Happy New Year! A time to look ahead! A time to make your predictions for 2018!
The custom on this blog on New Years Day is for readers to predict what they think will happen over the course of the year ahead. Then, once the year is over, on or around the next New Year’s Eve, we will revisit those predictions and see who made the best one. (See this for what I’m talking about.)
Certainly 2018 opens with lots of questions looming. Will the new tax cuts be a catalyst for economic growth, or will they bankrupt the country? In the midterm elections in November, will Republicans hold on to the House and Senate, or will Democrats take over? Will the Robert Mueller investigations prove fruitless, or will they find grounds to impeach the president? Will we have a war with North Korea?
Can the Golden State Warriors be knocked out of the NBA championship? Are the New York Yankees back? Can Hollywood think of a new idea or are they going to keep ransacking their old comic book collection and remaking the movies they have already made? Will artificial intelligence attain the singularity? Will the #me too movement lead to a backlash against sexual permissiveness? Will there be a Christian revival in 2018 or overt persecution?
The predictions can be weighty or light, serious or whimsical. Winning predictions will likely be highly specific. They tend to seem highly unlikely at the time they are made, but then, to our surprise, they happen anyway. The winning prediction makes us think, “How could anyone possibly know THAT was going to happen?”
I predict that the sexual counter-revolution will continue. In 2018, hackers will break into a porn site, as they did with that adultery site Ashley Madison in 2015, posting the names of all of the users. This public shaming will wreak havoc, but it will spark an anti-pornography backlash. Internet providers, now that they don’t have to worry about net neutrality, will start filtering porn sites in earnest. Laws will be passed against pornography, getting around free speech considerations by defining it in terms of abusing women. In response to social and legal pressure, pornography will retreat to the dark net.
I predict that as Hollywood keeps looking for new movie ideas in old comic books, they will finally get around to some of my favorites:
Turok, Son of Stone (Native Americans + dinosaurs. A sure hit!)
Uncle Scrooge McDuck (Donald’s rich uncle, who lives in a money-bin with a fountain of dimes and mountains of cash. Genuinely funny stories, or at least they seemed so at the time.)
The Atom. (A superhero who can shrink to the subatomic level. Hollywood tried the Ant-Man, but the Atom can go smaller. Plus they could do things with quantum paradoxes that the comic books didn’t know anything about at the time.)
The Silver Surfer. (Existential angst from a being who rides a surfboard through outer space.)
So what do YOU think will happen in 2018?
Illustration, 2017 Jumping Happy New Year 2018, from MaxPixel, CC0, Creative Commons