Reviews

A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fearless Forecasts for 2017

  1. Trump's base will gradually realize that they have helped elect a(n admittedly unorthodox) liberal Democrat to office. Having pledged to retain precisely those aspects of the Affordable [sic] Care Act that make it unsustainable [e.g., last-minute coverage of pre-existing conditions], he will preside over the implosion of the entire health-care payment "system" [sic] and replace the wreckage with a Canadian-style national system. Then he will stun everyone by inviting Health Canada to operate the system rather than the Chicago Machine, thus forestalling the predicted Zombie Apocalypse by preventing the legendary Dead of Chicago from rising up and seizing control of the Levers of Power. 
  2. Russia, in her never-ending search for more Russians to demographically shore up the Rodina, will discover large numbers of them not only in Lithuania and Kazakhstan, but also in Alaska and Brighton Beach, all with a heretofore unspoken longing for reunion with Mother Russia. The obvious solution -- less vodka and more polovoye snosheniye at home -- will not be attempted.
  3. Speaking of which, Hiram Bosworth of Ottumwa, Iowa, will discover malware on his home smart-coffeemaker and the CIA will immediately announce it as Putin's attempt to infiltrate the Internet-of-Things and subvert the American-Way-of-Life with bad coffee. Remnants of the John Birch Society will bring suit against the Democrats violation of the copyright on finding Russians under every bed.
     
  4. Representatives of Occupy America and the Tea Party will hold a joint meeting and realize that their mutual diagnosis -- that the government is in thrall to vested interests -- is the same, but that their respective solutions -- to expand the power of Government regulations on the one hand and to elect a bona fide Vested Interest to the office of President on the other hand -- are a bit incoherent and related in the way of an addict and his enabler. On a voice vote, they adjourn to Otto's Bar and Grill and, in a show of intermural unity, fall off the wagon.
     
  5. The Talking Heads of the MSM will continue to explain to the public the inexplicable loss of the election by the Space Princess. They will continue to natter on about Russian interference (without specifying what that interference actually consisted of) and about Angry Misogynistic White Men (without discovering any large upwelling either of males or whites among the tallied votes). No one will mention triple digit increases in the price of health insurance under the "Affordable" Care Act or the proposal of a No-Fly Zone over Syria, where the Russians constituted the primary fliers -- and hence of the palpable risk of a shooting war with Russia. A few folks in Otto's Bar and Grille, where the Talking Heads are explaining things, will put down their beers and say, "Ain't you the folks who were so wrong about who was going to win? So why should we listen to you now?" The Talking Heads have no good answer, and so they talk louder. Everyone stops listening to them.
     
  6. 2017 will be declared the warmest year on record, after adjustments. Raw temperature data continues to show no increase. Snow will fall.
  7. Sometime during 2017, a substantial number of people will discover that they are not actually in imminent danger from white cops, immigrants, blacks, or other bogeymen. (Most young black men are shot by other young black men, not by cops; most black shooters shoot black victims, not white suburbanites; the problem with illegal Mexican immigration is not immigration or Mexican, but its illegal nature, which allows drug runners and others to conceal themselves among them.) Statistical analysis will be made a required course in high schools. 
  8. The big blockbuster of 2017 will be Indiana Jones and King Solomon's Mines, in which the image of a younger Harrison Ford will team up with the images of Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn on the African Queen to fight Nazis as they search for the aforesaid mines. It will be the first major motion picture to feature no actual live actors in the main parts, but some will argue that a precedent had already been set by S. Stallone and A. Schwarzenegger. Nazis once again will prove to be the most perdurable villains, since no one will picket or complain about their depiction.
  9. The New Witch Hunts will continue as people purge themselves on anti-social media by confessing the sins of other people, often creating these sins de novo from rumors and snippets of quotes. A few will long for the days when confession was under the seal of secrecy. The New Donatists will declare more sins to be lifelong unforgivables and will denounce those who forgive as being haters and 'phobes.
  10. Donald Trump will be impeached on his first day in office, but the Supreme Court will rule that he must first have committed a crime to be impeached for. Just being Donald Trump, while surely aggravating, is insufficient. Also, the media lack jurisdiction, the Bill must originate in the House, not MSNBC. The Supreme Court is accused of being partisan, but Justice Ginsburg, writing for a unanimous court, rules that "we haven't yet completely lost our minds."
  11. The teaching of Western Civilization will be banned from most college campuses as being inherently racist, inasmuch as it focuses primarily on the art, science, and politics of white people.
  12. The president of Turkey points out that under sharia only a properly constituted Islamic government can declare jihad. He then declares Turkey a muslim state and appoints a caliph to succeed Halife İkinci Abdülmecit Efendi. The new Caliph declares ISIS to be takfir and launches holy war against them under the motto "Be careful what you wish for." Everyone save a few Korean War vets have forgotten how the Turks once fought. All Turkomen, many Arab Sunni, and even some Shi'ites join in with enthusiasm. Erdoğan renames his cabinet the Sublime Porte. The French, British, and Russians look on with caution; the Americans with incomprehension.
  13. The CIA reveals that its acronym actually stands for Can't Interpret Anything.
  14. Scientists at CERN studying the "God particle" announce that just as ordinary particles seem to be both particle and wave at the same time, the Higgs boson seems to be three kinds of fields, each distinct yet all somehow the same thing. No one can figure out how this can be so. The Pope chuckles and says apparently to no one present, "Oh, well played."
  15. In their eagerness to shun the cliches of bourgeois art and music and claim the coveted mantle of "intellectual," the avant garde will plunge ever deeper into incomprehensibility, completing the transition from Tonkunst to Klangkunst in both visual and aural media. Meanwhile, the People, in whose name the garde have been avanting, ask if its got a good beat they can dance to. Thus between the primitivism of the one and the revolutionism of the other, the artistic traditions of Western Civilization will be all but lost.
  16. Campaigning for the 2020 election will begin 21 Jan 2017.
TOF's Faithful Reader is asked to contribute his or her own particular insights to the future. 

10 comments:

  1. I dunno, #11 seems a bit like predicting that the sun will rise yesterday morning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Statistical analysis will be made a required course in high schools." Riiight.

    "we haven't yet completely lost our minds." Really?

    11 & 12 are - bracing? The Turks tend toward Dread Pirate Roberts territory when they're on their game...

    OK:

    1. The fundamental basis of physics will need to be reevaluated as Trump's mere existence causes the same heads to explode *multiple times*.

    2. As the next 4 years play out, Trump supporters will increasingly fall back on the position: at least he's not Hillary. They will find this position strangely satisfying.

    3. After Canadians take over management of US national healthcare, they will discover many people who, if only they were in their right minds, would wish themselves dead, and attempt to 'offer' them 'assisted suicide' after the manner of the people-scoopers in Soylent Green. Some people will object.

    4. It will occur to some people that if you do any business at all with Russia, China, Saudi Arabia or the City of Chicago, you will unavoidably have thugs and mafiosi as business partners. This thought will be hunted down and killed in its larval form.

    5. While it took 8 years of constant maneuvering to get the Cubs the World Series win, a little noticed rule change at the MLB winter meetings, whereby only current and deceased members of the Roti family are permitted to act as umpires and scorekeepers, locks up title for the next decade.

    6. either a) American capitalists will continue to fiendishly make Venezuelans starve to death by selling crap to Americans, or b) all of the sudden, Venzuelans and Cubans discover that, wow, if they all really go with this from each according to his ability/to each according to his needs thing, they have the ability to get rid of some people who need getting rid of!

    7. All across Europe, young Muslim men suddenly realize that, by letting them into their countries, Westerners are trying to stop all the oppression that has lead to 1,400 years of violence, and decide to stop with the murder, burning and raping. After another 10 or so years, just to be safe.

    8. While researching a paper on how much cooler Europeans are than us, a 10th grade student inadvertently notices that things were really much worse under Wiemar Germany, let alone under the Nazis, than they are now. He is promptly expelled.

    That's a little dark. Hey, maybe this 100 years of evil thing really ends this year, and sanity starts to break out all over? Why not?

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a little dark. Hey, maybe this 100 years of evil thing really ends this year, and sanity starts to break out all over? Why not?

      One can make a solid case for 1917 being the start of a great darkness, so maybe the Long Night will break.

      Delete
  3. Perhaps with respect to number 10, news sites like buzzfeed (etc) will delve all the way into current events fan fiction and ignore the supreme court's decision, reporting to their readers that Trump actually has been removed from the presidency?

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  4. And would it be too cheeky to add a prediction that in 2017 TOF will add some contact method to his blog (such as email) so it's possible to contact him by some means other than off-topic comments on his recent blog posts? :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. *laughs* I like 10, and my imagination insists on having a more Benedict XVI style Pope for #14.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Were you still being humorous when you said, "Raw temperature data continues to show no increase."? If not, could and would you identify the source?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty sure he was still being funny-- the AGW claimers are notorious for their reluctance to release un-adjusted data.

      Delete
    2. The reasoning is that the contiguous USA, despite being better instrumented than, say Africa or South America is only 5% of the world's surface area. The rest of the world surely is warming rapidly to make up for the lack of USA warming. http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/26/us/us-data-since-1895-fail-to-show-warming-trend.html?src=pm

      Most of the adjustments on the NOAA data consist of lowering past data, so that the warm period that was remarked during the 1930s and 40s, and which made the cooling from 1940s to 1970s so noticeable, has been retroactively erased. Fortunately, few are around anymore who actually remember that period. There is a graph of NOAA data here:
      http://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-5.45.44-AM-1.gif
      but I haven't tracked it back to the actual NOAA site yet.

      Satellite temperature data in the troposphere is also notoriously uncooperative.

      Delete
  7. President Trump's fortune will rapidly diminish as he deals with 200+ issues of conflict of interest. He will cite his substantial losses as heroic sacrifices he is making for his country.

    ReplyDelete