Ghosts.

The twist is that Christina Ricci loves dead 8-year-old boys.

Against all measurable logic, I am afraid of ghosts.

Now, I know that belief in ghosts is illogical.  Like my parents’ two-story suburban shoebox could possibly haunted by the spirit of some 1800s prospector named Dirtsock Joe.  It is far more sensible to not believe in ghosts than it is to believe in ghosts.

But still, I find myself making nocturnal decisions with ghosts in mind.

Really dumb decisions, in retrospect.

You may recall the post I wrote about my trip to San Francisco about a month ago.  I’m ashamed to say, as I admitted in that post, that I had to sleep with a light on in my hotel room.  The entire rationale behind that?  It will keep ghosts away.

(I should point out that said hotel was supposedly haunted and turn-of-the-century old; it’s not like I just crashed at a Motel 6 and went gaaaah, ghosts!)

How dumb is that, though?  Keeping a light on?  Yeah, maybe against vampires.  Ghosts?  Would ghosts be afraid of a light?  No.  That’s absurd.  I don’t even know how I assured myself that leaving a light on would possibly deter ghosts.  At the time, though, it made complete sense.

For the record, no spirits visited me during my two nights in San Francisco.  I did see a crazy homeless guy selling hats and what I could only assume to be a werewolf given the absurd shortness of his jorts, but I saw no ghosts.  Experienced no haunting.  Heard no banging on the wall or moaning, unless you count the honeymoon suite next door.

Even in Indiana, though, I take measures to prevent myself from exposure to ghosts during the middle of the night, and yes, these fears heighten in the wee hours of the morning.  My favorite defense is usually closing and/or locking my door.  As if a ghost couldn’t just float through my door, needing not worry about unlocking or opening it.  I also like sleeping with a pillow over my head, as if a ghost would not possess the strength to lift a pillow from my face.  Or smother me with it.

I also find myself hopping great distances off my bed, in case anything might be lurking underneath, waiting to lock its frigid phantom-y fingers around my ankles and drag me to my death.  Sometimes, the fear of this happening causes me to sit in bed with a bulging bladder for unnecessarily-long stretches of time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still approach nighttime like an eight-year-old boy.  Christina Ricci hollaaaaa.

I also think about what it would like to be a ghost.  Would I be miserable?  Trapped?  Aimlessly haunting the hallways?  Assuredly not.  I would probably just haunt the living hell out of my friends, purely for entertainment.  I would be such a jerk if I was a ghost.  I would set your DVR to series record every Tyler Perry show.  I would put gluten in all of your gluten-free foods.  I would swap out your Justin Bieber music library with a Nicki Minaj music library.  And after I did all of those things, I would ding dong ditch you.  If I was particularly peeved, I might roll your house too.

It would be like Poltergeist IV, but less likely to kill you.

(For more on that joke, read up on the Poltergeist Curse and realize that I’m a horrible human being.)

So the moral of this story, this horrible, throwaway post, is that while I fear ghosts and do completely illogical things to ward them off, I would relish the opportunity to be one and troll the living hell out of my friends.  I would basically be like one of those douche ghosts that Casper hangs around and tries to convince not to be a douche ghost.  Except instead of finding peace or respecting the rights of the living, I would probably just dime Casper out to Dr. Venkman and continue trolling my way through eternity.

Bieber.

Bustin Jieber, Golf Wang.

I will never understand the world’s contempt for Justin Bieber.

Before I get into my thoughts on Biebz, I want to share a story with you.  A parable, if you’ll allow.  About one frosty-permed boy band poster child who was once held in the same regard.

This guy was the subject of countless jokes and derisive comments.  No talent prettyboy, said the masses.  Queer.  Lame.  Fag.  Whatever.  People hated him so much that that they actually claimed he was the least-talented member of N*Sync…and that was saying something.

(And this all glossing over the predictable, vomit-inducing mass homophobic labeling that popularly comes with denigrating anyone with prettyboy appeal, which is a separate rant entirely.)

Justin Timberlake is so GAY, dude!  I can’t believe anyone listens to that shit!  Now excuse me while I go listen to real music, like Matchbox Twenty or Fastball or Eagle-Eye Cherry!

Timberlake couldn’t have made more covers of MAD Magazine if he had majority share in the company.  Now fast-forward 10 years and tell me, with a straight face, that there is a better all-around talent in Hollywood.  I’m talking the full act: singing, dancing, acting.  Usher might take two of the three, Chris Brown one-and-a-half, but name a better all-around talent than Timberlake.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

In the 10 years since it stopped becoming cool to bag on Justin, the dude has made more money and bedded more beautiful women than every other act from 1999 combined.  He’s been on more albums than most of them.  Been in more award-winning films than all of them.  And he gets in VIP rooms Derek Zoolander is even excluded from.

Oh, but I mean, I’m glad you were listening to real music.  How’d that Eagle-Eye Cherry discography work out for you?  Glad you’re fully-stocked on Pearl Jam shirts?  Lose your virginity with Fastball or some similar canned alternative bullshit straining through the car stereo?

(Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair to Pearl Jam, but still.  You get me.)

Now people act like they never hated on Timberlake in the first place.  Am I the only one who remembers what it was like to be 12 years old in the year 2000?  Queersauce, you probably got a Justin Timberlake poster in your room or something! The barbed-wire banter of 12-year-olds fighting for alpha.

Fact is, people hated Timberlake because it was cool, and because he represented the world’s most famous boy band (though the Backstreet Boys may beg to differ, 98 Degreez what up?)  It was more what he embodied than what he actually was.  And as soon as he said “see ya, suckas” to Joey Fatone and crew, he was off and running and swatting away the benjamins belting him in the breeze like desert grains in a sandstorm.

And now, of course, we have Bieber.

I never understood the hate for Bieber.  For one, he’s a damn kid.  Is it not completely irrational for a 35-year-old hipster to hate a 16-year-old kid for cutting a freaking album?  I’m just imagining the contingent of grown men who actually find some measure of pride in bashing a kid for doing something he loves, because it’s representative of the larger consumer-rape culture.  As if Biebz has any active say in the business model designed to rob fathers of preteen girls blind.  You could argue that he’s a willing participant in that system at best, but he’s a damn kid.  You think he’s making any of those decisions, drawing up any of those business models that bleed parents dry every time a new swoop-haired backpack comes off the production lines?

Hell no.  He’s probably getting blazed with some groupies in the back of his tour bus and playing Xbox.  He’s 16.  What the hell, is the assumption that he sits in a swivel chair stroking a 200-year-old, overweight housecat with his cold, puppy-crushing robotic arm all day long, gleefully setting in motion plans to transform America into a synthesized monoculture where everyone listens to the same poppy excrement and alteration of three chords or keys courtesy of Dr. Luke?

People want to make Bieber the face of an age-old corporate feeding model, and they say the same things about Bieber they used to say about Timberlake:

He looks like a girl.

He looks so queer.

His hair is so gay!

His music is shit.

He hasn’t even hit puberty yet.

He’s getting paid MILLIONS to put out the same song over and over again!

(Jelly too!)

Listen, I don’t like Bieber’s songs either.  It’s not like I’ve ever listened to a single one all the way through.  I don’t think I could.  But I’m in JBiebz’s corner.  WHY, you ask?  WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU EVER SUPPORT THIS CLOWN?!

Because I am banking on the most incredible 180 you have ever seen the second this kid turns 18.

First of all, he can play out that Donny Osmond image all he wants, but you know what’s going on in that tour bus.  Dude has 8.5 million Twitter followers and probably thrice the worldwide groupies.  You think he just smiles and waves at them?  Hell no.

Admit it, you’d play the role of auto-tuned popstar if you had those numbers in your favor.  Even the most adamant of the anti-industry hipsters would give in to the depravity-on-demand lifestyle.  So shut up with your Bieber hate when you know you would kill to have thought of his gig when you were spending your junior high years rolling houses and overanalyzing the blur of Channel 78.

Bieber is already a burgeoning #WINNER, without the stigma of being 40 years too old to pull it off.  I can tell you right now what’s going to happen, and it’s going to be awesome: he’s going to turn 18, start losing his fanbase slowly in the same way as the Jesse McCartneys and Drew Lacheys before him and just say hell with it, I’m throwing a coke-fueled rager in international waters and every beautiful person in this world who might do something legally-regrettable is invited.

He’ll probably rack up a drug bust or two.  If we’re lucky, we’ll get some sweet Insider Edition footage of him assaulting small children for being unambitious in their sandcastle construction before he does his first stint in county.  But I think before all that happens, he’ll join Odd Future’s lineup in some form or another.

Imagine that: Bieber, overnight, becoming the antithesis of Bieber.  Bustin Jieber.  You watch.  He’ll freestyle over “Yonkers” completely disowning the same model that made him possible and unraveling the universe in the process.

It.  Will.  Be.  Epic.

Jieber’s obscenity will make Earl Sweatshirt look like a radio edit.

He is going to break the hearts of the last few strands of his fanbase desperately clinging to their aging idol while the next teenage wonderboy is promoted up the ranks, and their tears are going to make for great album art.  WHY, JUSTIN, WHY?  I USED TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN TO YOU ON RADIO DISNEY WHEN MOM WAS DRIVING!

And, hey, even if I’m wrong about that specific brand of self-revolution, maybe he’s another Timberlake.  Everyone said the same things about him.  Look where he is now.  Ask yourself: how sure are you that you’ll look back on your Kings of Leon or LMFAO playlists 10 years from now and still think this stuff is awesome!

Whatever he turns out to be, though, he’s like, what 16 now?  Stop hating on a kid.  It’s pathetic.  Let him live out his dwindling shelf life as a teenage idol.  You don’t even have to work to phase him out of pop and quash the genre, it will happen naturally!  That’s the beauty of it.  You don’t have to bitch about how much you want him off the radio because once he’s in that 17, 18 range, he’ll be fading off the airwaves anyway because it’s getting harder and harder to pass for 15-16.

Just give the kid the waning stages of his teenage pop career, and his tourbus and Xbox and all the illicit activities in the back and stop bitching about it!

You’re going to regret it when he’s punching mimes off the boardwalk on a Four Loko bender.