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Justin Bieber tattoo & Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Justin Bieber tattoo & Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Ah, the wonders of pop culture. Leave it to a teen heartthrob barely past puberty to revive interest in a book that captivated the masses in 1970. It all started with reports that singer Justin Bieber was tattooed with a stylized seagull to mark his 16th birthday this spring. (If you don't know him, just ask your kids or grand-kids.) The gull (check it out) was said to be an inky reference to the novel "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach.

The book is about a seagull that is ostracized by his flock, but finds a higher (literally) meaning in free-flying non-comformity. It was a perfect novel for those heady days when American kids were rebelling -- and looking for spiritual inspiration -- and society's norms were being challenged. And I do recall enjoying the book as a quick summer read. (With "Animal Farm" and "Life of Pi," it's also one of the most well-known animal-oriented allegories.)

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