Bear with me, because I’m really sick over here and on many drugs; I am making horrible hawking noises from all up in the nasal, and my chestal area sounds like a fife-and-drum band that has crossed paths and done bloody battle with the Hibernian Bagpipers; nothing good can come of that, but you’ll understand why I am writing under the influence of hot toddies.
This disgusting illness has me randomly thinking of words like “sputum,” which is one of the most repulsive words in either English or Latin (I think I heard a rumor a few years back, that Katie Couric slapped one of her producers for using the word “sputum.” But maybe it was Geraldo).
There are of course, beautiful English words, and here are 100 of them, courtesy of The Jim Geraghty Daily, which if you aren’t subscribing to it, you should, along with the DigitalNun Daily. Geraghty gives good newsy news and the nun gives Good News plus a broad sampling of culture, science, technology and history.
Alright I am prattling because I am sick; let’s look at Frank Fleming’s predictions for half of 2011; he only made it through half the year either because the new baby distracted him or he just has a short attention span:
April: North Korea and Iran will form an Axis of Countries That Are Inches from Snapping and Taking Millions with Them. First order of business for them will be to create nuclear power plants and a new rocket program, which they promise are unrelated. As evidence of Obama’s increasing disinterest in presidential matters, Obama’s only action will be to send Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a single text message of “plz stop. kthx.” They will declare it an act of a war.
Because of the instability, the U.S.’s economy will continue to collapse, and unemployment will exceed 12%. Obama’s demoralized staff will declare that it would be even worse if they hadn’t saved or created eleventy billion jobs. Paul Krugman will back them up on this claim.
Seems spot-on to me. But when it comes to Krugman, that prediction is like fish in a barrel, right? Or coals to Newcastle? I don’t know; I don’t feel good.
I say: everything Frank Fleming said plus:
***Oprah Winfrey will create her OWN Waterloo. Her “new way to watch TV” network will be a spectacular failure. It’s not that the network programming will be especially bad, it’s just that people are going to respond to it with “enough’s enough.” You know how President Obama says “at some point, you’ve made enough money,” Oprah is about to learn that at some point, you’ve outplayed yourself.
***Speaking of “at some point you’ve made enough money,” this year President Obama will–at some point, probably during a mandate battle–go off-teleprompter and pronounce, “at some point, you’ve had enough healthcare.” In truth, there are actually deep and important discussions that need to take place on end-of-life issue–on moral, ethical, theological and philosophical grounds–but instead of serious discussion we’ll get the usual: justified wariness from the right, and angry accusations (mostly too-emotionally crafted and then reframed-unto-incoherence by the mainstream press) and unserious eyerolling and sneers from those on the left who have already committed themselves to the animal farm, and have made peace with some lives being more life-ier than others.
***Either way, expect life-issues, and in particular euthanasia in the case of the “sick” elderly and the “imperfect” young to be of growing consequence in the coming decade.
***After the Royal Wedding, at which she will represent the United States, Hillary Clinton will resign her position as Secretary of State in order to take on a philanthropic endeavor focusing on Haiti. I don’t really think that, but I do wish someone with some sort of global access to powermongers and assets would get in there and help that nation out, so I am going to project it on to Clinton and suggest that she does so well in that position that even I will be forced to consider joining the “Draft Hillary” movement that will be necessary for her to, with plausible deniability, run against Obama.
***Richard Fernandez will be proved correct: anarchists will rise and fail.
***The internet will come under siege from governments who will finally be able to agree on one thing: they don’t like freedom of information as much as they say they do.
***”Transparency” will be re-defined to mean one-way windows; we’ll see only fun-house mirrors but others will see us. If the popularity of “reality” tv shows is any indicator, we’re already in the funhouse, and hey, hey we’re the monkeys, too.
***”Freedom of Religion” will, like “transparency” come to mean something different than what we have understood, and some religious persecutions will be on the rise, most notably the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. In Western countries Christians and Orthodox Jews will find themselves persistently challenged in matters touching on everything from their own ritual observance to whether they may serve their surrounding communities in accordance to their own beliefs. In particular, Catholic hospitals and adoption agencies will face mounting pressure to conform to the age or close up their shops.
***Democrats and Mainstream Media will dub Mike Huckabee “the new moderate maverick” and pretend they like and respect him enough to get centrists and independents on board. Huckabee, lacking even John McCain’s charisma, will not entice those folk to play along.
***Unemployment numbers will head downward as businesses exhale and loosen their shoulders a little bit, but this will only happen if business gets a sense that congress has its back. Otherwise, no dice.
***Barack Obama will issue his first veto, this year. It won’t be his last. He will continue to appoint unvetted, dubiously-appropriate people to positions of power without the advise or consent of the congress. The Mainstream Media will not care much, because this president has a D after his name. They didn’t care about this, either.
***As long as the Tea Party can keep its focus on the constitution and on fiscal matters, it will continue to be a reckoning force. If, however, economic improvements and spending cuts begin to appear, some tensions may appear within the movement, between social conservatives and fiscally-minded libertarians.
***The Anglican Ordinariate will proceed apace.
***30 Rock will end with Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy getting together and parenting Jack-and-Avery’s baby. Kenneth Ellen Parcell will take over NBC and Meat-Cat will become an actual product spokesperson for a trendy-but-fatal new snack.
UPDATE: Where your book begins…
Seems the “Young Ezra Klein” prediction is already coming true, though I don’t know if Althouse would call herself “right-of-center”.
Bill Quick’s Predictions
Why is it 2011?
7 Predictions from 1931
2010 Humbled the DC Establishment
10 Predictions for News Media
11 Pop-Culture Predictions
What will the New Year Bring
That’s all, folks