Histories and Predictions for 2010, and this Funny Business of Predicting the Future

We as humans have a proclivity to predict.  Whether it’s the weather, or the outcome of the World Series or the Oscars, a given percentage of any spectator demographic will make predictions.  It’s always been this way since the Dawn of Time, when cave people tried to intuit Mother Nature’s mood swings.

Predicting the future should be good, jolly fun. It was never meant to be taken serious- ly.  Yet, it has become a dead-serious, take-no prisoners racket through the Ages. In the past, there were court seers and astrologers. A few thousand years later, they have been replaced by financial analysts, actuaries and legal experts.  The methodology has changed but the premise is still there. What isn’t such a laughing matter is that these “futurists” have all but made a killing from their living. Actuaries, for instance, make six-figure incomes for their mastery of statistical data.

  • 2009 was a Wonder-Trip through a Big Time of Suck.

The Dow Jones tanked below at 6,763.29, an all-time low since 1997.  The good news was that it steadily recovered back to its pre-2009 average of about 10,500. Our first African-American President, Barack Obama, was sworn in and went through his first full year in office. Along with his presidency came a steady stream of reforms to meet the bleak economic landscape: The Economic Stimulus Package, the bailouts of the financial and auto industries, and his biggest coup to date, the Health Care reform bill, is weeks away from passage.  On the down side, we are still in Afghanistan, even though the shooting has all but stopped in Iraq. If we had a Temple of Janus in Washington, D.C., the gates would have been open for eight years and running.

In terms of scandals, a Republican governor was outed for infidelity, along with some other faceless politicians (you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all; that and they’re, well, dicks). There was yet another rash of CEO’s of insolvent financial companies, caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. However, the biggest scandal to explode across headlines was Bernie Madoff swindling a long list of monied clients, including some big names like the owners of the New York Mets and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.  Get ready for more action in the years to come.

Two of my fave icons from the 70’s and 80’s, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, passed away in June of 2009.  It is truly the end of an era for some of us.

On the home front, the latest tide of Recession has hit us like a great tsunami.  Unem- ployment hit new lows until they all but stopped by December. While there has been less bleeding, there are many of us still hurting for work. Now that the first round of the stimulus package is making its way felt, hopefully states and companies will be in a braver mood to hire. This Christmas didn’t feel like a particularly good one, but retailers still managed to have long lines of eager buyers in their stores, real or virtual.  On a personal note, I just barely managed to win some tutoring gigs, just to be able to have food on the table and still have a decent Christmas. That, after six long months seething and unemployed. I, for one, am relieved that 2009 is over. It will not be missed.  Now it’s time to look forward to better things.

Gaze into my magic ball and call me a Badass with that Turban...

  • 2010 will be a Happyorgiastifantabulistic Year! (If it isn’t, You never heard it from Me)

I am wearing my patented psychic turban and waving my hands around a magic crystal ball.  Okay, that crystal ball is only a glass paperweight with snow, and that turban is really my LA Dodgers baseball cap. The point is, no one’s exempt from the tendency to make predictions – not even me! So here are some of my random predictions for 2010. Some are serious, but most of them are not:

In the world at large, Obama will still be a fly-killing Ninja finger badass, passing legislation that will eventually get us more jobs. Republicans will still be clueless Keystone cops, and we have another year of fighting in Afghanistan. In sports, the Colts will take the Bowl, the Cavs will be great, but the Lakers, Celtics and Magic will be greater still. Yankees will still win it this year (ugh).  Onto more serious things – or not – the Dow Jones will hit 20,000 before year’s end, and banks still suck. But electronics and high-tech gadgets won’t. And Julie & Julia will win Best Picture at the Oscars.  Again, did I say any of this was serious? I think not.

I’m making predictions for myself as well, and these are definitely serious. Because after all is said and done, we shouldn’t be predicting the future – we should be making them happen. So in no particular order: I will finally be back at work in a stable, long-term job that pays well, along with several millions of Americans like myself, and at a career which I’ll like enough to stay in. I’ll be a prolific (and prosaic) writer who’ll have a kickass blockbuster novel published within a year. And I’ll be happy. Very, very happy.

Copyright Anabasius 2010

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