AS 14-year-old boys, my peers and I find ''Bieber fever'' distressing - and bemusing.
This can, in part, be put down to jealousy - considering that the Canadian teen singer Justin Bieber has a contingent of 4000 girls chasing him and none of us knows why.
You might attribute it to his singing but this seems doubtful considering his hit song Baby revolves around the lyrics ''And I was like / Baby, baby, baby, ooh / Like baby, baby, baby, noo," while he woos girls who look six years his senior with a voice several years his junior.
I recently read the Facebook post of a girl who insisted "her" Justin was amazing and dashing but she had never even listened to his songs.
So instead we have have to put Justin Affliction down to his unthreatening, delicately tactical appearance and - god forbid - charisma. This is a more realistic view but suggests an incredibly depressing superficiality for those 4000 girls.
Is an unthreatening appearance reason to instil a nigh-feral fanaticism in the mob mentality, to the extent of delivering fractures to loyal Beliebers? The riot squad being requisitioned to quell a "Twitterdom" of hormone-enhanced girls would, pre-Bieber, have been amusing.
Now we are witness to a fanaticism that snuffs commonsense and overrides etiquette; a fanaticism that storms the stage on the advice of rumour. A fanaticism with talons that rakes police faces.
However, this fanaticism suggests a complete lack of cynicism. Justin can hardly be expected to be independent. A plethora of marketers and managers would be directing and shaping his image. Each public appearance would be planned.
I talked to a Belieber who chastised me for my lack of knowledge as to the nature of the poor child, claiming he was in fact a decent guy who cares about other people. However, her exposure to the celebrity was limited to interviews, public appearances and music videos in which he carries girls off their feet. A healthy dose of cynicism, or even commonsense, would hardly call such sources reliable. Yet Bieber Fever moves in insidious ways and the indoctrination brooks no argument from sensibility.
In a way though, I feel sorry for the kid, driven relentlessly by his managers or his mum, who posted him on YouTube in the first place. Not to mention there is a limited time before he is ravaged by hormones. At least the exalted B has left the sane girls for us ordinary mortals.