Everybody doesn’t have to be like Justin Bieber to be like Justin Bieber


It was my close friend, Carin, who had been sharing the same table with me ever since the first day we met in our new class, that she recommended this song for me. What made this cantillation so warmly mellifluous lied not only on its in-depth, jazz-as-usual music (the same thing Michael Buble would do it over and over), but also its sharp-biting messages, and particularly, Buble’s innuendo by ‘bandwagoning’ on Justin Bieber’s girl-adored styles, ranging from sitting in a sofa like a backbone-less creature, to his popular style of putting aside his dense, pony hair.



The main raison d’etre for this song was of his infuriating response on why so many human beings around Hollywood, and to a lesser extent, the whole world, are no longer ‘purely being themselves’. This is a generalization of multitudes of ’15-minute-to-fame’ cases that have been taking place in the world. It is getting a dime to a dozen that people can be easily talked-about, especially when technology becomes increasingly convenient to access. But there is one thing for sure: most of the people do only care to be famous. Talent is just another priority.

I think there are too many things that can be taken as perfect specimens of people no longer ‘being true to themselves’. Let me pick Rebecca Black as an epitome. Almost everybody knows she has a pretty face (she’s more suitable as a model), but it does not commensurate with her musical talent. The first time I listened to her Friday song, I was serious that I did not want to listen to this song for the second time. I had difficulty to comprehend why she still insisted on the studio to release this song. Now, there are three possible probabilities in my mind. First, she has not fully sharpened her musical skills.  Second, she does not have any knack in music, but she likes singing. Third, she just simply wants to be famous, no matter whether others do like it or not.Throughout her 15-minute moment, she had gained the ‘Most Popular Singer of The Best of The Worst Songs Ever Sung’ title in Youtube, with the ratio of dislikes and likes being 4 to 1. If you are so curious that you almost kill the cat, access it in Youtube.


It’s ‘pitiful’ that everybody knows Rebecca Black because of her ridiculed ‘it’s Friday! Friday!’ moment.


It’s an irony that it is becoming increasingly common that people achieve fame not based upon their natural talents; as long as your good-looking faces can guarantee your financial success (and notably, my studio’s success as well), it doesn’t matter whether people will love it or love it to hate. This is what I truly dislike. We must confess that we often judge the books by their covers, contrary to what the proverb has told us to do. In case of Hollywood, as Buble satirically described its current situation, it seems that most of the film critics do share the same sense with him. Roger Ebert once said that Hollywood does no longer have tastes in original and novel ideas, and instead have been focused too much on these 5 so-called highly efficacious words: re-makes, sequels, spin-offs, adaptations, and prequels. I feel the same sense as well. It seems that our minds have been fully overwhelmed with too many remakes of the same, old classic movies we used to watch and relish so deeply in the past. I do not say that it is an entirely and absolutely bad idea that we should recreate the same stories (some re-made movies did actually pass commercially and critically with flying colors, like Martin Scorsese’s The Departed or Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy), but won’t it be a conundrum if all the movies we watch are prioritized more in quantity than in quality? It might be an alternative if the studios attempt to make an equilibrium on the comparison of numbers of these ‘5-efficacious-word’ movies made with those entirely based on hibiscus.



But let me mention a few other examples to epitomize how this ‘quantity-over-quality’ trend is taking place beyond Hollywood. South Korean music industry is another choice. To be honest, I myself personally have no profound interest in their music. But let me make an evaluation after observing at the songs they sing, and the styles they perform. I could conclude that no matter I am uninterested, I still prefer the country’s boy-bands to girl-bands, overall, in terms of creativity. Here is how I explain the difference: it doesn’t matter whether the songs sound good in your heart or not, as long as these girl-band personnel dance and perform as attractive as ever (most of them do only count on their pulchritudinous faces to attract audiences, which is unfortunately, obtained through en masse plastic surgery), you will be famous. If I am to be shown any of their music videos, I am seriously cocksure that I am quainted more on their artificial, facial beauty than on the songs I am listening to. This is a Hudibrastic reality, that they are more focused in selling their beauty, than their simon-pure, encased, and sharpened talents.

Indonesian film industry, as I observe, is of even more sombre corporeality. I dare to bet that at least, three-quarters of the films released annually are entirely tales of messy hodge-podge between sex, porn, and excessive horror. There is nothing to see, other than creepy, exaggeratedly ugly ghosts, sex rituals, bathing scenes, semi-erotic dancing, foreign porn stars co-starring as supporting characters, and mystic efforts to remain forever greenhorn. Most of the films do rotate on the same cycle, over and over. Quality has never been their top priority; all they do only care is more audiences to watch, more money to gain, more sensation-making to push fame, and more popularity to relish. Meanwhile, the producers do only care with attractive, sexy-looking, or six-pack actors and actresses, but there is barely any knack in them in terms of acting and embodying the characters they are going to portray. Seems like I’m not the only one who feels the same sense of outrage. Almost half of the people here do.


Is this being too ‘Indonesian’ or too ‘Westernized’?


It is unavoidable that celebrities became Buble’s targets in this song. As of my opinion, few celebrities accentuate quality over quantity. The examples are highly abundant to mention. Paris Hilton achieved world-wide fame through a mecca of sex videos, multitudes of break-ups, drug possessions, and drink-driving violations. Countless parents in United States have filed complaints to Miley Cyrus because of her brazen efforts on ‘being mature enough’. People know Kim Kardashian more frequently than Kim Jong-il (but I bet he won’t attack America, because Kim Jong-un is a fond, avid supporter of Kobe Bryant) because of her reality show, which openly showcases the family’s lavish, consumerism-addicted lifestyle, and to a worse extent, some cases of privacy violations. I don’t think that celebrity life should be exploited and broadcast worldwide. Much like ours, every individual, even these celebrities, deserves the right to preserve their privacy. But, often, as we see in televisions or read in newspapers, many of the celebrities do care to crucify their dignity, only to ensure that their popularity would not shrink. This is, theoretically, not a sustainable way to preserve fame.



But, I can say that the most miserable example can be shown from the emergence of countless ‘instant talent shows’ around the whole world. For television producers, this is definitely a subtle idea to improve ratings, but for some audiences, and perhaps, half of all audiences worldwide, this is just another form of ‘exploitation by mass media’. In every talent show, in less than 6 months, dozens of contestants are eliminated through a sluggish process of deleting one every week, while all of them perspire to earn high approval by millions of pairs of eyes. In terms of who is more gifted than who, this is a highly subjective issue. We can’t compare everybody’s talents, because it differs from one individual to another. What’s more, we often do not realize that sometimes we have eliminated contestants who have actually sharpened their talents better than their own counterparts, only because of our subconscious evaluations on their outer looks. Because someone else is handsome or pretty, but he or she can not afford a good tenor, then we can ‘forgive’ them by simply supporting them through SMS. Worse, majority of the winners of the talent shows do only enjoy their nine day’s wonder. Perhaps in their first year, the eminence still belongs to them. But, entering the second year, their luck slowly begins to shrink. By the time of third year, many people have been virtually oblivious on the guys they used to support very much in the talent shows.

The message behind this song is simple yet contemplating: just be true to yourself. When you already know that this is all the talent you have, that’s all. Don’t stay too long and too often on pursuing worldly ambitions, because as Buble has once mentioned, ‘you’ll be famous ‘cause you’re dead’. Stay focused on your efforts to improve yourself, being more successful than others is another priority. Popularity is just another illusory matter, because the most important asset in our lives is just one, and it’s only one: the ability to truly understand and appreciate yourself. No one out there is going to help you, except you. What’s more, stop comparing ourselves against one another. Everybody is of their own distinct qualities, where my talent is different from yours, and others’. When we only begin to appreciate all the qualities you have in your life, that’s where the whole world starts to value us.



And now it’s time for me to paste Michael Buble’s Hollywood lyrics here. Enjoy and contemplate.


Could you be a teenage idol

Could you be a movie star

When l turn on my tv

Will you smile and wave at me telling Oprah who you are.

So you want to be a rock star

With blue eyed bunny’s in your bed

Well remember when you’re rich that you sold yourself for this, you’ll be famous cuz you’re dead.



So don’t go higher for desire

Put it in your head

Baby Hollywood is dead you can find it in yourself.


I don’t want to take you dancing

When you’re dancing with the world

Well You can flash your caviar and your million dollar car

I don’t need that kind of girl

but you could be that next sensation or will you set the latest style

You don’t need a catchy song

Cuz the kids will sing along

When you shoot it with a smile



So don’t go higher for desire

Put it in your head

Baby Hollywood is dead you can find it in yourself.


So don’t fly higher for your fire

Put it in your head

Baby Hollywood is dead you can find it in yourself.

Keep it on your head Hollywood is dead.


Well you can do the mighty tango

You can start your little thing

You can swing from vine to vine

While the kiddies wait in line

With the money in their hands

But if you get to California

Save a piece of gold for me

If it’s the only thing you save

Then I’ll bet you’ll never wave when I watch you on tv.



So don’t go higher for desire

Put it in your head

Baby Hollywood is dead you can find it in yourself.


So don’t fly higher for your fire

Put it in your head

Baby Hollywood is dead you can find it in yourself.

Keep on loving what is true and the world will come to you, you can find it in yourself


Love what is true and the world will come to you, you can find it in yourself

No no no no no

Keep it in your head Hollywood is dead

Come come Hollywood is dead babe woo hoo

Oh Hollywood is dead yeah yeah

Keep on loving what is true and the world will come to you, you can find it in yourself

Get it in your head Hollywood is dead

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