I had only been up for about an hour today when I heard the news. I was sitting on my couch at about half past five, lights low, laptop humming on the coffee table, our golden retriever Bailey resting his head on my knee. I had both hands wrapped around my first mug of coffee, trying to steel myself for a day that would not see temperatures climb out of the high 60s. I had just turned the TV on to NBC 6 Miami, and I was waiting anxiously for local weather guy, Ryan Phillips, to give me the ‘down low’ on the Polar Vortex. I always trust Ryan. He’s a native Midwesterner (Ohio) and he did three years as a weatherman in Nebraska. Those qualifications are enough for me. If anybody can tell me when the Polar Vortex is going shift north of the Georgia border, it’s Ryan. (And to all of you reading in frigid northern climates, I know what you want to say to me. You want to tell me that it is 49 degrees below zero outside your house in Ice Slide Minnesota, and we whimpering Florida pansies don’t know what real cold is!! Ha… to you I say, you don’t live in houses with heating systems that consist of two Yankee Candles and a wool scarf.)
So there I was…Bailey and I in front of the tube…when I heard that Justin Bieber had been arrested in Miami. The nineteen year old Biebs was arrested at about 4:09 AM (roughly the time I get up), drag racing down Pine Tree Drive in a yellow Lamborghini (great color choice when you’re trying to stay low key). By now it is old news that the inebriated Bieber was on an all day bender, smoking weed, drinking, taking prescription meds, and it is a testament to his age that he was still functioning at that late hour, as I doubt that I should be in any condition to drag race at 4AM after a day like that, but that’s another matter.
Bieber has been cruising for trouble since he arrived in Florida. His controversial unauthorized escort from Opa-loka airport after his plane landed their earlier this week is being investigated, with local law enforcement officers likely to face disciplinary action. Then he shows up at a local strip joint, tossing around (allegedly) 75 grand in cash. Partying all night in South Beach clubs. Then, finally blocking off the streets for a drag race.
“What the f*** did I do? Why did you stop me?” he asked the first officer on the scene.
The profanity continues, no doubt exacerbated by the alcohol and drugs that the young man consumed in the hours leading up to his arrest. Alcohol and drugs do that to you. And you will be seeing more of Justin Bieber as time goes on. Already, local television has preempted late morning shows to provide live coverage of his arrival at the county courthouse. A mugshot of a smiling Bieber was released to the press and has certainly made its way around the world a dozen times by now. Not to be fooled by smiling celeb mugshots. Most of them are aware that their photos are going to live in infamy so they often make an extra attempt to look nonchalant, even happy. It is often not a sign of raw, finger in the air, arrogance. In Justin Bieber’s case, however, it may actually be raw, finger in the air, arrogance.
But it will go on ad nauseum. The tabloids are undoubtedly scandalizing the story further with possibly “Biebs Miami Meltdown” headlines to soon appear. The requisite analysis, interviews, speculation and condemnation will begin.
Bieber’s bond has already been set at $2500. He should have little trouble raising it (the Lamborghini rented for about $1800/day), and already fabled super-lawyer Roy Black is on the case. Black, who has defended William Kennedy Smith, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Rodman, Marv Alpert and Carmen Electra, to name only a few, is a legal magician extraordinaire, so I am guessing that Bieber’s Dade County charges are well on the way to the legal dustbin — after all, what can they do to him? He’s unlikely to receive jail time, any financial implications are paltry to say the most, and even though he will likely face suspension of his driving privileges, it’s not like he’s going to lose his job at Radio Shack or WalMart because they aren’t on the bus line.
Still…this isn’t L.A. The mighty have come here and gone, some never to return. Britney and Lindsey and Paris partied here, and the list of celebrity DUIs, car crashes and arrests would fill a phone directory (if anyone remembers what one of those is). And don’t forget that The Juice came here – and left. And now sits in a Nevada prison waiting for the end. Justice can be slow coming, and it comes much slower for the powerful than for the rest of us. Yet it does come.
Tonight though, Justin Bieber is scheduled to attend the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat game at American Airlines Arena.