In the giving spirit of the season, I want to share you my favorite video of the year. If you read this site, you know the kind of videos I gravitate toward, and so you’d probably think I’d pick some weird old commercial or that amazing compilation of Russian drivers. Worthy choices, but I have gone in a different direction, something you’ve probably never seen if you don’t have grade school-age children or aren’t 10 years old.
Being the father of a young girl, I am often subjected to Disney Channel’s wide array of programming. Some of it is actually pretty good (Phineas and Ferb, Gravity Falls). Some of it, not so much. One afternoon, we found ourselves watching Make Your Mark, a dance competition show that fell right in the middle of the pack. At the very least, it was light years better than Austin & Ally or Jessie, two Disney Channel shows so awful they make my teeth itch.
The big highlight of Make Your Mark was a segment in which the finalists go backstage at a theater where Justin Bieber will soon be giving a concert. The kids are then surprised with a visit from Beebs himself. He shakes their hands and watches them dance and gives them a little pep talk. It was very cute to see these kids freak out over meeting their idol.
And yet, as I watched this scene, I couldn’t get past one very strange element. Take a peek (it’s less than two minutes long, won’t kill ya) and see if you can spot it.
Did you notice that Bieber enters on a Segway? He also shakes kids’ hands on a Segway, beatboxes on a Segway, delivers a motivational speech on a Segway, and exits on a Segway. He does not get off the Segway for one second.
When I saw this show live, I rewound the segment–no joke–eight times, because I was sure I blinked and missed a part where Bieber hopped off the Segway. Nope! He stays atop it the entire time. While this scene is surely edited from much longer footage, it seems pretty clear from what we’re shown that he never once left his vehicle. What a bizarre, imperious thing to do. It’s the kind of power play an ancient duke would have pulled, if only Segways existed in Elizabethan times. “The Earl of Hartfordshire only greets commoners while riding his Gyro-Perch.”
Is there a better demonstration of Modern Celebrity than this? Dedicate yourself, never give up on your dreams, and you too may some day get to meet your heroes. But, your heroes probably won’t deign to remove themselves from their royal litter.
Not long ago, Bieber was like these kids, dreaming of the big time. Now, he’s filmed from behind, shown towering over these kids from a lofty mobile dais, lecturing them on working hard and keeping their families first before speeding away on his magical chariot.
Well, Merry Christmas everyone!