The Internet exploded yesterday when news broke that internationally celebrated historian and London School of Economics professor emeritus Justin Bieber had visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where he wrote in the guest book that the teenage diarist and Holocaust victim was a “good girl” (a term generally only used in reference to horses and contestants on The Bachelor, right before they don’t get a rose), noting that ”hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
Well! The PR team at the Anne Frank House kicked into high gear today with an official statement on the matter that’s so diplomatic it’s positively Swiss. (They’re Dutch, but, y’know.) As they posted on their Facebook page:
“The Anne Frank House was pleased to welcome Justin Bieber to the Anne Frank House last Friday. We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum. He was very interested in the story of Anne Frank and stayed for over an hour. We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary.
That’s nice, isn’t it? We hope it does, too.
Look, we’re all being pretty hard on this poor kid; it’s safe to say that his emphasis probably wasn’t on academics growing up, and his comprehension of the tastelessness of his comment in the context of Frank’s cultural and historical significance is a lot to expect. That said: If you don’t want to look like a narcissistic goon, engage with the universe in a way that’s more sophisticated than just imagining whether some dead person would have liked your music. It shouldn’t be that hard. Right?
Oh, well. Maybe his pet monkey can read it to him.