Holtz wonders if there’s an immunization available for Bieber fever

Is Justin Bieber a menace to society? Gazette columnist Jim Holtz tackles the question.

Who doesn’t like The Bieb? Apparently, more and more people, as the 19 year-old Canadian pop star and pre-teen idol is finding out. Yes, young Justin is learning that fame can be fleeting. He may soon find out that fortune can also be fleeting as his hangers-on, body guards, lawyers, agents, managers, advisors and enabling father suck dry the pool of cash that he now enjoys. He should learn a lesson from my second cousin, Justine Barbowski, from Des Moines, Iowa. Justine was also an idol for a particular age group, not pre-teen girls in her case, but men over 70. Polish men, mostly, but German and Austrian golden agers liked her too, and even some geriatric Italians from the Tyrol found her irresistible. For them, Justine was the Polka Princess. She sang, she yodelled, she played the accordion, and she could really dance! Not just the polka, either, but a variety of European folk dances as well. She was the complete package. It didn’t hurt her reputation that she also had a shapely figure and china doll complexion. Alas, just as Justin has been lured into bad behaviour by associating with second rate rappers, coke heads and unsavoury characters, so Justine soon fell in with a bad crowd. Before she reached her 20th birthday she began hanging out with loud, boisterous, beer swilling, sausage eating bimbos and their boyfriends. She was photographed in a bar hurling pickled eggs at a policeman and was arrested for punching a street vendor who refused to serve her a second Polish sausage in a bun after she threw the first one at a TV camera crew. Yes, Justine was out of control, and even when her fans tried to intervene by sending her messages begging her to change her behaviour, she continued her downward spiral. Within months she had taken up smoking, put on thirty pounds and ruined her complexion. Her manager stole the remaining money she had and, instead of performing before thousands in crowded convention centres, she ended up playing before a handful of old men in tired Legion Halls and retirement centres. Before she was 30, she was finished. Her last performance was at a private birthday party for a 100 year old Polish sea captain.  He booed her. So young Justin, take heed. Money, fame and glory can all vanish in an instant. The boyish looks can flicker and fade. In no time you can end up looking like aging Elvis: a pudgy caricature of a once great entertainer. And then those low-hanging pants you love to wear will look very unappealing. Don’t be a Justine, Justin.