Correction 10/29: Turns out that wasn't actually Justin Bieber—the photo was a hoax, staged by Bieber look-alike Brad Sousa and the YouTube pranksters behind Yes Theory. This story has been updated to reflect that.
It's ridiculous to roast a pop star or athlete for not knowing something. After all, didn't we, the adoring fans and public, practically force them to be morons? The whole reason those people were able to become famous for a physical skill in the first place is because many of them have had to sacrifice the pursuit of knowledge. Instead of reading books, they spent years practicing singing or dancing or throwing a sportsball so that we could watch their performances and be briefly distracted from the misery of our comparably boring and thankless existence. Of course they don't know anything—there's simply not enough time in the day for that to be possible.
Even in this pantheon of understandable stupidity, Justin Bieber is someone with perhaps an exceptional lack of knowledge. He was discovered on YouTube when he was 13, tutored by something called a "swagger coach," and catapulted to an unfathomable level of international fame. While he might know the art of swag, he really probably doesn't know much else. A prime example: Although he was featured on the first Spanish-language #1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 in more than a decade, his knowledge of the language doesn't extend beyond food items. When singing his own song at karaoke, he seemingly substituted the lyrics to include "Dorito" and "I ate a burrito."
Although I'm partial to cutting him some slack for not being bilingual—I am, after all, a fan of his music, and thus complicit in his somewhat shady educational history—I do take issue with the fact that he may have been lying in his "Despacito" ad lib. It's clear that Bieber has not eaten from the tree of knowledge, but it's hard to say that he has, in fact, "[eaten] a burrito" before very recently. Here's the photographic "evidence" throwing that into question—though it's since been revealed to be a viral hoax:
The picture, which surfaced Thursday on Reddit, shows someone who looks very much like the musician—though is actually Brad Sousa, a Bieber impersonator—sitting on a bench, attempting to consume the food product sideways, foil removed, as if he was playing a harmonica. Before learning that this whole thing was just a prank, I couldn't help but wonder: Is it possible that someone worth $265 million, who has a house in LA, and has vacationed (albeit disastrously) in Tulum, has never actually eaten a burrito? Or does the globe-trotting 24-year-old simply know something the rest of us do not? I decided to find out.
You're on borrowed time when you bite into a burrito sideways. Eating without the foil is like going no-seatbelt. The gaping hole exposed by that first munch sets off a panic inside that incites you to eat as fast as possible. You're no longer holding lunch; you're cradling a canister of beans and rice that is soon to explode.
Knowing this, you're forced to adopt a wide-legged stance—one that is wholly unnatural in the amount of space you take up. Perhaps, it occurred to me, as the first bit of the burrito showered to the ground, Bieber knows this. Maybe he eats the burrito like this because it forces him to manspread so widely that no one would dare sit next to him on a park bench.
When the burrito finally fell apart after nine minutes of continuous gorging, I figured that was probably the most likely explanation as to why Bieber—or, as we've now learned, his doppelgänger—would do such a thing. When a pop star eats a burrito sideways, they're definitely encouraging people to take photos of them that they'll roast on the internet. But they're also creating a forcefield that keeps intruders away physically.
Being too famous to enjoy a solitary meal in public is the absolute only reason someone would choose to desecrate a perfect food item in such a way. For someone like me—someone who is not worth approximately the gross domestic product of Finland or Chile, someone who had to borrow sunglasses for this experiment because hers were stolen by a crust punk and she can't afford to replace them—this is no way to eat a burrito. And anyone who does so is stupid. As a great philosopher (tenuous high school graduate) once said, "Sorry."
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