Which side are you on? In one corner of a battle that has raged for nearly week in the Twittersphere is smart-alec, hipster drummer for blues-rock duo Black Keys, Patrick Carney, 32.
Opposite (puglistically and stylistically) is Canadian bubblegum pop overlord Justin Bieber, allegedly the third most powerful celebrity in the world (at just 18) - and especially his legions of "Beliebers".
Bieber is the most followed human on Twitter, with a horrifying 34.5 million acolytes.
It began last week when a TMZ reporter asked Carney, who had just won best rock song Grammy for Lonely Boy, if Bieber should feel "burned" over his lack of nominations.
"Grammys are for like music, not for money ... and he's making a lot of money," Carney replied. "He should be happy, I guess."
Bieber responded on Twitter "the Black Keys drummer should be slapped around". (Note Bieber did not deign to even name Carney).
The Beliebers needed didn't need further clues, swarming all over Carney's Twitter account, @patrickcarney.
Carney began retweeting the best slap-downs - many of which questioned his sexuality and his value to pop music - adding in his own deadpan observations. To one which read "you're literally a piece of s..t", Carney added: "Trust me i literally am not. i literally would not be able to type(sic)."
Perhaps convinced by the Beliebers' implied arguments that he should aspire to be more like their beloved, (although probably not) Carney renamed his Twitter profile "Justin Bieber Carney... official twitter for the actual verified Justin Bieber Carney".
This at first confused, then outraged Bieber fans; with the initial "OMG YOU LOVE @justinbieber ????", becoming "your disrespecting justin (sic). just stop" to "wtf is happening who r u (sic)", then "why are you copying Justin Bieber? By copying him your dream will not come true to be like him". (Carney's response: "We are same person now. recombo dna. i am justin (sic).")
By this morning, the tone of the Beliebers' Tweets had turned nastier: "It's really sad how ugly old and pathetic you are. You have to pretend to be Justin just to feel good about your self." That was positively Shakespearean compared to some in which his genitals were under threat if he didn't shut up.
Sensibly, Carney dropped Bieber's name from his profile this morning, although he couldn't resist the odd dry explanation; "Justin is gone now. DNA recombo unsuccessful. I will try again soon though" and "only thing I remember from being Bieber is that I was really thirsty the whole time" (a reference to Bieber being three years shy of the legal drinking age in the US, where he lives).
As of this afternoon, Carney was still busily retweeting the Belieber trollings. When will it all end? When can the indefatigable leviathan that is Belieber's Twitter army go back to worshipping their idol in peace?
One suspects only when Patrick Carney (whose own Twitter following has gone from 95,000 to 124,000 in five days) grows truly tired of it.
Just don't expect a collaboration any time soon. Stranger things have not happened.
- Sydney Morning Herald