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#FreeBieber. The motto of a devoted Twitter army who still argue

that pop star Justin Bieber, even as he has been arrested

yet again

, is

somehow innocent. Now, #FreeBieber may seem harmless or mildly

amusing, but what if I told you that #FreeBieber could actually

represent something dark and dangerous? Something that has been

affecting every single one of us? We might think that the criminals

like Justin Bieber have no relevance to us, and we can continue living

our happy lives, untouched by glorified images of crime. Wrong. We

are exposed to the glorification of crime everywhere and we have

become tolerant, even awed by this idolisation. Looking again to

#FreeBieber. These fans were willing to completely dismiss the

severity of Bieber’s drink driving, to ignore the fact that he not only

endangered himself but all those around him. Now, we may not all

support Bieber’s continuous delinquent antics, but in some ways we

have all become that deluded Belieber, Tweeting in caps-lock. We

need to become aware that there are severe dangers that lie in the

glorification of crimes.

This glorification often stems from the media, who, whether we

notice it or not, have enough power to bend society to their will.

Schapelle Corby, convicted drug smuggler, was recently released on

parole fromBali’s Kerobokan Prison after nine years. The media has

practically imploded from excitement. Exclusive interviews were cast,

and Corby’s story has promptly been adapted into a feature film.

Let’s step back for a minute and look a bit more analytically at

Corby’s case. Why exactly is there so much hype surrounding her? If

it’s for how some people believe that imprisoning Corby was a

miscarriage of justice or was somehow racist, Corby attempted to

smuggle drugs into another country. Last time I checked, that’s a

crime, and that’s a fair enough reason to arrest her. But the portion

of the media praising Corby seem to be glossing over this little fact,

implying that crimes can be easily dismissed for an opportunity to

craft a falsely tragic hero. The turmoil surrounding Corby is

unfounded, but the media continues to blindly bestow unjustified

glory and push us to believe that we should do the same.

Some may argue, however, that we have enough sense to realise

that the media can be biased and irrational, so we aren’t that

influenced by their portrayal of crime. But our lines between fact

and fiction, between reasonable and ridiculous become blurred after

our overexposure to the media. We cannot naively believe that our


Of Crime

Gillian Lim

Alan Patterson Public

Speaking Competition