In the scorched bowels of the California desert this past weekend, a conclave of the worst humans in America gathered to celebrate Coachella. The concert festival, as The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern asserted last year, is an “oasis for douchebags and trust fund babies” and “should be avoided at all costs.”
Given such esteemed company at a venue so hospitable to vile behavior, it says a lot that Justin Bieber, of all people, was the one whose actions were just too much that he was reportedly placed in a chokehold and kicked out of the festival this past weekend. Then again, when you think about it: Justin Bieber and “oasis for douchebags.” Moth to flame, really.
Leave it to the Grand Poobah of Petulance to be a human so horrible that he’s kicked out of a festival known for its horribleness.
This came mere weeks after he earnestly gazed into a Comedy Central-owned camera and, after hours of being called a drunken lesbian, told the audience of his Roast that he was going to turn his behavior around, stop disappointing his fans, and return to his cherubic roots as a beloved pop moppet. He’s going to stop being a dick, he said. He even invoked the grace of god.
Given the gossip rag pile-on reveling in yet another Bieber misdeed, it’s apparent that Jesus did not take the wheel—or at the very least took a wrong turn on the road to redemption. The grace of god, the public shaming by Martha Stewart, and a hotbed of comparatively ridiculous behavior at the worst place on earth—Indio during Coachella—were not enough for Bieber to come off as a good guy, as he had promised, or hoped. No, he was manhandled away from those ambitions in a chokehold—a chokehold!—perhaps forever proving that he’s not capable of rehabbing his horrific public image.
Or…is it all just a big misunderstanding?
You see, lost amidst the headlines glamorizing and exploiting yet another case of Bieber Behaving Badly, is the account of what actually happened. Of all places, the fairest play-by-play seems to come from TMZ. Keep your enemies closer, eh?
According to the gossip gurus at TMZ, Bieber and his entourage were playing by the rules before things escalated out of control. They were trying to access the artist’s entrance at Drake’s performance, where they were invited and had the proper wristbands to gain entry. Security told them, however, that the area was at capacity and they’d have to watch Madonna mouth-rape Drake along with the dusty plebeians.
This rightfully horrified Bieber, who said that if he watched the show with the crowd he’d be bombarded by fans. Security must not have watched the Comedy Central Roast because they were not sympathetic to Bieber’s plight. (They were not aware that the grace of god was on his side.)
In any case, they told him to bugger off. He stood his ground, and was eventually found by a Coachella staffer who promised to take him into the private area. But as he was being led away, security came up from behind and placed him in a chokehold, naturally starting a fight with his security. Bieber was ordered to leave, and sources tell TMZ that he departed voluntarily.
Now, call me crazy, but Bieber actually comes off as a bit of a victim in this account. His team is also considering legal action against the security guards. Maybe I’m in a softy mood. Maybe there’s something about a bleached blond Canadian squinting into a camera pledging to turn his life around that just cuts to my heart. Maybe I’ve been overwhelmed by the grace of god.
Maybe Justin Bieber is turning a new leaf and this whole Coachella dust-up is a wild misunderstanding that is further and unfairly tarnishing his image, when his ambitions were to simply chill with Drake and a bunch of girls wearing flower crowns in peace. He just wants to reclaim his position as a superlative recording artist, and perhaps enjoy some Madonna-Drake tonsil hockey while he’s at it.
Or, maybe, we’re being too kind, too optimistic, too generous. Maybe Bieber was a grade-A assface deserving of his chokehold escort and all the media scorn he’s currently soaking up, like a SoCal frat boy inexplicably dressed up as a Native American soaking up the Coachella UV rays.
Bieber’s camp hasn’t responded with comment about what happened. But if that’s the case, then there’s another superlative Bieber has earned: The Worst Person at Coachella. It’s a hard-won achievement, for sure. But, you know, by the grace of god and all.