Deportation for Justin Bieber? Relax, pop stars are supposed to live on the edge

He's hardly misleading the youth: Generation Y has turned into Generation Y Bother Getting High, It’ll Stop You From Getting A Job

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The threat of deportation is usually levelled at the most dangerous of crazy people: warmongers, racists and anybody who’d like to destroy the human race. So it came as a surprise this week to read about the latest candidate for deportation: Justin Bieber, sugary Canadian popstar-turned-hellraiser.

Bieber, a US resident, could be on the plane home faster than you can say “Miley Cyrus” thanks to a petition begging the Obama administration to eject him for “threatening the safety of our people” and being a “terrible influence on the nation’s youth”.

To date, nearly 65,000 have felt sufficiently affronted by Bieber’s antics to sign it. I’d understand if 65,000 people signed a petition to ban him from singing again. My ears would have more fun listening to a whoopee cushion than a Bieber song. But are so many people really offended, or even surprised, by a pop star’s rebellious behaviour?

Pop stars are supposed to live on the edge. That is what they do, that is what they have always done, and that is – at least partly – why we like them. They live out our most outrageous fantasies so we don’t have to.

In the 1950s, in an early precursor to twerking, Elvis shocked people by swivelling his hips. In the 1970s Led Zeppelin developed a fondness for chucking TVs out of hotel windows – impressive considering how heavy TV sets were in those days. In the 1980s, pop stars went through an altruistic stage when they performed at Live Aid, but even then they were getting high backstage. Compared to some of their antics, Bieber’s alleged drinking and drag-racing seems a little tame.

Studies show that today’s teens and 20-somethings are also tamer than their ancestors. Smoking is passé, ecstasy is over and alcopops have been swapped for caffeine hits to help youngsters study through the night. Generation Y has turned into Generation Y Bother Getting High, It’ll Stop You From Getting A Job.

In recent months, Bieber has been arrested, Miley Cyrus has stripped and Beyonce angered her parents by being too raunchy on stage. Most young people are too concerned with getting a job in today’s difficult climate to risk their own reputations by behaving that way. The Yanks should leave Bieber to it and petition the government to give more financial support to hard-working kids trying to build their futures instead.

Louise Scodie is a presenter with London Live.

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