At this stage in our world’s frightening path towards a fully globalized hellscape, any two images that exist on the Internet have already been placed together. The same hypothesis posed years ago about porn has been realized for every jpeg on Earth: if you think it exists on the Internet, it already does.
By that, I mean that two heavyweights of social media joined forces late last evening. Malala Yousafzai, made famous by her education activism and the brutal attack on her life by the Taliban in Pakistan, and Justin Bieber, made famous by breaking up with Selena Gomez and fighting Orlando Bloom (and some other shit too I guess), met in a wrinkle in the space-time continuum to FaceTime briefly.
If you’re confused about who Malala is because you exist only in a Rap Genius discussion board vortex, she’s been on the cover of the New York Times and TIME Magazine for blogging about her life under the Taliban, and survived an attempted assassination from the Taliban one year later. She’s a child-sized Mother Teresa and everyone in the world except for the Taliban (and you, apparently) is obsessed with her. You should know who she is and I’m not just saying that because I’m a shrill Twitter activist.
I could flick back my hoop earrings and launch into some “As a Pakistani woman, how offensive it is to both Beliebers and Malala-fans (Malala-monsters? Brown barbies? What are people calling Malala’s loyal fanbase these days?), that this moment of human connecting is being turned into a publicity stunt,” but I have never been more impressed with humanity than when I saw Bieber’s Instagram. I’d like to think lil Malala carried a Justin Bieber backpack to school the day she was shot in the head by the Taliban in Swat Valley, Pakistan, simultaneously a reason the oppressive Taliban regime believed she was an agent of the West, and a foreshadowing of international fame that would ultimately bring her face to virtual face with the prince of pop himself.
Bless you, Steve Jobs. Bless you for personally inventing the iPhone, therefore facilitating this momentous occasion in human history. Bless the internet for both letting little Malala to find her footing as an education activist and blogger, and for Justin to start building his Belieber fanbase as a wee Canadian lad. Bless both of the powerful wireless routers Malala and Justin were undoubtedly sitting next to for creating seamless paths of communication where there were none. Bless the PR teams that coordinated the FaceTime to end all FaceTimes for being maniacal bastards that understood the sheer cynicism and hilarity of Malala and Justin Bieber in the same sentence let alone the same iPhone screen. Bless them all. #Bless
J.Biebs and Malala FaceTiming is our generation’s equivalent of the Oslo Accords. The world may be burning, but in the midst of it all, two Millennials with more sway than the United Nations found the time to chat about their lives. Swaggy.
Meher Ahmad works for VICE's HBO show and is a low-level sociopath. She's on Twitter - @_meher