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Editorial: That'll do, superstar

GRANT SHIMMIN
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2014

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OPINION: We really shouldn't be encouraging him.

So I give you an undertaking. This will be my last editorial about Justin Bieber this year, or any year if I can help it. Should I stray from that path, I'm fully prepared for the flaying that's coming.

But isn't it revealing, as I saw pointed out yesterday, that when there are whole countries in turmoil, people dying brutally or being permanently displaced, a major capital city wracked by disorder, as described by Gwynne Dyer on this page, the story that somehow attracts the most attention is about a spoilt brat pop star.

Ok, Beliebers, I'm sure he's a lovely young man, most of the time, and I concede the entire blame for the ridiculous way he's currently behaving is not his. He's been poorly advised, clearly. Which is really a problem when a youngster goes from being a virtual unknown to a global sensation in no time.

No doubt he believes a good deal of the hype flying around him. He probably has self-interested hangers-on - the ubiquitous entourage - encouraging him to do that too.

It sounds counter-intuitive, given his massive global following, but he may well be a little lonely, needing someone he can be honest with about why he's acting out. Probably someone who can tell him a few home truths about the path he's heading down and how he might end up if he doesn't get off it quickly. Someone firm, someone who can get past the attitude, and soon.

I know I'm sick of seeing him in the headlines, especially for the wrong reasons. It's time someone got him to grow up and move on.

Another thing: It's not always obvious which ones they're going to be when they first hit our pages, but there are some stories that simply take on a life of their own. That's certainly been the case with the one that's now been on our front page for three days, about butcher Mark McDonald's signs outside his Church St premises.

We now know the nature of the complaint that has seen him asked to remove them, and of the one that saw Murray Gibson asked to remove his a little further down the road. It will be fascinating to see how that affects public reaction to this controversial situation.

It's clear that there is a deep sense of unfairness shared by many of the respondents to Thursday's first story and yesterday's follow-up. It will be interesting to see if that changes in the light of the council's response.

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- The Timaru Herald

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