Perhaps in some perverse alternate universe, Selena Gomez had it coming.
The 18-year-old Disney starlet did, over the weekend, allow 16-year-old Auto-Tune sensation Justin Bieber to kiss her on the cheek in broad daylight within sight of a telephoto lens. Once the photo showed up in the real world over the weekend, Gomez had to know the death tweets stinkin' up Twitter weren't far behind.
Grammatically-confused, expletive-inflected, angry tweets like these:
@selenagomez I HATE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, I'LL KILL YOUR KNOB HEADS DISGUSTING STAY AWAY FROM YOUR NOB HEADS DISGUSTING STAY AWAY FROM MY JB IS BETTER SO, YOU'RE DEAD
@selenagomez, We hate you, I swear to God I'll kill you!
@selenagomez, you do not know to whom you are committing errors in dating Justin Bieber, then do not repent, hint ENEMY!
Charming — especially how so many of these (hopefully) tweenage haters observe the comma after the salutation, only to descend into incoherent madness for the remaining 140 characters.
Of course, this is hardly surprising or unprecedented, given the nature of the adolescent girl or the Justin Bieber Army (which takes up 3 percent of Twitter servers) and its typical MO of enemy nullification.
Remember that one time famous-for-no-apparent-reason Kim Kardashian got death threats after Bieber jokingly tweeted she was his (age-inappropriate and perhaps illegal) girlfriend? How about when Greg Leuch got both death threats and at least one inappropriate comparison to Hitler for creating ShavedBieber, a Firefox extensionthat blocks out all Internet instances of "Bieber," "Justin Bieber" and photos with "Bieber" in the file name?
As I've written before on this topic, tweenage girls are scary — especially how their "Lordette of the Flies" behavior plays out on the Interwebs when it comes to that Bieber kid.
"That pitch of emotion — hysteria in the classic, oft misused and always disparaged sense of the word — is a significant part of the joy and terror of growing up," as Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams sagely observes in "Justin Beiber fans' murderous new rage." What's different, Williams points out, is that this "hysteria" now has an outlet beyond notebook doodles, "the means to directly tell Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus or Demi Lovato that she's a slut and a whore and deserves to die."
Worse, it seems, so many of these girls have parents that are ignorant, or simply don't care what their daughters are going through and how they're expressing it. "And without any guidance on how to behave with compassion or restraint and not blurting out death wishes, she and everyone in her circle are in for a world of pain."
To be sure, it's not all bad. Check out Jezebel's positive update in the saga of Sydney Dalton, the 15-year-old girl who served as the last target of serious Hatorade after she and two friends made a video of the three tearing up Justin Bieber posters, and with all the foresight of teenagers, uploaded it on YouTube for all the world to see.
"Dalton, whose temporary disdain of Justin Bieber enraged legions of other teen girls, is apparently dealing with the situation with maturity and aplomb," Jezebel's Irin Carmon wrote, pointing to Dalton's recent interview with 4TNZ. " Maybe there's hope for America's youth after all."