Selena and Justin — Why Do We Care?

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Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez

Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez in 2012 before their rumored break-up. Image: Jelenator

COLUMN/OPINION

Who knows what’s going on with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez? Well, they do, for sure—but does anyone else?

Bieber is, of course, a famous teen pop idol and Gomez is a television actress; the couple has been dating on and off for the past couple of years.

But what do we really know about the couple? That they had been dating. They have probably broken up. It may have been her decision or it may have been his decision. He may (or may not) be trying to win her back. Etc.

In other words, what do we know? Not much. Almost nothing, in fact.

Some media report one thing, and some media report something completely different. Here’s why. It’s because the couple themselves aren’t talking about it.

Gomez? Isn’t talking.

Bieber? Isn’t talking.

Everyone else? Talking! Fans and entertainment reporters are fascinated with the “break-up.” (If it’s even true.) Tweeting. Facebooking. Blogging.

Both of the young stars have legions of fans, of course. Gomez has more than 13 million followers on Twitter and Bieber has more than 30.2 million followers.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber in concert in Indonesia. Image: Adam Sundana

Since the stars themselves aren’t talking, the fans must remind themselves it’s all just rumours.

In any news article about the young stars—about any celebrity, in fact—it’s important to note these words: “a source said.”

With those words, you know the celebrity isn’t talking. The reporter couldn’t get the celebrity to speak to them directly, so the reporter is forced to talk to “a source.” The problem is that a source could be anyone. It could be someone who’s just guessing, or is trying to start a rumour. It could also be the celebrity’s publicist who is trying to shape public opinion one way or another about their famous client.

So it’s important to watch for those words, “a source,” and realize that whatever “a source” says should be viewed with skepticism at best.

In any case, the bigger question here is: why do we care?

We don’t know Justin Bieber personally, or Selena Gomez. So why do we care whether they’re together or not? And yet, we sort of do care. We want to know—we’re curious. It’s fun to think about the lives of people whose job it is to entertain us.

That’s what it is—it’s entertainment.

And like any entertainment, it’s harmless, as long as you don’t get too caught up in it.

Today’s article is a “column.” Unlike news stories, a column is one reporter’s opinion on a subject. Columns have a personal slant. Readers may agree or disagree with the columnist’s viewpoint.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The article says, “And like any entertainment, it’s harmless, as long as you don’t get too caught up in it.”

What do you think this statement means? Do you agree or disagree?

Reading Prompt: Point of View
Today’s article is a column, which is a reporter’s opinion on a subject. Read the article and underline all of sentences or ideas in the article that show the reporter’s personal point of view.

Primary
Identify the point of view presented in a text and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Junior
Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Grammar Feature: Sentences
What is a sentence?

In this article, there are several “sentences” that are only a few words or even one word. For example:

Gomez? Isn’t talking.

Bieber? Isn’t talking.

Everyone else? Talking! Fans and entertainment reporters are fascinated with the “break-up.” (If it’s even true.) Tweeting. Facebooking. Blogging.

Do you think these are sentences? Why or why not?