Bleats

Today I Learned: Justin Bieber And Marilyn Manson Had An Incredibly Weird And Petty Feud Over A T-Shirt

Must be what happens when you get two problematic celebrities with nothing better to do with their time.

Celebrity feuds are nothing new and are probably the biggest first-world problem of first-world problems. Hell, in the last couple of years we’ve had some headline-grabbing spats between Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian, James Charles and Tati Westbrook, and Deadpool and Paddington bear.

These things are supremely ridiculous, stupid, and barely amount to something beyond a kindergarten playground fight.

And with that preamble, let’s take a look at one of the dumbest and pettiest feuds to have happened in recent memory: Marilyn Manson versus Justin Bieber and T-shirts with Marilyn’s creepy-looking on them.

Yes. Yes it does.

This odd little spat began back in 2016 when Bieber decided to sell a T-shirt with an image of Manson on it as merch during his Purpose world tour in an attempt to “reinterpret” the shock rocker’s old tour merch.

As far as tour shirts goes, it was pretty unsavoury as you got Manson’s face on the front and the words “Bigger than Satan… Bieber” on the back. To really rub it in this monstrosity went for about $150, which ranks up there with literally burning money as the biggest waste of dosh.

Now here’s the problem with Ol’ Biebs’ decision to sell over-priced shirts with Manson’s mug on them: he didn’t ask for permission and did it anyway.

Manson told Billboard that he later ran into Biebs at a bar and told him, “Hey, so you wore my shirt and everything onstage,” to which Justin replied, “I made you relevant again.”

Man, gotta give credit for the balls on Biebs for saying that to Manson’s face.

Anyway, Manson then fired back with, “Bad mistake to say that to me,” and later allegedly told Consequence of Sound that Bieber was a “real piece of s**t in the way he had the arrogance to say that.”

Yep.

Now Manson could’ve sued over those T-shirts but he took the high road and just took all the proceeds made from the shirt sales instead. Oh, the rocker also trolled Bieber by saying he’ll perform his song “The Beautiful People” at one of the Canadian’s shows before deciding to just not show, which is just the cherry on top of a super petty cake.

Manson later appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show and gave everyone an update on the feud by letting Howard read out a bunch of apologetic texts Bieber sent him. Just to really emphasise that there was no beef between the two, Manson promised he wouldn’t “s**t talk” Bieber on Stern’s show. Wow, what a guy.

At this point you’d think the two would’ve buried the hatchet and called it a day, right?

Well not exactly.

About a month after all that T-shirt drama, Manson went on radio and roasted Biebs on an open fire by saying that the singer is “Well he’s in some sort of sexual religious cult with an Asian version of Dave Navarro,” before saying he doesn’t want to fight Bieber because he doesn’t “like to fight with girls.”

When asked about his thoughts on why Bieber decided to repurpose his merch in the place, Manson said, “I don’t know, because I don’t know how to use the mind of a squirrel.”

Really couldn’t help himself that Manson, could he?

Bieber didn’t respond to Manson’s last little dig, which is ironically the most mature move in the whole saga, and the beef between the two seems to have cooled off since.

So there you have it, one of the dumbest feuds that started over a T-shirt and was subsequently escalated because people’s fragile egos were bruised.

If there is anything to take away from this edition of “Today I Learned” it’s that celebrities need better things to do with their free time and to stop putting faces of other people on T-shirts.

Today I Learned: The Red Wedding In Game Of Thrones Was Actually Based On Real-Life Events

Except with fewer direwolves and more killing involved.

Over the course of eight seasons,  six direwolves, two dragons, and a body count that will make Genghis Khan weep with envy, Game of Thrones has had its fair share of powerful gut-wrenching moments.

But the one moment that will forever remain as the show’s most shocking is undoubtedly the Red Wedding. Much has happened since that event but the trauma of hearing the “Rains of Castamere” being played followed by the massacre of Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Talisa (and her unborn baby) and all the Stark forces will forever be burned into our heads.

You and millions of others probably had some strong things to say about George R.R. Martin and how he could possibly come up with something so horrific in his head. Well, he did come up with the Red Wedding but it wasn’t without precedent as it was actually based on a couple of horrific real-life events that unfolded very similarly.

Oh no…

When asked about his inspiration for the Red Wedding, Martin revealed that he had conceived it during the very early stages of the planning of A Song Of Ice And Fire and was inspired by two events that occurred in Scottish history back in the 15th and 17th centuries.

The first was an event ominously called the “Black Dinner”, which took place in 1440 and involved the then-almighty Douglas famly. At the time the Douglases wielded considerable power and influence, so much so that they were seen as a threat to the stability of the nation.

To “fix” this, it is said that the 16-year-old William Douglas, 6th Earl of his clan, and his younger brother were invited to dine with the 10-year-old King James II of Scotland. While the “Rains of Castamere” wasn’t played during the dinner, a black bull’s head, which symbolised death, was brought in and put before William as a single drum was beating in the background. The two Douglas brothers were then taken out and beheaded, presumably after dessert.

Not exactly the most honourable way to treat your guests.

That’s just rude.

The second event that inspired the Red Wedding was called the “Massacre of Glencoe,” which took place in 1692.

Similar to the Black Dinner, this event involved some Scottish clans who were getting a bit too powerful for the nation’s liking and could rebel against the newly installed King William III of England (and II of Scotland) at any time.

In response to this perceived threat, Williams supporter Captain Robert Campbell took 120 soldiers and went to Glencoe to seek hospitality from the MacDonald clan, who were seen as the biggest threats. After 12 days of getting spoiled by their hosts, Campbell and his men attacked the MacDonalds and basically massacred everyone. Those who escaped didn’t survive much longer as they succumbed to exposure from the cold Winter.

Good lord, this whole plan sounds like something Joffrey would do if he was, you know, smart and calculating as well as cruel rather than just idiotic and cruel.

I just wanted an excuse to use this gif again.

There are obvious differences between the Red Wedding, the Black Dinner, and the Massacre at Glencoe but all three events carry the same gist. All involved betraying the sacred rules of hospitality, much food and drink was consumed, and there was so much killing that the Grim Reaper had to put in overtime.

Even without magic, the White Walkers, direwolves, and dragons, it turns out that life is still stranger than fiction, especially back in the Medieval days.

So before anyone gets too judgy about how messed up Game of Thrones can be, just know that real life history is somehow even more twisted than anything George R.R. Martin could ever come up with in his head.

Today I Learned: Eurovision Once Had A Song In A Completely Made Up Language

Malicious rule compliance of the highest order.

The Eurovision Song Contest has been an official thing since 1956 but I couldn’t really care less for the performances.

Sure they’re good and all (mostly) but the moments I truly live for are things like finding out that Euron Greyjoy hosted the 2014 Eurovision contest and that on-stage kiss between Krista Siegfrids and her back up dancer in 2013 to protest Finland’s gay marriage ban.

But of all the crazy things that have happened over the last 60 or so editions of Eurovision, my favourite has to be that time when a country sang a song in a completely made up language and nearly won the whole damn thing.

This great “middle finger to the man” moment from Krista ranks up there though.

Eurovision has flip-flopped on its rules on permitted languages over the years and the most recent ruling in 1999 states that songs may be performed in any language.

For the 2003 contest, Belgium decided to take advantage of this little updated free language rule by entering a song, “Sanomi”, that’s performed in a completely made up language.

This whole act was so brilliantly quirky that BBC commentator Terry Wogan best summed it up when he remarked, “They’ve got 4 languages in Belgium and they’re singing in an imaginary one, the very essence of the Euro.”

Touché, Terry. Touché.

Not only was this malicious rule compliance of the highest order but “Sanomi” nearly won the entire 2003 Eurovision contest as it placed second behind Turkey by a mere two votes.

Since 2003, singing songs in made up languages has only happened two more times, in 2006 by the Dutch entrants and Belgium once again in 2008, but the results were no where near as successful as “Sanomi.”

With Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke still in with a shot to win the 2019 Eurovision contest, maybe it’s time to do something a little left field with the language rule once again for that unlikely chance of victory.

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