Justin Bieber's Steampunk Christmas video

Cory, this is your fault.



    1. It’s not so bad if you watch it with the sound off……and try to look more at the gadgets then bieber

    2. First they hijacked vampires with that twilight bullshit, then pirates with that Disney shit, and now this… you know I was thinking that I don’t get enough crap when I wear steampunk gear. Now I can be criticized more, but with the new slant that I’m emulating the Bieb.

      *throws goggles*

    1. I think this means steampunk has jumped the shark.

      Isn’t that the plot of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea?

    2. “I think this means steampunk has jumped the shark.”

      “Jump the cephalopod.”  or “Irradiated the refrigeration device.” I think is the correct term.

  1. I think the addition of CGI elves and bad break dancing is the next logical step for steam punk and that Justin should be commended for enhancing the medium.

  2. That’s it. Close down steampunk. It’s done. Also, dubstep is finished, since Bieber got his brass claw on that one too.

    From now on, it’s all about Bollywood/film noir mashup aesthetics and we’re replacing the obsession with bass-heavy music with a fascination for tracks which have a time signature comprised only of prime numbers. (London Elektricity’s Syncopated City Revisited’s 5 13 structure is a good example – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEw5HwnFHuU ).

    1. I blame the lateness of the evening, and the good trust I have always had in the proper use of sensation by BB editorial judgement.

      I suspect large cash amounts in high-value bills, in a manila envelope.

      And, if I was a citizen of those United States, a civil suit to replace the keyboard permanently fouled by gastric effluvia.

      There’s a John W. Campbell novella about Earth many generations after conquest by aliens, contemplating the results of the selective breeding program imposed by the conquering masters. Many current trends in popular culture remind me of that story.

    1. Don’t give Bieber any ideas about Jackson’s corpse. The last thing we want is a “Thriller” remake.

    1. I don’t remember all of Chitty Chitty, but didn’t they visit a kingdom where children were illegal or something? Maybe we should send Bieb there.

  3. Does he have some condition that makes it impossible to emit sound without lunging slightly forward?

  4. If anyone here has any contacts in the music industry, please do your best to convince them that “repeatedly hitting yourself in the forehead with a claw hammer” is the hot new thing with young people these days. They’ve had it coming for a while now.

  5. Steampunk is unquestionably dead as an antique doorknob now….
    Anyone else notice how Justin, Ga-Ga, Spears, etc all sound alike musically ( the Disney Sound ) & how this stifling aesthetic eventually crowds out &/or paints over anything even sorta interesting that catches the public’s eye ?

    1. They all sound alike because they’re all Autotuned like crazy! What you hear isn’t the “artist,” because even as bad as you think “The Beebs” sounds, you’d be truly horrified if you only heard his unadulterated vocals.

    1. This was the first time I’ve knowingly heard him sing too… and yeah, “this?” was going through my head the whole time.  I muted it so I could get through the video.  I had begun to think I was being overly cynical by dismissing popular stuff as universally crap before… but then I hear something popular and get confirmation galore.

      1. Exactly the same here. I’ve avoided Bieber till now, and 50 seconds in I have to mute the song due to awful-overload. Then I notice his “dancing” and I have to stop the video completely. 

  6. Even as my eyes bleed, I laugh and can’t help but think “Good Lord, are those supposed to be PANTS?”

    1. Agree – You’d think with all his money that he’d be able to afford a pair of jeans that weren’t ripped and torn.

  7. As much as Disney banks on their public (mis)conception of goodness and purity, I really loathe the teen-targeted offerings. Between the white trash trampy-ness of Miley Cyrus and the digitally augmented vocals of, well, every teen star they have, it’s all just repulsive and offensive crap. I refuse to believe this is what Walt would’ve wanted.

  8. I couldn’t help expecting a department store announcer to pop in and tell us about holiday sales at [insert store brand here].

    It looks like a multitude of talented dancers, prop artists, and animators put a lot of effort into this; which makes its bland mediocrity even more depressing.

    1. p96, there might not have been a department store announcer in the video, but the commercialism was clear with the clips from Arthur Christmas pasted in with zero transition or relevance. This song is used in the movie, so they have to use scenes from the movie in the music video. It’s like two commercials having a circle jerk.

  9. Yes to everything that has been said before. Also, I don’t understand the poppin’ and lockin’ that is totally not in beat with the “music”. 

  10. Oh the glorious, glorious schadenfreude! It feels as if millions of corseted steampunks–wearing spray-painted goggles, bronze octopus pendants, and watch gear rings–cried out in butthurt (but have yet to be silenced).

  11. Am I the only one thinking, “Well it could be much worse.” Maybe some young Disney kids will see this and go oooo bieber…but whats that cool other stuff? And have their mind’s blown when they look up steampunk. Shrug….I’ll like Bieber more in 10 years when he comes out as Gay. 

  12. Musically, it’s like the worst of the 1980’s is back upon us, visually, the worst of a never-been 1880s…

  13. A few gauges doesn’t make it Steampunk, it’s not even Steampunkish. The “factory” workers are tossing boxes around like feathers and no one has a bit of gear oil or sweat droplets. They should all be dancing around in a clean room wearing white lab coats. 

    This is the first time I’ve seen JB look close to being high-shcool aged. I think  they are trying to counter act that. 

    And what’s up the 1.5′ crotch vs. floor clearance?

    1. Not a bad call – those old Intel TV ads are far enough gone for cleanroom suits to trend retro.  Cleanpunk or something…

  14. This video has the death of Bieber, Poppin’ and Lockin’!

    I’ve never seen such crappy poppin’ and lockin’.

  15. How fun! Gosh that takes me back to the era when pop stars headed up variety shows and you got numbers like this. Cheesy as all get out, but fun at the same time.

    Rock on Star Wars Holiday Special!

  16. heheh y’all are such haters. that video makes no sense sure but that dancing was badass. besides, just cause the guy who was tapped to direct the video is into steampunk and someone decided to approve his idea doesn’t mean you can’t like it anymore.

    1. i GUARANTEE that a large marketing group had been planning a steampunk vid for him WELL before they found a ‘director’. no offense, but these folks are well versed in stealing from the sub-cultures. they are incapable of original thought, and have admitted that to themselves years ago. you also should learn a little more about how the h-wood star machine works – I worked on a big film once that was ‘directed’ by a 27 year old with some history, but nothing on the multi-million dollar scale. he ‘directed’ exactly what they told him to… and if he didn’t, he wasn’t getting another picture. 
      as for the theft, it’s like Heisenberg’s principle (paraphrased): if you keep looking at something, that will change its’ behaviour. steampunk or hip hop or any underground swell is always betrayed by its followers, who simply want to share the love, but end up selling it out to the Man.
      remember those Cialis ads with the Ukelele playing housewives? that came from agency-drones sucking life out of BB also

      1. if you keep looking at something, that will change its’ behaviour.

        So you’re saying that we should expect Biebz next video to have a banana theme?

  17. Uh, I could be way off here, but I’m pretty sure Will Smith did this like 12 years ago…  or am I dating myself?

    1. I’m sure I’ll probably have my BoingBoing membership and decoder ring taken away, but I loved that movie and love the music video even more.

  18. Actually this video does, indeed, constitute ‘Steam Punk’. The clockwork gears, the little leather vests, that bionic hand contraption thingy, and especially the fact that there are four guys dancing simultaneously while all wearing pointless metal rimmed goggles.


    Yep. It’s Steam Punk all right. I say bring it on; Steam Punk dies with the “Christmas Season” 2011. Good riddance. I do, however, feel sorry for all the artists on Etsy.

    Maybe all things tentacular will die with it.

    1. Steampunk died with the marketing from The NIghtmare Before Christmas. Yes, before it even was discovered by the masses.

  19. His singing is actually better than it was a year or two ago.  Give him two or three decades and he might have something.

  20. Check out the OK Go homage at 3:05.

    Truly, everything is a remix.

    (And yes, I watched the whole thing. Facepalm.)

  21. I found this video clip can be improved enormously by one simple action – hitting the mute button.

    1. Burning Man killed Steampunk the minute that goggles became the fashion. And BM is dead like Woodstock killed the hippies.

  22. Dear god and I thought I already hated that song – nope, he’s opened up a whole new sub-basement of hatred.

    And why does he sound like he’s singing through a pneumatic tube (just to keep the steampunk motif)?

  23. A silver lining to this article is that the steampunk artist, Skinz-n-Hydez, was the one who made that SP gauntlet that Bieber wears in the beginning of the video.  JB helped pay a crafters rent this month.  :)    http://skinz-n-hydez.deviantart.com/

  24. There’s actually some fantastic dancing in there.  Also, seems like Beebs is “nick”ing some Michael Jackson moves.

  25. Guys, what if this is comeuppance for all the fun we’ve been making of the poor guy? Maybe we should start being nicer. He he armies of 11-year-old girls with piercing screams. Honestly, he’s got the worse end of the deal.
    Steampunk doesn’t “belong” to anybody. It was a thing before any of us were born. Bieber noticing that hardly constitutes ruining the genre.
    (That’d be like saying a bad Disney cartoon about dragons has “completely ruined” the concept of dragons forever and ever.)

  26. I saw a steampunk craft magazine at the fabric store. Dolls and clothes and jewelry incorporating gears and wires. I suppose we shouldn’t blame or write off the whole genre just because some people do a lazy job of it.

    1. You have seen the marketing from the NIghtmare Before Christmas, right?
      Genre? The whole thing has been a craft project.

  27. The heartbeat move just after the beginning is pure Park Jin-young and who knows where he got it from. 

  28. All those years of creativity, labor, imagination…all those makers and fashion designers…thousands upon thousands of die-hard convention goers, writers, musicians and LARPers…

    All that work to provide commercial entertainment scum with a fresh gimmick for their latest video.

    Let this be a reminder to all of us: you may think you’re an aesthetic renegade, on the cutting edge of what’s underground and original.  But really you’re just an unpaid worker for the entertainment/marketing industry, tirelessly grinding away to come up with the next authentically cool trend that they can turn into cash.

    1. All those “makers” and “designers” that were influenced by those that came before THEM.
      There is no such thing as original thought.

      Move on, create your own movement. come up with the next trend.

  29.  The first, “Don’t mind me, I’m just a regular person minding my own business… tricked you! I am a break-dancer!” was pretty impressive. 

    By the seventh time, I had caught on somewhat. You have to admire the director’s persistence.

    I didn’t really mind the music industry co-opting another punk movement or the fact Will Smith did it better. Personally, I thought the most off-putting part of the video was the Bieb pantomiming a Motown studio drummer, then throwing his sticks at the camera right before finishing the little drum outro. James Brown (RIP) would have told him you have to hit it then quit. 

  30. Oh, I liked the intro, it had a good sound. And the set looked good, too. Then Bieber opened his mouth, and that, combined with the suddenly happy upbeat music made me die a little inside.

  31. I think what makes this travesty worse is that it is more than Jackson’s moves that he has borrowed.   Go to YouTube and watch the Jackson 5 perform I Want You Back. You’ll notice Bieber has slowed it up a little.  Listen to ripped off bass line and the lead counterpoint.

  32. you know, I actually really like Justin Bieber. I think he’s a good kid that sings well, and he got lucky enough to become a pop star.

    …. but someone should be fired for this. someone in the line of people that approve things should have said, “no. I will not let this make it all the way to the internet.” I can’t decide which part I hate more – the extremely outdated haircut, the cheesy 90s feel of the arrangement, or the part where he emotionally pulls off his jacket like he’s singing about anything but santa claus.

  33. Well, I personally like steampunk for reasons other than “no one’s heard of it,” so I’ll continue to do so despite the sudden popularity. It is what it is; one misguided music video is no reason to suddenly hate a perfectly good genre.

    But on another note, if any of you must sell all of your steampunk stuff because it’s too cool, let me know because it’s hard for me to find time and materials to make it.

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