Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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The development first presented itself while watching Psychic Kids on A&E. The show is a favorite and each episode, when celebrity psychic/medium Chip Coffey provides guidance to the troubled children who speak to dead people, I take notes, study and become a little stronger. On the few occasions I’ve interacted with Coffey, I’ve observed his gifts, tried to replicate them and became stronger still. Now my abilities have reached a zenith and I’m proud to announce I have psychic powers – although they are apparently extremely limited and only apply to pop-culture phenomena.

Don’t be intimidated dear reader, but the Force is strong with this one. I was once like you before I honed an ability to listen to spirit guides and determine future outcomes. To witness my psychic pop-culture talents, and experience awe, you need only to look at a few significant entertainment news items from the past week – all of which I predicted long ago but are shocking revelations to most news outlets.

Leno vs. Conan
Ever since it premiered in September, the death of the 10pm Jay Leno Show has been predicted much in that ethereal realm of Nielsen ratings. My pop spirit guides told me for some time now Leno’s show couldn’t last and would just undermine Conan O’Brien’s ascension on The Tonight Show. Further, I knew Leno wouldn’t simply go away when his show ended.

However, not even my developing psychic powers could have specifically predicted NBC’s move to kill and reincarnate Jay’s 10pm slot as a half-hour program at 11:30pm, and to shift O’Brien to 12 midnight. So now we have the new Jay Leno Show aka Tonight Show: One and Tonight Show: Two with O’Brien, aka The new Tomorrow Show.

My spirits tell me they’re even a little confused about what will happen next, but say I should expect: An O’Brien who won’t lie down and take this, but won’t move to Fox; a Leno overcome with bad press who will, eventually, bow out somewhat gracefully; a giddy, puckish David Letterman who’s empathizing with O’Brien; a Carson Daly anxious about losing his job since his show is now bumped to 2am;  a Craig Ferguson who benefits with biting observation and receives the attention he deserves; a Jimmy Fallon who will act baffled , stick around and maintain intentionally tousled hair.

Mark McGwire
On Monday, Mark McGwire revealed his record-breaking streak of major league single-season home runs on the St. Louis Cardinals was accomplished while using steroids. The news made headlines and surprised many, but I saw it coming. This was perhaps my earliest encounter with psychic phenomena. 

Going all the way back to 1998, when McGwire was hitting homers and broke Roger Maris’ record, I knew something was amiss. Startling I know, that at that age, I could determine with absolutely no clues that a 34-year-old man with no neck might be juiced up whilst breaking a 37-year record previously broken by a man in his 20s.

Spider-Man 4
News broke this week that director Sam Raimi (and actor Tobey Maguire) would be exiting from the Spider-Man 4 film and that Sony, the studio where movie Spidey lives, would be rebooting the webslinger and returning him to high school in 2012. Although details are now emerging that script and budget issues were preventing Raimi from making a movie that could hit theaters by 2011, as planned, I already knew the movie would be shelved.

Following the frenetically bloated 2007 Spider-Man 3, which seemed the least like a signature Sam Raimi film, I sensed Spidey was doomed.The film was a financial success, but was disappointing and gave the webhead’s movie franchise an “is this bad?” aroma like milk gets a day before it goes really rotten.

When word leaked Spidey 4 might include not only The Vulture as a baddie, but a potential female “vultress” villain, I felt a psychic disturbance like Alderaan exploding. As far as the high school reboot and planned origins tale for Peter Parker’s super hero alias, my gift didn’t specifically predict that, but I wasn’t surprised since reboot fever has gripped movie franchises since Batman Begins. Now I’m sensing something nauseating with the Peter Parker casting that rhymes with Smack Smefron.

Simon Cowell
Ever since my psychic pop powers emerged, Simon Cowell has been like the little dead girl played by Mischa Barton in The Sixth Sense because he keeps building suspense by hinting he’s about to do something, but even when he does, it’s treated as eventful. (Of course, in the movie, the first thing Barton’s character does when revealing herself is puke into Haley Joel Osment’s tent, which is ironic since that’s the effect the American Idol judge has on me. But I digress.)

In 1997, Cowell told British newspaper The Mirror he’d be quitting Idol in 2010 – and has since said so on many occasions—but I credit my psychic gifts for knowing this. After all, if it wasn’t my paranormal talents giving me the heads up, why would it be so newsworthy that he’s following through on the promise?

Now, many of you out there may question whether my new psychic pop abilities are due to keen observation or actual communications with the spirit realm feeding me information.  Granted, I’m no Chip Coffey, although I’m taking notes from the Psychic Kids star.  But based on the surprise many outlets are exhibiting over the latest entertainment news items, supernatural powers are the only explanation since I saw these coming.

Aaron Sagers is a Manhattan-based columnist and entertainment journalist who writes weekly about all things pop-culture. He is also a paranormal pop culture expert and founder of Follow him on Twitter (AaronSagers) or contact him at Aaron AT

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