Thursday 29 Sep 2016

Prognostications
AJ Robinson

When I was kid, the psychic predictions, for the upcoming year, which many newspapers ran, fascinated me. It wasn’t that I believed they’d be accurate; it’s that they were always so funny and entertaining. Of course, what I didn’t know was that the newspapers were not in fact newspapers, tabloids in fact, which meant news was the last thing they had. Well, maybe that’s being unfair. They had news; it was merely the questionable accuracy of their news. That as it may, I always made a point of buying the issues with the predictions, and then tucked them away until after the year was over. Then I’d go back and check on how well they’d done.

Care to hazard a guess as to their “batting average?”

I seem to recall one right prediction: Jimmy Carter elected president. When you consider that the psychic had a 50-50 chance of getting that one and the opponent was bumbling Ford, it was not that tough a call. Amazing to think they couldn’t do better, but then their predictions were often about the wildest things: alien contact, cures for cancer and so on. They also often predicted massive earthquakes for California, but, again, not that big a stretch. Yet, they were still wrong!

With that in mind, I thought I might try my hand at this. Let me gaze into my magic crystal snowball, as good old Winter Warlock taught me, and see the future:

First, this spring will be brief, and the summer will be the hottest on record, with massive droughts throughout the Midwest United States. Crops and livestock will wither, and many people will suffer heat stroke. Europe too with feel the summer blaze, and the young and elderly will endure the worst of it. The death toll will be immense. Global Climate Change naysayers will pooh-pooh it all as merely a slight climate shift, even as the seas warm and glaciers continue to retreat. Fall will be warmer than normal, winter shorter, but more intense; “FOX News” will tout every severe blizzard as further confirmation everything is fine.

There will be a terrible mass shooting at a [insert name of most any town or city, with a church, shopping mall, school, daycare center and so forth]. People will weep and wail about the dead, but Congress, still in the grip of the gun manufacturers and their puppet front group, the NRA, will do nothing. No, wait, they will do something, loosen gun control laws, as they’ll say people need more guns to feel safe. Yet, at the same time, the GOP will continue to push for laws to prevent women from controlling their own bodies and for anyone other than rich white males from voting, and they’ll still wonder as to why they’re not reaching other demographic groups. In a touch of irony, people who voted for Republican candidates, for some strange reason, will find themselves disenfranchised.

The GOP will also call for massive cuts to public employees. Then, when some natural disaster, such as a hurricane, occurs or some terror attack takes place, we’ll wonder why we don’t have enough police, fire, EMT and other first responders available. Oh, the GOP will blame the president for those failings.

Corporate profits will go up and wages for average employees will go down, even as the 1% has the best year ever. Yet, any effort to increase taxes on the rich or help the average workers is a “job killer.”

Oh, and next year will see the same cycle repeat, only worse. Anyone care to wager what my batting average will be.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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