In the long tradition of monster mash-ups, Dracula versus Frankenstein, Aliens versus Predators, Katy Perry versus Lady Gaga, I submit the following battle royale for the very soul of teendom: Biebs Vs. One Direction. You may be asking how are we doing this exactly? Are we talking an actual physical brawl? A comparison of (cough) musicality? Or just strange, arbitrary, abstract notions that make one prepackaged, soulless, utterly contrived, and tuneless act better than the other?
Fret not, I will be applying none of these methods in determining which one of these paragons of pop music is the victor. Instead I will be utilizing the ancient art of half remembered Nintendo role playing games and their battle point systems.
In addition I will be using, in tandem with this, the faultless and intricate matrix of cobbled together Pokémon gameplay rules, as best I can figure out, guess, or fabricate. So rest assured, we’ll be using only the hardest of sciences to untie this Gordian Knot.
Experience: 988 points. Dude’s 18 years old, despite him looking like your little sister at the awkward phase where she transitions from Tomboy Who Has Her Ears Pierced into Girl Who Starts Wearing Her Mother’s Makeup. But he’s been doing this fame thing since he was 12 so he gets a shit load of points.
Attack: Hairstyle Switch Attack, 214 points. When Biebmatron went from his Emo, Soccer Mom comb over/Afghan Hound’s ass look
to his new retro cyborg pompadour he showed us two things: One, that some people, despite having an image consultant, cannot find a good hairstyle for their particular face. That someone who already looked like an androgynous blow up doll designed for Legolas and the rest of the elves of Middle-earth could be made to look even more like a douchecicle.
And two, Bieber’s hairstyle(s) can only get away with being so appallingly bad because they are a form of hyper-sigil and mind control that have an entire generation of teens and grown women, (sure, a few fellas too) under their devilish sway. That’s power. If you can become a heartthrob despite being adorned with such a ridiculous crown of frosted follicles then you possess true demagoguery. And should be feared.
Weakness: Asinine Sound bytes, -4,789 points. Justin Bieber has been rich and famous for the better part of his short life. He is an 18 year old kid and in interviews he comes off like any 18 year old with nearly zero real life experience; he comes off like an entitled, self important, prattling dick hole.
Which honestly, I don’t even think is entirely super terrible because he is just some regular kid who was plunked out of obscurity and told that his shit was filled with glitter since he was like age 12. Remember when you were 18? Remember what you said? Now picture yourself 18 and a gazillionare who is treated like Viagra for the menopause set and a young Adonis for their daughters.
You have been groomed in a vacuum of nothing but complete success and positive reinforcement. Even better you have never had to think for yourself or even learn anything else about the world outside yourself and your images impact. You just have to simply sing and dance, you’re a doll boy on million dollar strings.
Of course you’re going to sound like an idiot because you are not living a real life. You’re a simulacrum of something that doesn’t even really exist. You are a living, breathing product. If I asked a talking shampoo bottle or a talking tennis shoe what it thought about abortion, world politics, and religion their answers would be severely lacking and severely unfounded too.
Experience: 678 points. Yes, I know that some of the boys in the group are older than Biebsy. But we’re talking fame experience points, and these kids are later to the game than their adversary. Though, come to think of it, fame experience is so artificial and useless it actually retards life experience, and expectancy in some cases, so…
Attack: Three words, Harry Fucking Styles. Just his name, what a handle. 3,014 points. Wait, I just found out that the kid’s mother’s maiden name is Cox. Oh Christ, 5,014 points. Upgrade fuckwits. Plus, the kid actually pulls off the bang swept hairstyle thing that Bieber was trying to go for.
He sort of gives it a young Mick Jagger vibe and it works. I’ll just come out and say it: Harry Styles haircut is everything that Justin Bieber’s haircut tries to be and fails.
On top of that he and the rest of the boy vixens in One Direction never use the word “Swaggy”. Additional 112 points awarded.
Weakness: None. They’re unstoppable as far as short-lived pop sensations go. They’re like a non-threatening, barely legal, boy Voltron. They’re even better at sound bytes and interviews than Biebs. When asked which member of the group he’d most want to be with if he were gay Harry Styles answered, “I think I’d go out with Liam because he’s a genuine, kind-hearted boy. Someone being genuine is really important to me. I think if you were his girlfriend, he would treat you really well.” See, no big deal. Handled matter-of-factly and with a little aplomb as well. Good on you Styles. 9,385 points.
So in conclusion One Direction trounces Biebenstein. Easily. And as a 30 year old man who listens mostly to The Who, Bob Dylan or David Bowie; and who has never, until writing this article, actually heard an entire song by either One Direction or Justin Bieber, I feel I make a most impartial judge on the matter.
The truth is the real winner is inconsequential; the real loser is me for having to sit through two entire songs by either of these pop monstrosities. I listened to One Direction dig up the beautiful, sacred and pristine corpse of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and desecrate its bones with their terrible overwrought attempts at R and B style emoting.
I can’t help but think Noel Gallagher is off somewhere not giving a shit and that I should be doing the same actually.