The Sixteenth Chapel

Canadian High School!
David Letterman

If Justin Bieber isn’t going for the sixteenthchapel, I’m not either. I admit he is my rolemodel. He’s so current, so fresh and so new,and Michelangelo is so old, his art so dated.Where is the love in those old paintings? AllI see is creation, judgment, and death

and I don’t get the preoccupation with death.I’m about life! Ever since my sixteenthbirthday, when me and my two sisters allnearly died when the car I was driving rolledinto a creek. Even though I’ve forgotten the date,I think it keeps me thinking on the new,

something Biebs would be proud of if he knew.I look at him, and see the opposite of deathin his eyes, his youthful smile: though somedayhe may be a father, and later host a Sweet Sixteenfor his daughter (for whom I know he’ll buy a Rolls),death will never find him. Living will be all

he’ll ever do, because it will be allhe’ll ever need to do. He is the eternal new,the forever youth: this is the simple roleof every celebrity, to let us forget death.Bieber didn’t make a mistake on the SistineChapel’s name. He merely showed that someday

all old names must go, that on some daya name must die so that the thing, which is allthat matters, can stay as it was in the sixteenthcentury: fresh, ostentatious, and brand new.In a way, the name becomes a Christ, experiencing deathso the world doesn’t have to. But I am wary of this role

for a name. It seems a name gives meaning, rollsthe general idea together with the concrete, dailytoil of the mundane. Are not life and deathintertwined? Is not everything tied up allwith everything? I guess I’m saying the newnecessarily comes from the old, as every sixteen-

year-old has a parent. Life rolls to death, and allis tied together. Each day is born of night, and dies so newmorning can occur. Even the sixteenth chapel holds death.