Pranks are never more effective than when a prankster finds the precise border between reality and absurdity and just barely steps over it. This week's #CutForBieber trending topic--in which Justin Bieber fans were supposed to be cutting themselves in an attempt to force their ur-boyfriend off marijuana--was a perfectly executed example. Are there quite enough Beliebers interested in targeted self-harm to float a genuine reverse-protection-racket hashtag? Probably not. Are there a few? Suddenly plausible.
Rachel Parker A little perspective, here.
In that space: The prank. But the fascinating part about #CutForBieber isn't just the execution--it's how evanescent prank and prankster were. There's no Allen Funt here, and no footage of Justin Bieber bursting through a door and everybody sigh-laughing in relief.
There's just 4chan, and stories about a thing that was briefly happening and now isn't. #CutForBieber is an artifact of a system in which pranks and trending topics are functionally identical.
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