Forgiving Justin Bieber has been a surprisingly brief process. Since the floppy-haired wunderkind released his latest round of absurdly catchy tracks -- including "Sorry" (you might have heard it, oh, three or four hundred times, or even taken part in a flash mob dance to it) -- humans of all ages have been shrugging and carrying on like Biebs wasn't one of the most hated celebrities in the country just a few short months ago.
The years between 2013 and 2015 were terrible for Justin Bieber, and that was, we understood, all his own fault. This kid's abhorrent behavior was performed for a prolonged period, and on an impressively global scale.
At home, there was the egging of a neighbor's house. There was drag racing under the influence in Miami, a subsequent arrest and now-famously unrepentant mugshot. In Canada, there was a charge against him for assaulting a limo driver and claims that he spat on his own fans from a hotel balcony. In London, he grabbed a photographer’s camera and ever so eloquently declared: "I’ll f*cking beat the f*ck out of you.” In Amsterdam, there were astonishingly insensitive comments about Anne Frank. In New York, he was filmed simultaneously peeing into a bucket and insulting Bill Clinton. In Australia, he left crappy graffiti on a hotel wall. There was even, in a Spinal Tap-worthy twist, callous pet-monkey-abandonment in Germany.
Justin Bieber was, without question, a major brat with too much money and too little supervision. The emergence of excruciating videos of him using racist slurs early on in his career only served to prove this point further.
In case that wasn’t enough, the people he surrounded himself with during that time did not help matters. Tales of crewmembers trying to sneak weed through Australian customs emerged. Bodyguards allegedly started fights in English venues and used heavy-handed approaches with fans. And through it all, Bieber strutted around in those weird-diaper pants of his, self-satisfied smirk on his face.
So how in the hell is Bieber back in America’s favor so quickly? It’s not because of his spouting of religious texts on Instagram, or his desperate baptism in NBA star Tyson Chandler’s bathtub (which seemed about as authentic as the time Paris Hilton showed up to jail carrying a Bible). It’s not even because he showed us a photo of his perfectly formed bottom (though that didn’t hurt, in the grand scheme of things).