The end of the world is nigh. It is time to take up weapons and prepare for battle. This is why: Justin Bieber, aka the Bieb, has released a new Christmas video — which would normally be a lamentable but inevitable fact of the holiday season. But he has done so in “steampunk” fashion.
Let’s assume you don’t have three minutes and 37 seconds to waste watching the video. Or let’s assume that you’re so steampunk, you don’t even watch videos (um, but you do read this website). In that case, below is my blow-by-blow account of the Bieb’s new vid.
Santa’s workshop is filled with quirky Victorian machinery, and the Biebster is outfitted like a junior-varsity attendee of a steampunk con. You know, velvet, ill-fitting pants, watch parts on a vest. He turns the large metal key on a Pygmalion-style music-box lady, and she comes to life, but he doesn’t really notice because he is too busy doing fey Michael Jackson moves with a weird Iron Man-meets-9 prosthetic hand. Then there’s a breakdancing elf (oh, how I wish I were kidding) who puts a Tiny Tim midgety kid on an old wooden table only to abandon him moments later. Next there’s an African-American guy with an awkward hair situation who does a few moves before we cut to a hint of an animation that segues into a really cute girl, who I think (I hope) is gay, who vogues. Yeah, like Madonna used to do.
Keep in mind that Justin’s hair is essentially Eraserhead throughout this whole thing, and the strange animated elf floats in the sky like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon you’re hoping will crash. Then — voila! — we get a little French Pierrot who does some tumbling, which is nice, and way better than mime, and now that I think about it, I wish this video were mime instead. The lesbigirl does a mean robot dance, Bieber “plays” the drums and he keeps jabbing at his chest as though the Santa Claus he’s singing about is none other than Justin Bieber. Imagine that. Then he does a chatty little thing that flows into more music that’s definitely not in the original:
“It’s that time of year when you let all your problems go and you just shake it shake it baby, ew, doo doo doo doo”
People spin on their heads, wear dumb hats, knock over boxes, vogue some more, and dance together on conveyer belts. Justin Bieber’s facial expressions are EXTREME, especially when he says, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…” — it’s like he’s cramping, maybe because he’s realizing how creepy that all sounds, especially these days. Then, he gets so overcome with emotion, he opens his jacket, pulls it away from his body and stretches his neck back, all the while with a look on his face that seems to signal strenuous bodily effort, as though he’s lifting a 200 lb. dumbbell instead of being in the worst video ever.
Then, what’s that? A sort of tall elf is now dancing but he looks like a skinny Santa so I’m confused. Oh, and the animated elf outtakes are from a movie, I guess, though it seems like they never really decided to do a proper product tie-in, so it’s almost as though you might be imagining the animated parts. Wait, maybe I should be watching this stoned? It would probably be so much better.
My favorite part is the little kid with dimples dressed like Tiny Tim or Oliver or Pip or some other Dickens character who’s all smiley and dancey — I’m completely sure it’s what Mario Lopez looked like as a child. Adorable!
The end has Bieber throwing “his” drumsticks at the viewer and making a wry face, as if to say, “Isn’t this all so ridiculous?” Dude, yes, it is! What were you thinking?
Steampunkers, rise up in righteous anger about this video. Bieber hath made your house of worship a den of ick.