This has been eating away at my insides. This has been festering, causing me to lose sleep, causing me to not look other people, other grown-ups, in the eye. This has been distressing, disheartening, and borderline disgusting.
What is this? I like a Justin Bieber song. Specifically, “What Do You Mean?” Actually, I might really like “What Do You Mean?” And, as said previously, it’s killing me inside.
I have been firmly entrenched in the anti-Bieber camp for some time now. I don’t care for that young man’s antics. Whether it’s shotgunning beers like a tee-totaling nancy boy, telling former President Bill Clinton to go pound sand while urinating on a picture of the president or being carried up the Great Wall on the shoulders of his body guards. You walk the Great Wall, Justin Bieber. With your feet! And come on, if you are going to be carried, hop on homeboy’s back piggyback-style, not Rudy-style. You are no Rudy, Justin Bieber. You aren’t even Sean Astin.
He does dumb, indefensible things like drag-race cars, then acts like a total knob during the deposition and compares himself to Michael Jackson on Instagram. And he throws eggs at his neighbors’ house and, dude, he tried to smuggle a monkey into America. A monkey! Into America! Hasn’t he seen Outbreak? How could I, a grown man with a child and a dog and adult responsibilities, outwardly admit to liking someone who could have possibly brought down our entire country just because he wanted to bring a monkey home?
But man, “What Do You Mean?” is really, really good. It’s been stuck in my head since I first heard it. I walk around singing it – quietly, because I sure as hell don’t want anyone to hear me. But I’m singing it nonetheless. Summer might be over, but is it too late to christen “What Do You Mean?” the song of the summer? Is there such a thing as song of the fall? Or song of late summer? I live by the beach, and we call September “local summer.” The tourists have all flown the coop, leaving us locals to enjoy the beaches that have been mercilessly bombarded all summer by out-of-towners. So, can “What Do You Mean” be the song of “local summer?” Do we have to vote on this or can it just be a thing? I don’t understand the politics of naming songs of particular seasons.
Am I now giving Bieber the benefit of the doubt, even after his well-documented history of douchebaggery? And if so, what the hell? Only three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have that much good will for him, but now I’m singing a different tune because of the tune he’s singing. Just last night, my wife brought up Tom Brady’s “endorsement” of Donald Trump, prompting me to defend Ol’ Tommy Blue Eyes. She replied that the only reason I’m defending Brady is because I love him. Yes, that is true. And she went on, saying if it was anyone else, I would have a much different reaction. Yes, that is also true. He’s someone I’m a fan of. And I can admit that I don’t think all that rationally about people or things I am fans of. I’d say it’s all part of being a fan. So, in this case, is my judgment clouded all because I like “What Do You Mean?” so much? One song out of an entire catalog? Am I really becoming a Justin Bieber fan?
Or am I simply thinking way too much about this?
Or am I ultimately justifying my actions?
Or am I just grappling with the painful realization that I am getting older and, as a result, things are starting to get weird?
Man, I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. I mean, I think I like that new Selena Gomez song, too. What the hell is happening to me? I’m going to listen to some Metallica or something. Something old and familiar. Something that makes me feel like me again.
No, I’ll probably just listen to “What Do You Mean” 18 more times.