At this time of year, everyone is obsessed with two things: what happened this year and what’s going to happen next year. I have no problem with the rehashing of the events of the previous 12 months, except for the lame attempts to pick the ‘winner’ in various categories (e.g. worst mayor, most tragic tragedy, most virulent viral video, most annoying word etc.). As gratifying as it is to agree with those who nominated ‘twitterverse’ as a word that should be permanently retired, do we really need to be reminded that ‘gangnam style’ has now become a feature of the lexicon? However, the really useless activity is trying to predict the events that will unfold over the next 12 months. This stems, I believe, from the general lack of comfort with ambiguity and the unknown. We all feel better when we think we have some control over the randomness of the universe. In order to help everyone out here is the definitive list of what’s going to happen in 2013.
1. Several celebrity couples will split up. Most will do this the day after being photographed together on a red carpet or the day after being photographed together on the beach at Cabo San Lucas or the day after getting married in Las Vegas.
2. The low lying areas of Bangladesh (which comprises 99% of the country) will flood. This will be followed by a famine caused by a severe shortage of rice, the only crop that will grow on land that is flooded most of the year, and subsequently followed by a visit from Bono and a remake of a celebrity charity sing-along, culminating in a YouTube viral video that makes people feel good to view it but does nothing at all to help anyone in Bangladesh.
3. The dollar will go up. The dollar will go down. The price of gold will go up. The price of gold will go down. The price of oil will go up. The price of oil will go down. The price of gas will go up, especially on the Friday before a long weekend, and especially if the price of oil goes down.
4. Something that was previously thought to be good for us will turn out to be bad for us. In 2013 this will probably be flax seed and quinoa, which fortunately will not inconvenience too many people.
5. Something that was previously thought to be bad for us will turn out to be good for us. I think this has already happened to caffeine and chocolate so no need to wait until next year to crank up the consumption. Some prime candidates for redemption in the next 12 months include vodka, French fries and hollandaise sauce (as long as eggs don’t move from the good list back to the bad list, which they tend to do every second year).
6. A prominent politician will resign to ‘spend more time with his/her family’. Following the resignation, every bad thing that happened before, during and after the tenure of said politician will be blamed on his/her actions or lack thereof. Much time will be spent discussing the errors and downfalls. Little time will be spent focusing on improving the situation.
7. There will be a resurgence of the fashion trends of the 1990s. This is perhaps the direst prediction of them all. Be prepared to be visually assaulted by stirrup pants, leotard tops, acid wash jeans, plaid shirts and desert boots. You have been warned.