Percocet, or whatever the pills were?

You need to come to Memphis and sit down for a minute and let Daddy-O here give you some advice. First of all, try to be a little more original. You're already in trouble for actually "egging" your neighbor's mansion and causing, apparently, thousands of dollars in damage. Really, JB? Egging houses? Yes, we all did that, but we were in the sixth grade, and we weren't international stars. You can just stop that now, and don't even think about soaping their windows or filling their mailbox with shaving cream. I know another famous artist whose name I won't mention here but who uses a $ sign in it and even she has stopped placing bags of dog poop on fire at her friends' doorsteps like she used to.

And stop drag racing around in a Lamborghini. That is so, so obnoxious. Yes, we did that in Parkway Village in our Chevy Vegas back in the day, but that was different. We had no future that we knew of, so it didn't really matter. It was, after all, Parkway Village in Memphis, not exactly the playground of the rich and famous. And shut the F up. Quit talking and quit tweeting and tell your father to quit tweeting and stop jumping up and down and waving at your adoring, screaming fans. Do some community service. And do something about that haircut. You look like a lollipop. Same as a sucker.

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