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Justin Bieber references: Just don't do it

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Am I alone in feeling that sports writers probably should avoid references to current teenie bopper singers, being that even if they've heard the music of said artist (Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, etc.), their audience probably hasn't?

    Wright Thompson is one of my favorite authors going, and his feature on Zenyatta was otherwise very good, but this tripped me up a bit:

    (Context: he's describing trainer John Shirreffs)

    It comes across as a cheap way to attempt to seem "hip" or something, but what it actually does is alienates readers who don't know anything about or care to know anything about Justin Bieber, even if only for part of a sentence.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't disagree.
  3. it especially stands out in a story about horse racing, which has one of the oldest fan bases of any sport.
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    It ties into the starstruck teenager line. What did you want him to say? "He doesn't go falsetto after seeing David Cassidy?"
  5. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    In 1944 he could have said Frank Sinatra.

    In 1954, Elvis.

    In 1964, the Beatles.

    Etc., etc., etc.

    He's conveying the notion of mindless adulation. The squealing, unthinking bobby soxer. He's saying that the trainer isn't some shrill, hysterical, over-the-top enthusiast. Except about the horse.

    Nothing wrong with pop culture references that make their point.
  6. Sorry, but pop culture references that make their point only make their point to those who understand them. To the rest of us, they're just juvenile and stupid -- kind of like Justin Bieber (who my 10-year-old daughter said is "kind of a big, ugly doofus").
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Justin Bieber is not a big, ugly doofus. Why, he's not even very big!
  8. dkphxf

    dkphxf Member

    Which is why pop culture references work best when using things people have heard of. Even your 10-year-old daughter can understand that reference.
  9. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    While they're at it, they should all get off your lawns.
  10. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    I'm 26 and have never heard a Justin Bieber song beyond hearing 30 seconds of one while finding it to use as a joke on this site, which ain't exactly populated by the up-and-comers of pop culture (myself included).

    That background provided, I got the reference and read right through it without skipping a beat. It's not a great line, by any means, but it didn't distract me from a wonderful story.
  11. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    justin who? ??? ??? ???
  12. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    I remember once a long time ago messing with the idea of dropping in a reference to Guns N' Roses "Use Your Illusion" album coming out.
    Then I thought about my father-in-law reading the paper and having absolutely no idea what I meant.
    Took it out.
    Trying too hard to seem hip is usually a bad idea.
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