A Victory For Us All: The Justin Timberlake Journey

A Victory For Us All: The Justin Timberlake Journey

By Anne T. Donahue

For the record, I don’t condone spreading negativity for negativity’s sake. I don’t think it ever helps to kick people when they’re down, or to find solace in somebody else’s misfortune.

But that said, what a wonderful week for everybody who’s been waiting for Justin Timberlake’s reckoning.

In case you haven’t been gleefully posting about it since Monday, Justin Timberlake was arrested for a DWI when in the Hamptons this week. What’s better is that his arresting officer was so young that he had no idea who Justin Timberlake was, and when the singer suggested his arrest would throw off his tour, the officer responded with, “What tour?” I love to laugh, so you can see why I’ve fallen in love with this exchange so deeply.

I do not care for Justin Timberlake. I didn’t care for him in *NSYNC, I didn’t care for him when he villainized Spears under the bus in the mid-2000s or when he threw Janet under the bus post-Superbowl, and in general, I find his attitude unfit for his level of talent, which I would categorize most as “just okay.” Every day, in my humble opinion, Justin Timberlake should wake up and praise whatever higher power he believes in for having a career that manages to line his pockets with dollars. Every day, he should pray to a makeshift altar of Trolls dolls and thank them for the opportunity to continue working.

And then there was Britney Spears’s memoir, The Woman in Me a.k.a. a testament to what most of us knew all along: that Justin Timberlake was a nightmare person and/or a menace, who was metaphorically (and perhaps literally?) high on his own supply. If you haven’t read it, I will summarize: he cheated on Britney, parlayed it into her cheating on him, turned culture against her, and then when she was at her lowest, went on late night television to make jokes like, “Stop drinking.” A real hero, if your brand of hero happens to be an absolute dick.

Thus, to watch him not only fall but to watch him fall into the realization that he is old news to young culture is healing. It is a real-life instance of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman saying “Big mistake! Huge!” to the saleswomen who were mean to her. It is the moment in Romy and Michele when Lisa Looter tells the girls their outfits are “not bad,” much to the A-Group’s dismay. It is the scene in Dazed and Confused when Ben Affleck’s character gets covered in paint. It is comeuppance. Due process. A rare moment in which somebody who royally sucks is exposed for absolutely sucking. A DWI isn’t just a public relations nightmare, but in general, it’s a reckless, stupid, and dangerous thing to do. Not to sound like everybody’s mother, but thank goodness a baby cop pulled him over before he could hurt somebody. Here, we see a man who clearly cares most about he and himself.

And that is why we celebrate.

It’s rare to watch a deserved reckoning amidst a landscape of injustice. And it’s especially rare when said reckoning stems from a bozo move performed by a lacklustre person that really only affects himself. (Although I should add: Jessica Biel and her kids don’t need this. May they escape the shadow of his ego as soon as they wish.) Justin Timberlake was ultimately exposed as the person we’d assumed he was for a very long time; a person who springboards off the misfortunes of women he works with and/or dates in hopes of creating a narrative for himself that suits the character he’s chosen to embody. I don’t wish harm upon JT, nor should anybody – a person can always redeem themselves by actively working to change who they’ve become. But goddamn, this moment and that mugshot were delicious. A little treat for anyone who still can’t believe JT got away for so long with wearing those terrible hats.

Need a little more Anne? Read more from Anne T. Donahue right here!

Tags: Anne T. Donahue, Britney Spears, justin timberlake, top story, topstory

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