Justin Bieber says no more meet-and-greets with fans. Sorry!


The star is emotionally drained by hugging Beliebers. Its an age-old problem for celebrities oppressed by their devotees

Seismic developments in Bieberlore, now, as Auto-Tuned redeemer Justin announces the end of meet-and-greets with his fans. No longer will the Love Yourself hitmaker allow members of his public to fork out up to $2,000 (1,400) for the chance to fleetingly encounter him in heavily controlled circumstances and the reason is simple. As Justin puts it: I end up feeling so drained and filled with so much of other peoples spiritual energy that I end up so drained and unhappy.

Time was he simply couldnt have said this out loud, but thank God we now live in an era where, instead of hiding behind mumbo-jumbo such as my schedule or general revulsion, we know far more about spiritual energy and can simply declare it: Justin Bieber is besieged nightly by an army of record-buying succubi. Although their interactions are not always actively sexual, as in succubus tradition, it is abundantly clear that they have the same effect. They exhaust Justin; they drain him of his mysterious life force; they actively harm his health in a way that so-called science probably wouldnt acknowledge, but an $800-an-hour tour physician definitely would.

Photograph: justinbieber/Instagram

Taking to Instagram to explain his decision, Justin opted to post a picture of himself meeting and greeting a bespectacled fan. I would estimate her age at about nine, although she has clearly stalked the earth for centuries, and may well have surfaced in several Jacobean tragedies as well as having previously gone by names such as Necrosta or Mbilith. This sort of thing, Justin explains delicately, leaves him mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression. Well, I hope shes satisfied now. As Justin continues: I want to make people smile and happy, but not at my expense.

Well, quite. Justin rightly observes that his existence is a zero-sum game. And the decision to use this particular picture to illustrate his point can only be instructive. Sure, at first you see an adorable gap-toothed little Belieber, whose parents have probably scrimped for months to pay for the chance to meet her idol backstage in some far-flung enormodome, while his handlers hold a stopwatch indicating when she should be herded through to the bodysearch pen and thereon to the exit. But look again. Her smile is coming at Justins expense. Even as he wearily envelops her with his tattoo sleeve itself believed to contain a tantalisingly incomplete messiah prophecy Justin can feel his own happiness ebbing away. For her to have the time of her life, he must die inside.

Liam Payne selfies. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

For sheer sledgehammer candour, this is probably my favourite celebrity attempt thus far to tackle the Problem of Ones Public. Even so, we have to acknowledge that, in this field, Justin is standing on the shoulders of giants. Giant whats, I leave you to discuss but giants nonetheless. There was One Directions Liam Payne, for instance, who was filmed at an awards ceremony going along the line of selfie-requesters. Barely a second elapsed between each cameraphone, but that was easily enough time for the smile to fall catastrophically off his face before being synthetically restored in time for the next one.

Primarily, though, the fight against the fans manifests itself chemically, with the war on their germs perhaps the highest form of killing. Consider cuddly Christian Bale, whose red-carpet turn at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises a few years ago was followed by his being publicly squirted with hand sanitiser by a minion. A heartbreaking reminder that not only are you now expected to go to the movies to watch Batmans girlfriend finish off the villain he cant, but you also need to accept that his go-to hand-to-hand-combat weapon is Purell.

Madonna waves hand sanitiser as she leaves the Home of Hope centre in Mchinji, Malawi. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Then theres that classic snap of Madonna departing some Malawi orphanage. Because really, nothing says you and I are one like being chauffeured away literally waving your hand sanitiser out of the window.

Occasionally, the signalling is even more overt. Irish TV host Aisling OLoughlin, describing a recent encounter with Anne Hathaway, recalled last year: As soon as I shook her hand, she turned to her assistant and said, Can I get some hand sanitiser, please? Right in front of me.

Ultimately, Lost in Showbiz would like to see mobile Karen Silkwood shower units installed on the red carpet, in order that the harrowing decontamination process could be better understood by the various toxic autograph hunters and ticket-buyers to whom celebrities are occasionally exposed. Maybe then the entertainment community will finally get the gold-standard safety measures it deserves. For now, it is up to whistleblowers such as Justin Bieber to suffer for a better tomorrow, and point out the tragic inadequacies of the velvet rope.

Read more: www.theguardian.com


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