Tue
Dec 6 2011 5:12pm
Justin Bieber Has Gone Steampunk

Justin Bieber, in a just-released video for his cover of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” has co-opted a subgenre that might be very familiar to Tor.com readers: steampunk. Check it out below the cut. It’s like a nightmare but you’re awake!

The co-opting is just one bit of what appears to be a perfectly constructed audience-pandering piece, offering up references to Michael Jackson, N’Sync, the Dresden Dolls, and more, while marketing some movie called Arthur Christmas to us. (We’d add that Justin Bieber is being marketed to us as well, but we’re all perfectly aware of the kid at this point, right?)

Such is the frightening power of the Bieber that all he has to do is scatter a bunch of clocks around and a science fiction/fantasy website writes about him. Even when you don’t want him to, Bieber wins, although such victory seems to bring naught but pain. To quote Tor.com staff writer Ryan Britt upon seeing the video:

“The only way this could be more pandering is if cartoon elves played an elf version of baseball with candy cane bats while Derek Jeter hugged a Christmas tree while drinking a can of Coke Zero.”

Merry Christmas! Beliebe in yourself!


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and thinks that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to get rid of the whole bangs-rocket look.

15 comments
Ian Johnson
1. IanPJohnson
You understand what this means, people…

STEAMPUNK HAS GONE MAINSTREAM.

Quick, all you SFF hipsters: it's time to migrate to a completely new subgenre that I just invented right now: SWIFTPUNK, in which we take inspiration from Gulliver's Travels and create artifacts and dress up in costumes based on early 18th-century proto-SF, specifically dreaming up crazy-ass stuff from book three, the one where Gulliver goes to Laputa and eventually ends up in Japan.

It will be AWESOME.
Emily Asher-Perrin
3. EmilyAP
Without his old haircut, I can see the shape of Bieber's head too well. It bothers me. :-/
Charles Moore
4. Shadeofpoe
I can honestly say that this was my very first introduction into this young man's/boy-child's career. Thank you for that. Back to work, that suicide Santa letter isn't going to write itself.
Catiff
5. Catiff
Actually, it wasn't too bad.

If you turned down the volume, looked past the "Jerkin'" and breakdancing, the pants he was wearing that weren't actually sagging but made to look that way....
Rowan Shepard
6. Rowanmdm3
I think the female engineer in the video is part of the LXD, and if I'm right that makes me so sad.
Catiff
7. PJP
Bieber and steampunk. Two tired, pimped-out, overexploited, mass-marketed cash-cows.

Steampunk has been out since the 80s. Why are cos-play and book companies suddenly into it now? What set off this capitalistic intrusion?

Reminds me of goth. It came out in the 70s and was somewhat cool, until the 90's when everyone from Marilyn Manson to Hot Topic jumped on the bandwagon and killed it.
Catiff
8. The Raven
The term is "censored." "Curated" means something else.

Aside from that, I could only listen to about 5 seconds of the thing before I couldn't take it.
Laura Wooton
10. LWooton
*Headdesk* Yet another reason to not like him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFCuE5rHbPA This sums up my feelings quite well.
Catiff
12. Di
Yes, the female engineer is part of the lxd... she's the love interest of Sp3cimen (Madd Chadd).
I'm sorry that Rowanmdm3 is sad about that fact, but it was predictable since Jon M. Chu was the director of the Justin Bieber's movie.
Anyway, I still think she's an awesome dancer
YouDont NeedToKnow
13. necrosage2005
Bieber has infected TOR?!? I officially no longer wish to live on this planet any more! If anybody needs me I'll be volunteering to go to Mars on that one way trip they were talking about a few months ago. Just make sure to send me AMoL when it comes out next fall.
Catiff
14. BeauW
Did anyone else think "Yay! It's Molly Ringwald." Adventures in the Forbidden Zone should get more love.
Catiff
15. Art Donovan
The Beiber video means nothing. It has no effect on the genre whatsoever.

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