Pre­dic­tions for the New Year

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

Well we did it, we sur­vived an­other decade to­gether.

It seems like only yes­ter­day I was stand­ing on the cor­ner of State and North Pearl Street in down­town Al­bany just be­fore mid­night of the year 2000 telling ev­ery­one to brace them­selves for a com­plete com­puter melt­down. You re­mem­ber how all your elec­tron­ics were sup­posed to freak out when the clocks struck twelve for the new cen­tury, a pre­dic­tion that was hyped more than the re­cent Star Wars movie.

Just for the record I haven’t seen one of those films since they stopped mak­ing them with Har­ri­son Ford. That’s not a po­lit­i­cal state­ment; I just got busy rais­ing kids and adopt­ing dogs and do­ing the news and for­got to go.

This will take me off topic but have you been to the movies lately? Not only did it get ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive but the big­ger the­aters make you se­lect your seat now. I sup­pose that’s a good idea when there’s a huge crowd but what hap­pens if you see some­thing not as pop­u­lar in a half-empty theater and de­cide to change seats af­ter the 45 min­utes of previews?

Is there now a Re­gal se­cu­rity force that drops down from the ceil­ing like Tom Cruise in Mi­nor­ity Re­port to put a col­lar around your neck and take you away?

I did see the film Bomb­shell the other day and, while I know it will never hap­pen, Char­l­ize Theron de­serves an Academy Award nom­i­na­tion for her spo­ton por­trayal of Megyn Kelly. About two sec­onds into the movie you be­lieve you are watch­ing ac­tual footage of the real Megyn work­ing at Fox News.

OK, let’s get back on the road we started on; new year, new decade, new you? Some­how I doubt that. We are who we are and no New Year’s res­o­lu­tion changes that. If you like Burger King’s orig­i­nal chicken sand­wiches in 2019, it is doubt­ful those num­bers on the scale will scare you away from the drive-thru for very long in 2020.

But hey, you only live once so I say or­der what you want.

Since we’re start­ing a new year I thought it ap­pro­pri­ate to make a few pre­dic­tions for the year to come. The best part of mak­ing them to­day is that by the time most of them don’t come true you will have long for­got­ten about this col­umn and I’ll skate away un­scathed. I of­fer them up in no par­tic­u­lar or­der.

Pol­i­tics- If the democrats don’t choose a mod­er­ate can­di­date for the na­tion’s top job, you’ll be look­ing at four more years of Don­ald Trump. The econ­omy is chug­ging along too well for peo­ple to turn him out, no mat­ter how rude or fool­ish his tweets. Un­less, that is, the dems of­fer up a very lik­able can­di­date that mod­er­ates feel won’t rock the boat.

Put sim­ply if peo­ple be­lieve ev­ery­thing will stay the same, we just get some­one more “tra­di­tional” in the job; they have a shot to push him out. Pick­ing some­one who prom­ises to hand out free gift bags to ev­ery­one in the coun­try won’t work.

En­ter­tain­ment: Hol­ly­wood will give us an­other year of se­quels we didn’t ask for and re­boots of clas­sics we don’t want to see. Then a small movie with no big names and even less of a bud­get will shock ev­ery­one and make a ka-jil­lion dol­lars be­cause peo­ple still want to see films with real peo­ple telling com­pelling sto­ries.

Jour­nal­ism: Ca­ble news will con­tinue to prac­tice any­thing but jour­nal­ism and ad­vo­cate for one can­di­date or an­other and then be shocked when their au­di­ence turns away. The man run­ning CNN will hang onto his job for an­other year, de­spite driv­ing the rat­ings off a cliff and Sean Han­nity will con­tinue telling you he is both fair and bal­anced.

Ed­u­ca­tion: State schools and com­mu­nity col­leges will con­tinue to thrive while very ex­pen­sive pri­vate schools lose en­roll­ment and won­der why kids are no longer will­ing to spend 50K on a phi­los­o­phy de­gree.

Cul­ture: Celebri­ties and peo­ple we con­sider “big shots” will con­tinue to lose their en­tire liveli­hood be­cause we now live in a world where strangers will dig through the trash in your past look­ing for that one time you wrote or said some­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate. It won’t mat­ter how much you apol­o­gize or ex­plain that you were a child when you said it, they will can­cel you like they are dis­con­nect­ing Net­flix.

So­cial me­dia: Peo­ple you know will con­tinue to post very per­sonal things on Face­book, in­clud­ing hos­pi­tal pho­tos of their fam­ily mem­bers lit­er­ally dy­ing, and then won­der why you no longer fol­low them on Face­book.

Church: Amer­i­cans will con­tinue to spend less time think­ing or wor­ry­ing about God and then be shocked when more and more peo­ple see their lives go adrift and lack­ing in any pur­pose. The peo­ple who do go to church and speak of their faith glow­ingly will con­tinue hav­ing friends won­der aloud why that per­son al­ways seems so happy, never for a mo­ment mak­ing the con­nec­tion to that per­son and their faith.

So here we are gang, an­other year, an­other decade. Since I do be­lieve in God I will pray you have a healthy 2020 and again, I urge you, get the chicken sand­wich if it truly makes you happy.

John Gray is a news an­chor on WXXA-Fox TV 23 and ABC’S WTEN News Chan­nel 10. His col­umn is pub­lished ev­ery Wed­nes­day. Email him at [email protected]

John Gray

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