Taco Bell Wants Canada to Take Back Bieber, But He's a Valuable Natural Resource
Justin Bieber has resurfaced as an object of contention: on Thursday, Taco Bell president Brian Niccol told Reddit users if Canada would take back Justin Bieber, he'd bring the company's new breakfast menu to the country. Though this duty-free trade would not violate NAFTA, and might prove mutually beneficial for both parties, the United States should take time to thoroughly consider this option. After all, Bieber has been a valuable motivational resource in the past, and we haven't fully explored his potential as a Totemic Object of International Consequence. (TOIC, for short, and STOIC if we add Studly to the title.)
There have been hints of this power, to be sure. On Feb. 21, the Olympic hockey game between the U.S. and Canada reached new heights of rabid fandom: a company near Chicago had posted a sign on Feb. 20 proclaiming "Loser Keeps Bieber," and Twitter erupted in agreement. The United States slunk home with its tail between its legs after losing 1-0, and masochistically listened to "Baby" for two hours on repeat. Perhaps Bieber as a bet worked against our men on the ice, who were blackmailed into losing by the preteen sisters, nieces, or daughters in their lives.
Nonetheless, the loss left us with a valuable natural resource: Bieber himself. This 20-year-old may, in fact, be the United States' most valuable foreign policy weapon. Mr. Secretary himself, the honorable John Kerry, should not step down from this opportunity. In addition to hockey and fast food menus, Bieber can be used to communicate our policy objectives on an international basis.
1) Climate Change
The Department of State website states that, under the 2007 Bali Action Plan, "all countries that contribute to atmospheric emissions must undertake measurable, reportable, and verifiable mitigation actions in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions." This seems reasonable, but difficult to enforce.
What, then, could the United States do with Bieber at the helm? Two options come to mind. If the country's citizens are, on the whole, Bieber-positive, a Do It In the Dark with Bieber Day could be instituted. Participating countries would turn off their lights in unison during a specified day each month, and turn their attention to a cappella renditions of the singer's greatest hits. Alternately, countries that refused to toe the line could be threatened with a surplus or deficit of Bieber. The star could be broadcast on repeat in countries until they agree to either cut back carbon emissions or turn off their television sets in frustration. Alternately, he could sign an agreement refusing to cross their borders for performances until they met energy requirements. Either way, the future looks greener through the spectacles of Bieber fever. Our oceans and forests will thank us.
2) Women's Issues
Bieber has 50.6 million followers on Twitter. Imagine if, instead of tweeting this:
He tweeted this:
Making the gender gap that has left women and girls with limited or no access to medical care, education, elected office, and the marketplace smaller everyday all day.
I'd retweet. In addition, Bieber (or Jelena, depending on their dating status) could spearhead celebrity contributions to micro financing, thereby allowing women across the world to invest in their local economies. A portion of each ticket sale could go back to the female friends and relatives of his fans. Instead of singing, "I wanna show you all the finer things in life/ So just forget about the world, we're young tonight," his famous "Beauty and a Beat" could proclaim, "I wanna show you economic independence/ So you can exercise your social and political rights."
The United States' "International Strategy for Cyberspace" states under the Deterrence heading, "The United States will ensure that the risks associated with attacking or exploiting our networks vastly outweigh the potential benefits." How can Bieber help deter these would-be cyber attacks? While my knowledge of hacking and the world of cyberspace is somewhat limited, I do know that there is nothing quite as frustrating as an unexpected rickroll. What, then, if hackers were constantly exposed to pop-up Bieber attacks? The United States government could squirrel the singer's finest moments as supposedly "sensitive" material. If hackers found themselves repeatedly staring into Bieber's all-knowing eyes, they might consider changing professions.
4) Obama vs. Putin
As tensions rise between Russia and the United States, Obama would do well to remember Theodore Roosevelt's famous words: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Or, in the case of Bieber, "Tweet softly and carry a tune." Putin may have boots on the ground in Crimea, but Obama has an undeniable connection to the younger generation of American citizens. Though there has been significant disillusionment since the halcyon days of "Change we can believe in," Obama might be able to recruit some of that old fervor with a new motto: "Change we can Belieb in." By taking this pop star under his wing, and perhaps sending him as ambassador to the eagle-eyed Russian president, Obama can send the following message: "I still have the youth vote, and I will use this somewhat off-keel youth to wrest support from your people." After all, if the Police Choir is down to perform "Get Lucky," Bieber might have a chance to warm some Russian hearts.