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Friday, June 22, 2012

Dear Abby: What About Us?

Yesterday, I wrote about Justin Bieber retweeting one of my sister's tweets about his NBC special.  One of the comments to that post is the ultimate subject of today's post.

But before I go there, let me just tell you something.  Justin Bieber is a force to be reckoned with. When I logged onto Blogger this morning to check my stats, the little chart that tracks daily tallies was off the page.  My semi-bland reporting of the Justin Bieber Event is now my second-most read post of all time.  ("All time" being since March 2012, but still.  Wow.) 

I'm flattered that I got so many readers.  At the same time, it's a bit demoralizing.  Between you and me, I kind of mailed it in yesterday.  It was a hectic day and I didn't have nearly enough time to sit down and really concentrate on polishing off a post.  So I just did a fairly journalistic summary of something someone else experienced.  I have spent hours on other posts, doing "research," editing, sitting at a blank screen trying to think of a more unique approach to a particular subject.  Sometimes those posts do well, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes the posts I spend the most time on and that I'm most personally proud of barely register a blip on my stats log.

Then along comes Justin Bieber and Blogger can hardly keep up with the traffic.  I think I could have just written "Justin Bieber" 4,000 times and the post would have been a statistical success.

So apparently there's a pretty simple equation: Justin Bieber + public forum = unparalleled attention.  Which I think means The Biebs should expand his brand beyond entertainment.  He should go into politics, banking, education reform, and world peace.  If something as silly as my blog can benefit from the mere mention of His Holy Justin's name, imagine what he could do for the likes of presidential nominees, Bank of America, homework, and Iran.  He should be featured in every campaign ad, every credit application, every take-home quiz, and every nuclear arms inspection.  It's a wonder Selena Gomez still has the capacity to blush; it seems as though everything Mr. Bieber touches turns to some form of solid gold.


A loyal reader, Ben, commented on yesterday's post and queried: "what is the dude equivalent of adult women geeking out over an arguably pubescent Canadian?"

Well, Ben, let's see.

Sticking strictly to the parameters you've erected around this exercise, here is my best extrapolation:

A RT from Sarah Hyland, who plays Haley Dunphy on Modern Family.  Technically, she's 21 but she looks 14.  Nonetheless, she was featured in Maxim's Hot 100.  In fact, she came in at #50 -- even beating out co-star Sophia Vergara, who clocked in at #71.  So apparently guys are into her.  And if there's any starlet in Hollywood who adult men should not be lusting after as much as Maxim claims they do, I'd have to say it's her.


Or maybe it's Justin Bieber.  Given what I've seen over the past 48 hours, it wouldn't surprise me if The Biebs has infiltrated the testosterone ranks and would cause the manliest of mans to squeak at the sight of a Biebs RT. 
But let's broaden our horizons, shall we?

To begin with, I think the premise of Ben's question may be flawed.  It assumes that guys geek out.  I am not sure I've ever seen a guy geek out.  Or maybe I have, and I just didn't know that was what I was witnessing. 

I've been in the room when I've seen some guys meet Tony Gonzalez, the future Hall of Fame tight end who currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons.  The guys I saw meeting him were mostly just craning their necks to look up at him and either not talking or saying really stupid things.  ("How many catches this year, big guy?"  "You should come up and go golfing with us!")  Is that a guy geek out?

I've also been in an elevator with my father when a member of the Boston Celtics happens to get on with us.  My father's reaction was similar to the Tony Gonzalez response.  Craned neck, inane comment.  ("Hey man.  [Offers handshake]  You guys lookin' good this ye-ah?  God damn right.")  Was that my dad geeking out?

Bringing this back to the Twitter context, the most I can see a guy doing in response to a remarkable RT is grunting.  Maybe passing their phone to whoever is sitting next to them so that person can see the RT with his own eyes and give a good grunt, too.

Putting aside the contained response I believe the average male would have to anything exciting -- be it a Twitter RT or a baby announcement -- I have to believe that there are other RTs that would somewhat elevate John Doe's blood pressure.  Here are some that I can think of:

1.  Having some comment about a game, a player, or a coach RT'd by Andy Katz, Bill Simmons, ESPN, etc. 

2.  Same scenario as #1, but the RT comes from Erin Andrews.  Then you've got the sports nod AND the hot girl nod.  (Perhaps in this situation, the grunt would be followed by a "DUDE!!!")

3.  Having a suggestion for a good morning workout RT'd by any pro athlete.

4.  Same scenario as #3, but the tweet includes a picture of John Doe's torso.  And it's RT'd by Erin Andrews.

5.  Having a list of people John Doe has dated RT'd by George Clooney.

6.  Having some obscure movie reference RT'd by whatever bad actor starred in that movie.

7.  Having a picture of the steaks John Doe is grilling RT'd by Anthony Bourdain or Peter Luger's Steakhouse. 

8.  Having a tweet -- any tweet -- worthy of a RT by Humblebrag.  (Said tweet could even be "That awkward moment when you realize Erin Andrews can't concentrate on the NHL Awards because she's RT'ing my LeBron dig.")

9.  Having a tweet -- any tweet -- RT'd by Blake Lively, Brooklyn Decker, or [INSERT OBJECT OF AFFECTION HERE].

10.  Having a tweet predicting likely rainfall/snowfall totals RT'd by Jim Cantore.  (This one might be of more limited applicability, but I'm pretty sure among the men in my extended family, that RT would be cause for champagne, cigars, and maybe early retirement.)

Add to the list!

Submit your idea or suggestion for a "Dear Abby" post by emailing me at All the other intricate details of this something-for-everyone are explained here.


  1. Chrissy Tiegen!! And in the late 90's, Brittney, bitch!

  2. Cantore. Or whoever handles susanma83066035. That's so many numbers!

  3. For guys- food, making a ton of money somehow, and getting into( and hopefully out of ) trouble.