Predictions for the New Year
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]