In that spirit (and without waiting for the traditional New Year's Day), I look upon 2 major developments that seem to be upon us — the election of Barack Obama and a pronounced, worldwide economic slowdown — and hazard a few guesses about what else may be in store for us. In no particular order ...
• It will become fashionable for old people to commit suicide, some in intriguingly imaginative ways, rather than face lingering illnesses, the need to impose on their children, and ruinous expense.
• Democratic households will experience a bumper crop of babies around next Aug. 4.
• Speaking of babies, "Barack" and "Michelle" will become popular names for newborns, tho not coming anywhere close to the overwhelming global preference for "Muhammad" as a boy's name. "Hussein", despite its current boomlet among Republicans, will not experience a similar uptick.
• Scientists think that the Universe comprises only about 5% "normal" matter and energy, 30% "dark matter", and 65% "dark energy". They don't have a clue what the latter 2 could conceivably be, only that there's evidence that there must be SOMETHING there. Religious leaders will arise who claim to have the answer and be willing to share it with you in return for a modest contribution.
• Fashionistas will rediscover brown. UPS will find a way to capitalize on it.
• The economy of Utah will boom as salt and sand become hot new commodities.
• The FBI will create a new crime category, "roommate abuse", to cover the inevitable consequences of incompatible people being forced to live together in order to afford the rent.
• Out of necessity, the Republicans leapfrogged the Democrats in the use of direct mail back in the day of Richard Viguerie. Similarly, Howard Dean had the Dems leapfrog the GOP in the use of the internet. It's the Republicans' turn again. I figure they'll find some way to make use of jobless people.
• Canada and Mexico will face increasing problems with illegal immigration from America.
• Cubs fans will continue to loyally say "Wait till next year.". They'll have to. (Sometimes this game is just too easy.)
• The common cold will be discovered to be good for you. (I threw this one in like a good astrologer. There's almost no chance whatsoever it'll come true, but every now and again you get lucky, and then you look like a genius. If not, nobody remembers, anyway.)
• There will be an upsurge in retired people starting new part-time careers mending things. Production of thread and glue will rise.
• A new form of music will arise that prominently features wailing.
• New Orleans will turn 9th Ward Lagoon into a thriving tourist destination.
• Obama will realize that knee-jerk patriots are an untapped source of wealth. Puerto Rico will become our 51st state; the Virgin Islands, our 52nd; Anbar, our 53rd. The righties will dutifully buy new flags every couple of months, thereby pumping money into the economy.
• New North Korean leader Kim Il Kimil will increase his nation's world standing and income by franchising consultancies on how to deal with poverty and destitution.
• Cities will subsidize vertical community gardens in former parking ramps.
• Colombia will become the new economic powerhouse of Latin America after industrialized nations give up their futile battle against recreational drugs and legalize them. Not coincidentally, Coca-Cola will come out with another new variant which somehow incorporates the word "real".
• Microsoft and Google will explode after trying to eat each other. And largely succeeding.
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You see how this game goes. Anyone can play. To participate, just swing by my OTHER blog at
and drop off a response to this posting.
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The future is already here. It is just not uniformly distributed.
-- William Gibson