The Big Hurt: This week in image problems

Bieber's adulthood, Manson and Trent's arson, Snoop's weed, Adele's weight, and Jay-Z and Beyoncé's baby
By DAVID THORPE  |  January 17, 2012

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BIEBER BATTLES ADULTHOOD, JESUS | Poor Biebs. He just wants to be the wholesome kid next door, but with his 18th birthday creeping up, America's youth-stealing culture just can't wait to liquor him up and lay him. Said Bieber in a recent V magazine interview, "I'm not going to try to conform to what people want me to be or go out there and start partying, have people see me with alcohol. . . . I don't want to start singing about things like sex, drugs, and swearing." Good call — the first two are fine, but I don't think the kid has quite the gravitas to handle a song about swearing. It takes a mature artist for that kind of material; consider Leonard Cohen's classic "How We Say Fuck," or Neil Young's great, lost Bitchsayer album.

"I'm into love," said Bieber, "and maybe I'll get more into making love when I'm older." Set your iCal alarms for March 1, chickenhawks — from a legal standpoint, 18 is plenty older enough.

Bonus Bieber image issue: looks like he's trying to shake his religious rep, but he's not quite sure how to go about it. "I don't think I'm religious," he said in the same interview. "I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins."

MARILYN MANSON AND TRENT REZNOR PROVOKE ARSON | The El Paso Times reports that Christina Paz, a 29-year-old fan of satanic heavy rock music, tried to burn down her folk's home after receiving messages (from Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails songs) that her parents were trying to kill her.

Now, Marilyn I can understand — that dude doesn't have a lot going on at the moment. There was a time when his trenchcoat legions made the streets run red; if he wants to recapture those '90s glory days, he should definitely send some classic kill-your-parents brainwaves out into the aether. But I'm surprised at Trent — didn't he go legit? He's an Oscar winner, for God's sake. He should be concentrating on making dope beeping and clicking noises for films, not getting cheap nostalgic thrills from beaming burn-down-your-house commands into weird girls' heads.

SNOOP DOGG BUSTED FOR WEED | In what will certainly be a massively damaging blow to his career as a wholesome adult-contemporary novelty rapper, Snoop Dogg was busted in Texas for possessing a prescription drug bottle filled with cannabis "jazz cigarettes." Perhaps Snoop failed to learn a lesson from disgraced country singer Willie Nelson, shamed in a similar Texas reefer bust just a few years ago. Though Snoop's actions are shocking, we should offer him not our scorn, but our prayers and pity — he is an addict, too maddened by "tea" psychosis to consider the consequences of smoking or injecting such a powerful chemical.

ADELE SEXES UP | From Radar Online, a supremely tactful piece about Adele's changing image: "She's finally caved to weight pressure. Adele swore up and down that she was comfortable in her own skin, but she's only human. She wanted to sex up her image a bit. And she thinks she'll get even more fashion and acting offers if she shaves off a few pounds." I need to score a sweet tabloid job, so I can make up some obvious "source close to" horseshit every time a singer loses a few pounds.

JAY AND BEYONCÉ'S ILLUMINATI SPAWN | I understand that it's ridiculous to get all worked up about the possible occult implications of a baby's name, but given all the Illuminati heat that follows the power couple around, they really should have had better sense than to name their first child Ave Satanus Unblinking Pyramid Gaze Carter.

DAVID THORPE |  dthorpe@phx.com

  Topics: Big Hurt , Trent Reznor, Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails,  More more >
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