Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Maynard James Keenan decidedly unthrilled by Justin Bieber's new Tool phase

Photo: Ricky Vigil (Getty Images)

Justin Bieber has been the world’s most relentlessly successful punchline for a staggering number of years at this point, having transitioned through a veritable multiverse of public phases that have each been blessed with a different flavor of “Ugh,” and a different level of complete and total victory over all of his numerous detractors in the process. There’s been wholesome Justin; skeezy Justin; Anne-Frank-would-have-been-a-Belieber-Justin; redemption Justin; getting-made-fun-of-by-Hannibal-Buress-for-attempting-redemption Justin; tattoo Justin; horning-in-on-“Despacito” Justin, “Let’s fight Tom Cruise” Justin, and a million more besides, all of them some variety of irritating, all of them vastly more popular than the rest of us could ever dream of being. Just this week, the unfathomably celebrated pop star found a new angle to explore for his carefully crafted character, rolling out Mk. 1 of “Posts Tool lyrics on social media” Justin, followed swiftly by its inevitable Mk. 2 revision, “Being kind of smug about posting Tool lyrics, too.”


Per Consequence Of Sound, the 25-year-old Bieber pledged his affection for one of the band’s songs on Instagram Stories yesterday, inviting only true fans who recognized the lyrics (from 2006's “The Pot”) to chime in on and discuss the depths of their bleak ennui. Also chiming in, and also apparently feeling pretty bleak: Tool mastermind Maynard James Keenan, who took time out of his busy schedule of making wine and not releasing the next Tool album he’s been promising for the last 13 goddamn years in order to offer up a very succinct note on this clearly worrying development.

Of course, it could be argued that you’re not a true Tool fan until Maynard has been publicly dismissive of you. Still, a rough day to Belieb—except not, because he’s Justin Bieber, and a year from now we’ll probably all be talking about how his cover version of “Prison Sex” is somehow now the most streamed track in the history of man.

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