By macleans.ca - Monday, December 3, 2012 - 0 Comments
[<a href="//storify.com/MacleansMag/toronto-believes-in-bieber" target="_blank">View the story "Toronto believes in Bieber" on Storify</a>]…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM - 0 Comments
I am not a big fan of Justin Bieber`s music but as a Canadian I am extremely proud of his global success. At last nights Grey Cup he gave a great performance that no doubt encouraged hundreds of thousands of more Canadians to tune in to what was a tremendous celebration of a Canadian tradition. I wish him all the success in the world; who knows maybe someday he can buy the Maple Leafs, who we both cheer for, and make them a winner too.
By Emma Teitel - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 5:36 AM - 0 Comments
Last night Justin Bieber asked a crowd of 53,000 middle-aged men to be his boyfriend (sources say he went home alone) and the Toronto Argonauts won their first Grey Cup in eight years. They won it at home too, which is pretty cool, and puts this notion to shame.
Speaking of shame…
I still don’t know all the rules of the game (I almost wished the CBC had aired another one of those sexist programs catering to sports ignorant women), but I do know the Argos killed it last night–namely Chad Kackert, Ricky Ray, and Swayze Waters, says National Post sports writer, Sean Fitz-Gerald, who was sitting beside me in the press box–and was kind enough to tell me that.
In other news, this happened during Burton Cumming’s lounge remix of the national anthem:
The Stampeders logo was decapitated shortly after fans poured out of the stadium. Of course, the grass zambonis (not sure what the proper term is) had to wipe everything away eventually, but the horse’s head went especially early.
Headless Stampeders Horse:
And on my taxi ride home I didn’t hear a single honking horn. Instead, I saw just three lonely blue-clad figures at Yonge and Dundas waving an Argos flag. Maybe I’m being unfair, or it was a Polkaroo moment, and I happened to miss the mobs of Argos fans every time I went outside, but I don’t think Toronto fully appreciates that we are at long last, victorious. Or perhaps I forgot that we do care about Toronto football.
Just maybe not so much the Argos…
By Colin Horgan - Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM - 0 Comments
lol whut?! Colin Horgan considers the latest slightly bizarre expression of national pride from The Biebs
During the run-up to the Grey Cup, Prime Minister Stephen Harper handed Canada’s hottest current cultural export, Justin Bieber, a Diamond Jubilee Medal. Bieber wore overalls for the occasion. Chalk it up as another slightly bizarre expression of national pride from The Biebs, our primary purveyor of lol whut?! nationalism.
The official photograph of the medal presentation went viral, due partly thanks to Bieber tweeting, “I met the Prime Minister of Canada in overalls lol” along with his photo. In response to the online style derision that followed, Harper defended Bieber on his own, mostly dull, Twitter account (one recent tweet simply said: “Our government remains firmly focused on controlling gov’t expenditures and implementing Economic Action Plan 2012”). “In fairness,” he said, “I told him I would be wearing my overalls, too.”
The medal came at least 18 months since (according to some) the government wanted Bieber to perform at the Canada Day celebrations for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The medal is one of 60,000 that will be handed out this year to Canadians who make a “significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement that brings credit to Canada.”
Bieber’s public nationalism has manifested itself as a strange sort. That is, rather than really saying much of value about the country – or, frankly, bringing credit to it – he seems to use it more as a marketing tool. Being Canadian appears to function more as a kind of branded Personal Quirk or bit of A&R-approved Official Bieber Trivia used only to set him apart from any other bland, formulaic pop star. The overalls are the latest example. There are others.
After vomiting during a recent concert, Bieber admitted he’d consumed spaghetti and milk prior to going on stage. “Basically, in Canada, we like to have spaghetti and milk,” Bieber told TMZ, as if that explained anything. The National Post quickly held a non-scientific poll. Of the 346 people who voted, 81 per cent maintained that no, spaghetti and milk is not a Canadian thing, and that “Justin Bieber is weird and gross.”
A few months earlier, on Alan Carr’s Summertime Spectacular in the UK, Bieber looked around nervously as Carr cracked wise about the Queen’s dour face during the celebrations of, coincidentally enough, the event for which Bieber’s new medal is named. “I don’t really get, like, I’m from Canada, I don’t really know what’s, I like, this, all this humour,” Bieber spluttered. “I don’t know if you’re, like, making fun of me or if I’m like. …” What being Canadian had to to with him not understanding the joke is unclear, but there it was anyway.
In July, Bieber reportedly told Rolling Stone he was “part Indian. I think Inuit or something? I’m enough per cent that in Canada I can get free gas.” You could almost hear the country cringe. The online backlash was instant, and the Congress of Aboriginal People publicly rebuffed the validity of the claim, saying the claim that Aboriginal people receive free gas was “simply not true.” The remarks, said the Congress’s national chief Betty Ann Lavallée was “another example of what Aboriginal Peoples in Canada struggle with every day.” (Though they also urged everyone to go easy on Bieber.)
It was ignorant to say, but not outside the realm of logic when you understand that for Bieber, being Canadian appears to be nothing more than an engineered personality trait. Why’d he say it? Simple: for the same reason he said the others. In a fabricated nationalism universe, statements can’t be harmful because they’re inherently meaningless.
Back to those overalls. At Gawker, the theory was Bieber’s face seemed to suggest he was “trolling” the Prime Minister. Maybe. Or it was just an excuse to add another notch in the Quirk belt. Lol. Overalls. He’s so “Canadian.”
By macleans.ca - Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 12:09 AM - 0 Comments
What not to wear to pick up a Diamond Jubilee medal
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM - 0 Comments
While the premiers meet in Halifax, Stephen Harper meets with Justin Bieber to present the pop star with a Diamond Jubilee Medal. (Presumably it wasn’t a choice between one or the other, but it’s impolite to turn down easy jokes.)
By Brian D. Johnson - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Exclusive: A candid interview with the new king of pop
Everyone’s waiting for Justin Bieber. It’s mid-afternoon in Washington, on the eve of the presidential election, but for the hordes of young girls gathered outside a downtown arena, there’s only one leader who can bring salvation. Hours before the 18-year-old Canadian pop star will hit the stage, fans have mobbed every entrance, ready to scream at any hint of movement. They shriek as one of 11 tour buses sits idling outside a garage ramp, as if sheer lung power could shatter the tinted windows.
Inside the arena, Bieber’s bodyguard, a soft-spoken man named Kenny Hamilton, shows off a party trick: he opens a door, revealing his face to fans on the sidewalk. They go berserk. In Bieberland, even Kenny is a celebrity: he has more than a million Twitter followers, which puts him neck and neck with Paul McCartney. Bieber has 30 million—second only to Lady Gaga—and gains a new one roughly every second.
The first superstar child of social media, Justin Bieber recently became the first to score three billion hits on YouTube, where an amateur video led to his discovery at 13. However, as his Believe tour burns across North America—he plays Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and the Grey Cup in the next few weeks—being the world’s hottest teen idol is still not enough. In an exclusive interview with Maclean’s, he makes it clear he wants to be nothing less than the next Michael Jackson, the new King of Pop. “That’s where I want to be,” he says. “I don’t just want to be a teen heartthrob.” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM - 0 Comments
BDJ on asking the wrong question: ‘I thought, OMG, I’ve just violated the privacy of a teenager’
Find out why Brian D. Johnson, who’s interviewed a slew of celebrities, has never been so nervous and apprehensive as when he recently interviewed Bieber. Find out what topics were off-topic during their time together, and who won at ping-pong. (The Maclean’s exclusive story on Bieber is on newsstands now.)of Photos
By Nicholas Köhler, Kate Lunau, Chris Sorensen and Michael Petrou - Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 4:20 PM - 0 Comments
Kathie Lee makes viewers cringe, François Hollande caps CEO pay, and a bad week for the Biebs
Justin Bieber had a very bad week. First the Canadian pop star was accused of hitting a photographer in Los Angeles. Next, he was concussed after running into a glass wall on a Paris stage (and blacked out backstage for 15 seconds). And in Norway, fans mobbed him in the streets of Oslo, fainting, pushing, and forcing Bieber to take to Twitter to beg his teen fans to “please listen to the police.” No one was hurt, but none of this will change the opinion Bieber expressed to GQ magazine last month: “You can’t trust anybody.”
Justice for Egypt?
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades before the Arab Spring forced him from power last February, has been sentenced to life in prison for his complicity in the deaths of protesters rising against him. This wasn’t enough for Mubarak’s many opponents, who wanted the death penalty and took to the streets in anger when they didn’t get it. Many are also furious at the acquittals given to top police chiefs allegedly involved in the killings. More than a year after the Arab Spring, the military still decides who will be punished and who will not. They were willing to sacrifice Mubarak, but not his henchmen.
By Emma Teitel - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM - 0 Comments
It looks like all of Justin Bieber’s rough housing with Mike Tyson and friends has finally paid off. The Stratford, Ont.-born teen heartthrob turned lesbian icon is now a suspect in a “misdemeanor battery” case in Calabasis, California, where he currently lives. Bieber and longtime celibacy sponsor Selena Gomez, the story goes, were leaving a local shopping mall on Sunday afternoon, when a paparazzo tried to take J.B.’s photo, allegedly blocking the pop star’s car in the process.
According to said paparazzo, a scuffle ensued, one Bieber apparently won–because the next thing the paparazzo knew, JB had driven off, leaving him with a very convenient tummy ache. (Onlookers say a lawyer who happened to witness the altercation immediately approached the paparazzo and suggested he call an ambulance and file a police report–likely with an eye to a possibly lucrative lawsuit.) The police arrived shortly after. According to TMZ, “the photog complained of pain in his upper torso, an ambulance was summoned and he was taken to a local hospital where he was examined and released a short time later”.
In case you were wondering whether paparazzi have even a morsel of self-respect, the answer is officially no. Because the only thing worse than being beaten up by Justin Bieber is, I suspect, willfully telling everyone you were beaten up by Justin Bieber.
As for Biebs himself, I can’t say I feel sorry for him, what with the never ending supply of money, fans (he is said to gain a Twitter follower every other second) and outlandish gifts from big sister Ellen Degeneres. But this video does make me feel even less sorry for the paparazzi than Bieber himself.
By Nicholas Köhler and Chris Sorensen - Friday, May 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM - 0 Comments
Ben Mulroney has a big audition, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s in trouble, again, and Justin Bieber gets in the ring
Still punching above his weight
Somehow, with little consequence except the continued appreciation of British children, the puppet Mr. Punch has managed to commit domestic abuse, infanticide and other slapstick crimes for 350 years now. On May 9, 1662, the diary of Samuel Pepys, notes that he witnessed at London’s Covent Garden piazza what he described as “an Italian puppet play . . . which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw.” With his red nose and squawks, produced by a “swazzle” sound-making device played by a “professor”—the puppeteer inside the booth—the anarchic Punch still enthralls, a disturbing testament to the comic power of senseless violence.
Tragedy of a ruined bruin
Captured mid-fall in a stunning snapshot by student photographer Andy Duann, a 280-lb.black bear tranquilized after stealing into a tree at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder became an instant celebrity last month. Not two weeks later the bear was dead, struck by two cars near the university. Authorities had hauled the slumbering animal to the mountains, but the wilds of Colorado are dry this spring and the bear was on his way back to campus when he was struck.
By David Newland - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:47 PM - 0 Comments
For better or worse, our electoral system weeds out the pop stars
For the second time in as many years, a Grammy-winning pop star wants to become president. Two years ago, it was respected rapper Wyclef Jean who made an unsuccessful–though much talked-about–bid for the presidency of Haiti. Today, it’s African singer-percussionist Youssou N’Dour, currently a candidate in Senegal’s upcoming presidential elections.
There are musician-politicians in Canada too, of course. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a decent pianist; interim Liberal leader Bob Rae is another. And the late NDP leader Jack Layton loved to play music in his off-hours. Admittedly amateurs all, the three leaders nevertheless gained a certain creative credibility for their musical chops.
There have even been professional Canadian musician-politicians. The current NDP caucus features a pair of roots rockers: onetime band-mates (in L’Étranger) Charlie Angus of Grievous Angels and Andrew Cash of The Cash Brothers. Both, however, are a long way from snatching up the country’s top job–and arguably just as far from becoming pop stars.
Which raises the question: is a pop star prime minister of Canada even possible?
The answer has a lot to do with our electoral system. If Canadians were allowed to pick the head of the executive directly (more or less as Americans do in their presidential elections), we might imagine a sufficiently popular musician—Bryan Adams? Celine Dion? Drake? BIEBER?!—translating her popular appeal into a leadership role.
Alas, to become a Canadian prime minister, there’s no escaping the slow, laborious rise through the ranks: first, win the party nomination in a local riding; then win your riding in an election; then become a member of Parliament; then put in time as a back-bencher; and take on key party roles, possibly a cabinet post. That could take a couple of terms, if you’re lucky.
Keep at it for a number of years, standing in Question Period, facing the press, stabbing the right backs and shaking the right hands, and you just may have a chance to earn your party’s nomination at a leadership convention.
After that, you only have to go out and win your own seat in a federal election—for the party that takes the greatest number of seats in Parliament—and you’re in!
If you’re a pop star, it’s sadly obvious what that would do to your rehearsal schedule and studio time. No more touring stadiums. As for a Juno, let alone a Grammy: forget it.
Which raises a point worth pondering. Remember the scene of our own prime minister, Stephen Harper, playing the piano in avuncular fashion?
Remember well, because Harper may be the closest Canada ever gets to having a a pop star for prime minister.
Note: an earlier version of this story referred to Cash as a member of Skydiggers; in fact he was involved in the formative stages of the band but not a member of the long-running lineup, which includes brother Peter Cash and Andy Maize.
By Ken MacQueen, Michael Friscolanti and Richard Warnica - Friday, September 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM - 0 Comments
Bieber goes Hollywood, Big Buff goes off his diet, and Bibi’s wife faces new staff abuse allegations
Scales of justice
The Winnipeg Jets haven’t iced a team yet, but star D-man Dustin Byfuglien has been hit with a major penalty. The former Chicago Blackhawk, who helped propel the team to the 2009-10 Stanley Cup, was arrested Wednesday night near the lakeside community of Excelsior in his home state of Minnesota on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. “Big Buff” spent three hours in the penalty box of the Hennepin County Sherrif’s Office after refusing to submit to a blood or urine test. Possible charges are pending. The Jets have two causes for alarm: the police weigh-in showed Byfuglien has ballooned to 286 lb., about 40 lb. above his usual playing weight. As well, a criminal conviction would complicate crossing the border to Winnipeg. “He’s got to grow up,” his stepfather Dale Smedsmo told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, presumably a reference to attitude, not poundage.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not known for his love of journalists, so it came as a surprise that his new communications director is a member of the pencil press. Angelo Persichilli, 63, a political editor of the Italian-language newspaper Corriere Canadese and an occasional columnist for the Toronto Star, replaces former mouthpiece Dmitri Soudas. The hire may score points in the ethnic community, a target of Tory affections. Persichilli faces the daunting task of selling federal spending reductions. Meanwhile, budget cuts south of the border factored into outspoken Gen. David Petraeus’s last act after a 37-year military career. He warned reductions may hurt the army’s ability to fight insurgencies. Expect him to guard the CIA’s budget like a hawk when he takes over as America’s spy chief this week.
By Nicholas Köhler and Ken MacQueen - Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
A 65-year murder mystery solved, Bieber takes a beating, and Danny Williams has got game
Done in by the velluvial matrix
Grads from the University of Alberta’s faculty of medicine were enjoying an after-dinner speech at their banquet last week when the words of Dr. Philip Baker, dean of the medical school, sounded vaguely familiar. “A couple of students recognized the term ‘velluvial matrix,’ ” class president Brittany Barber told the Edmonton Sun. “They googled it on their phones.” It showed Baker has borrowed heavily from a speech delivered last year at Stanford by Dr. Atul Gawande, a Boston surgeon and a writer for the New Yorker magazine. Accusations of plagiarism prompted an apology from Baker, who said he was inspired by Gawande’s speech, which “resonated with my experiences.” Baker added that he’s since spoken to Gawande, who “was flattered by my use of his text, took no offence and readily accepted my apology.” The university is investigating.
Dementia’s painful toll
It’s only been a few weeks since Ralph Klein and his wife, Colleen, revealed that the former Alberta premier is suffering from progressive dementia. Although the couple is said to be heartened by the good wishes they’ve received from across the country since then, Ralph’s decline, at age 68, has been rapid and devastating. “He’s starting to get a little bit worse,” Colleen told Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid. “I’m not sure he always recognizes me anymore. He never says my name.”
By Nancy Macdonald - Friday, May 13, 2011 at 11:15 AM - 0 Comments
Donald Trump gets sued, Rita Chretien is found alive, and Don Cherry is angry about something again
Compassion for bin Laden
Angela Merkel’s remark that she was “glad” Osama bin Laden had been killed sparked a firestorm of controversy in Germany. Hamburg judge Heinz Uthmann even filed a criminal complaint, alleging the German chancellor broke a law barring the “rewarding and approving of crimes”—in this case, bin Laden’s “homicide.” Politicians denounced her, and 64 per cent of Germans agreed: bin Laden’s death was “no reason to rejoice.” In L.A., however, even the Dalai Lama—compassion incarnate—said he had it coming. “If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Mother’s day miracle
After 49 days alone in a Chevy Astro van on a logging road in remote Nevada, Rita Chretien was found barely conscious, but clinging to life. The 56-year-old Penticton, B.C., native and her husband, Albert, were stranded en route to Las Vegas on March 19; Albert, who left two days later to ﬁnd help, hasn’t been seen since. Rita’s faith, and a bit of trail mix, was all that kept her going until finally she was spotted by hunters on ATVs. “We were praying for a miracle and, boy, did we get one,” her son Raymond told reporters Sunday.
By Brian D. Johnson - Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM - 5 Comments
Neil Young was the designated patriarch at this year’s Juno love-in between elders and upstarts
It’s a sub-zero Sunday evening in Toronto. Under an unheated canopy, a gang of fledgling rock stars wait their turn on the red carpet, shivering in T-shirts and black leather. They’re Down With Webster, a Toronto rock-rap band of twentysomething sensations whose album, Time To Win, has scored a string of platinum hits. The occasion is the 40th anniversary of the Juno Awards at the Air Canada Centre. The band will get to kick off the show, which is a big deal for them. Earlier in their dressing room, these amiable pop idols had been finessing last-minute details, planning a run from the stage into the crowd and voting down a plea from the drummer to shoot video during the performance for the band’s Facebook page. Then, after correcting their hair, rummaging about for their sunglasses, and freshening their breath with gum from a bowl on the buffet table, they head outside, so they can re-enter via the red carpet.
Huddled in the cold beside the Barenaked Ladies, the boys wait for their cue, as Drake, the show’s emcee, is whisked through with his entourage. “Twenty-two years for this s–t!” yells Ed Robertson of the Ladies. “My Junos are getting cold!” He’s joking. But there is something so forlornly Canadian about frozen rock stars queuing up for their turn on a red carpet. When Down With Webster finally gets the nod, pandemonium erupts. Throngs of young teenage girls, pressed against the barricades with outstretched arms, scream their names at an ear-splitting pitch: the sound of Beatlemania, or Biebermania, on a smaller scale.
Later, a grizzled old dude in a long black coat, black hat and red scarf enters to a decidedly less hysterical response. Many of the kids don’t even recognize Neil Young.
By macleans.ca - Monday, March 14, 2011 at 10:06 AM - 0 Comments
Prince Andrew’s friends in all the wrong places, Natalie Portman just can’t win, and adios, Glenn Beck?
Dancing all the way to freedom
Following in the delicate footsteps of the great Mikhail Baryshnikov, who slipped away from his Soviet handlers during a ballet performance in Toronto in 1974, five Cuban ballet dancers appear to have defected to Canada following a performance in Montreal last month. Four are taking classes in Toronto with the National Ballet of Canada, while the fifth is in Montreal. Elier Bourzac, one of the lead performers of the National Ballet of Cuba, told the Montreal Gazette his reasons for leaving his troupe had more to do with artistic freedoms than escaping a Communist regime. It’s the same reason, virtually word-for-word, that Baryshnikov gave during his first post-defection interview at the height of the Cold War.
Time to pay le piper
For more than 20 years, former French president Jacques Chirac avoided prosecution for misusing public funds in order to fuel his rising political star. Between 1977 and 1995, while mayor of Paris, investigators say, the 78-year-old misused city money, having 28 phantom jobs on the payroll at city hall. Protected by presidential immunity until the end of his second term in 2007, he will now be tried in the courtroom in which Marie-Antoinette was sent to the guillotine. If he’s found guilty, his sentence would be lighter: a fine, up to 10 years in prison, or a 10-year ban on holding office. For now, the trial is delayed by three months, following an objection from the defence.
A blow for reform in Pakistan
News that Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s only Christian cabinet minister, had been assassinated on March 2 hit Jason Kenney hard. On a visit to Ottawa in February, Bhatti had told the Canadian immigration minister he expected to be killed for advocating changes to Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, which are used as a pretext to persecute religious minorities. Kenney told Maclean’s Bhatti even asked Canada to help his family when he was dead. In a strange twist, while Kenney was in Pakistan to attend Bhatti’s memorial service, his staff broke parliamentary rules by issuing a partisan fundraising letter on his ministerial letterhead—resulting in calls for Kenney’s resignation.
By Colby Cosh - Monday, February 28, 2011 at 9:57 AM - 71 Comments
Why is everyone attacking our teenage superstar?
The headline on the March 3 Rolling Stone reads “Super Boy.” But apparently nobody told photographer Terry Richardson. The leather-jacketed teen glowering at the lens may be slight of frame, but he is indisputably well on the way to manhood. In a matter of weeks, his jaw has become noticeably more square. And Richardson has applied his notorious gift for persuading subjects—usually young female models—to set aside modesty and reveal what they would normally conceal. Justin Bieber turns out, after some work with a blow-dryer and a light application of hairspray, to possess a dark, surprisingly saturnine pair of eyebrows.
In short, for the first time, he has been made to look something like his actual age. Which, for the record, will be 17 on March 1.
Bieber’s late bloom—signalled by the cracking of his voice onstage at the American Music Awards in November—is, from a business standpoint, a moment of danger. His partner and mentor, R & B performer Usher, nearly saw his career derailed when his own voice broke. Now, in his determination not to let the same thing happen to his protege, Usher is micromanaging everything from Bieber’s vocal coaching to his diet. The good news is that biological maturity may help resolve some of the weird tensions that have made Bieber an unusually hated performer.
By Michelle Magnan - Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 2:48 PM - 0 Comments
Backed by rappers and now even Wall Street, headphones are a hit
In case you haven’t heard, headphones are hot right now. Skullcandy, the U.S. headphone maker with a posse of musician, athlete and DJ endorsers, has kick-started the process to go public. Rapper 50 Cent recently used Twitter to pump penny stocks for H&H Imports, a company in which he’s not only invested, but has partnered with to create his own line of headphones, called Sleek by 50 Cent. Can’t wait till 50′s headphones hit store shelves? Then consider throwing on a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones from Monster Cable, a company that’s created headphones bearing the names of rapper Dr. Dre, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and NBA star LeBron James. Big names, for sure. Big business? Time will tell.
Skullcandy’s prospectus, filed on Jan. 28, argues that the growing demand for portable media and music devices, like smartphones and Apple’s iPod, is driving a massive demand for accessories such as headphones. The document points to IDC Research, which estimates that, from 2010 through 2014, the number of smartphones available worldwide will grow at an annual rate of 24 per cent. Not everyone sees the connection being quite as clear. Or as guaranteed. “The market for consumer electronics is massive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the market for rapper-branded headphones is hot,” says Jack Plunkett, CEO of Houston-based Plunkett Research, Ltd. and author of the new book The Next Boom. “The question is: how long will revenues hold up until demand from fans has been filled?”
By Ken MacQueen, Colby Cosh and Maclean's staff - Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 10:23 AM - 0 Comments
The Donald for prez in 2012?
Leave it to Bieber—or else
Surprise Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding discovered the downside to beating out a shoo-in at the Grammys. The jazz singer’s voluminous hair did little to endear her to vengeful Justin Bieber fans, who edited her Wikipedia page to paint a curious picture: her middle name is Justin—no, Quesadilla; she is (to paraphrase) mentally challenged, and she should die in a hole. The Bieb was more gracious, congratulating his rival warmly when he ran into her backstage. Still, Spalding may have more in common with a Canadian act that fared better that night: Arcade Fire. She sang at Barack Obama’s White House, while the Montreal indie darlings played shows for his presidential campaign.
Hair today, who knows tomorrow
Donald Trump electrified the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, speculating in a surprise appearance about a Republican run for the presidency. “We need a competitive person,” Trump told a divided audience. “If I run and if I win, this country will be respected again.” The real estate mogul laid out an anti-gun-control, anti-Obamacare stance, adding a pro-life element that has only recently become a feature of his political bloviations. He also provoked supporters of conservatives’ perennial favourite, libertarian congressman Ron Paul, by remarking that “Paul cannot get elected. Sorry.” Trump says he will make his final decision on whether to run in June.
You can’t go home
When former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf announced he was returning from a self-imposed exile to possibly run for office, he faced a Catch-22: he’d either suffer an assassination attempt by al-Qaeda or arrest for treason. Now there’s another obstacle: a warrant for his arrest in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. On Saturday, a Pakistani court said an investigation revealed Musharraf did not provide adequate protection for the former PM in 2007 as she campaigned against him for the presidency. Musharraf, who denies any involvement, allegedly knew of plans to kill her but failed to alert authorities. Bhutto, of course, was killed by al-Qaeda weeks after her own return following years in self-imposed exile.
By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM - 4 Comments
It’s so confusing figuring out the contradictory pronouncements from the latest Bieber Encyclical. As my colleague Scott Feschuk has noted, he’s against abortion in all cases including rape. That makes him a hero of the people, fighting the liberal elites. But wait! In the same interview, Bieber comes down squarely on the side of Canada’s CastroCare system:
The Canadian-born Bieber never plans on becoming an American citizen. “You guys are evil,” he says with a laugh. “Canada’s the best country in the world. 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. 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.”
I don’t understand. It is impossible that a Canadian teenager can hold views that don’t line up neatly along a political spectrum as defined by Washington Post columnists and The Charlie Rose Show. I am not programmed to respond in that area.
The above clip, incidentally, is also a preview of what’s going to happen on an episode of Jeopardy! when they finally bring William Shatner on to talk Watson to death. It may not need manual dexterity to buzz in, but it does not understand human illogic… or the power of love.
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM - 298 Comments
UPDATE (Thursday, 3 p.m. ET). From a bit just published at the AV Club: “Rolling Stone has now come forward to say that, due to an ‘editing error,’ the [Bieber] quote [about rape and abortion] was incomplete, omitting a sentence that could serve to abate the outcry somewhat. Here is Bieber’s full statement on whether abortion is justified in cases of rape, with the revised section in bold: ‘Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.’ Note that it doesn’t exactly change his feelings on the matter—abortion is still definitely not swag—but it does lessen the idea that Bieber thinks rape happens for a reason, which is a pretty big omission on Rolling Stone‘s part, don’t you think?”
From the Dept. of That Interview Went Well:
“I really don’t believe in abortion,” Bieber tells Rolling Stone. “It’s like killing a baby?” (The question mark was put there by the magazine, so I guess we can assume his voice went up at the end like this? Or maybe he was asking for clarification.)
Okay, how about abortion in cases of rape? “Um. Well, I think that’s Continue…
By Michael Barclay - Monday, February 14, 2011 at 9:20 AM - 0 Comments
Even if people aren’t buying music like they used to, they’re still talking about it
The recorded music industry continues to tank. Last month, Soundscan reported sales were down nine per cent in 2010—bringing the industry’s collapse to 50 per cent of its 1999 levels. But even if people aren’t buying music in the numbers they used to, we’re all still listening to it—and talking about it. Which is why Billboard magazine, the bible for music industry insiders, launched a new chart in December: the Social 50. The rankings are based on a variety of online factors: YouTube views, number of tracks streamed from MySpace, Facebook fans, and even Twitter mentions. (None of which, it should be noted, will pay the bills for musicians.)
So far, the Social 50 closely mirrors the actual Top 50 singles, with Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Lady Gaga topping the chart since its inception. And no matter how notorious Kanye West’s tweets might be, he has yet to crack the Social 50’s Top 10.
By Claire Ward - Friday, February 11, 2011 at 12:52 PM - 0 Comments
3-D Bieber, screaming girls, and glowsticks: Brian is converted to Bieberism
Shot and edited by Tom Henheffer
Produced by Claire Ward
Go to Brian’s blog: Brian D. Johnson Unscreened