Every year since this blog began during the Nixon Administration, I have made bold predictions about the year ahead – in politics, world affairs, pop culture and advances in cutlery. I possess an uncanny ability to peer into the future and predict fascinating events no other prognosticators are able to see. The fact that my predictions historically have had about as much chance of coming true as Lady Gaga has of becoming the next Pope is the only small blemish tarnishing my otherwise stellar reputation.

To show you what I mean, here are a few notable predictions from previous years which would have been newsworthy except for the minor inconvenience that they failed to materialize:

2002: A resoundingly brisk victory will be won in the war in Afghanistan after just 11 months, and a flourishing democracy will spread throughout this previously troubled region. Afghani women will be elected to several prominent political posts, as Pakistan and the USA become bosom buddies.

2004: Facebook, a cheap knock-off of My Space, will implode within six months as “social media” is quickly dismissed as the “mood ring” fad of the decade. In a related prediction, Microsoft will dominate the portable music market with the launch of its Zune music player, forcing Apple to scrap its its ill-conceived and oddly named iPod and declare bankruptcy.

2006: Despite all the buzz around “cloud computing,” Bill Gates will declare at the Consumer Electronics Show that cloud computing is still several years away from reality as they still can’t figure out how to keep the computers up in the clouds without them falling to earth and landing on people.

2007: The world will be shocked and outraged by photos released by TMZ.com purporting to show Bill Clinton having sex with Hillary Clinton.

2008: It will be another big year for business mergers. In a move that will surprise Wall Street, You Tube, Twitter, and Facebook will merge to become You Twit Face.

2010: The strife-ridden, lawless state of Somalia will reinvent itself and become the tourist destination capital of Africa with its playfully enticing advertising campaign slogan: “Visit Somalia – Come for our beaches. Stay for our pirates.”

The last year one of my predictions came true, the Chicago Cubs were headed for the World Series.  Let’s face it. I’m not very good at making predictions. I can’t even predict the exact date of the summer solstice (I think it’s in late May). So this year, I’ve decided to take a more conservative approach to my annual predictions. I am feeling pretty confident that a few of these may come true. Here goes:

People in the news: My neighbor, Bert Zablinski, will, for the 11th year in a row, have the worst maintained lawn in our neighborhood, and he’ll continue to borrow my tools and forget to return them. Neither of my daughters will win a Rhodes scholarship, despite my best efforts to bribe the judges.

Politics: A well-known US congressperson will say or do something boneheaded, jeopardizing his/her political career. It may involve either taking a bribe or having an extra-marital affair, or perhaps getting caught on tape picking the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl.

World Affairs: One or more European countries will experience street protests about draconian budget cuts, high unemployment, or Germany still behaving like a bully with demands to please make it stop. To nobody’s surprise, Pakistan will get snubbed by being left off Condé Nast Magazine’s list of Best Places for a Romantic Honeymoon.

Entertainment: Lindsay Lohan will be arrested once again, this time for one or more of the following:

a)     driving under the influence

b)    possession of an illegal drug

c)     violating her court-ordered probation

d)    her critically panned portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime biopic Liz & Dick

Business: Apple’s profit picture for the year will continue to outperform View from the Bleachers’ profit picture by roughly 10 gazillion percent (give or take a bazillion).  Facebook will do something to piss off a lot of people – perhaps by accidentally replacing their profile picture with Michele Bachmann’s.

Technology: The USA’s national productivity will be negatively impacted in the year ahead with the introduction of yet another addictive and violent End of the World combat video game with a name like Delta Storm – World of Nihilistic Doom for PlayStation 3, as millions of Gen Y employees waste hundreds of hours of work time playing these games when they would otherwise be tweeting about their Facebook status.

Sports: The Houston Astros, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Cavaliers will have as good a chance of making it into the post-season as Paris Hilton has of becoming the next NFL Commissioner.

Let’s check back in a year and see how I did. I may miss a few of these, but I’m pretty sure about the Lindsay Lohan one. You can take that one to the bank.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS:  I predict that if you enjoyed this week’s post, you are going to let me know by sharing it on Facebook, posting a comment or giving it a.  Please help me make my prediction come true. It might just be the only one I get right all year. 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013

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