Crystal Balls: 2016 Edition

photo 4Predictions for 2016!  Crystal ball time!  The year ahead may be the year of anger.  Or, will it be the Year of Fear(tm)?  Or will it be yet another turn of the earth in its endless [sic] cycle as it lumbers through the universe, galaxy, or whatever dank corner of the Godhead’s X/Y/Z access we are placed?  What do the stars say?  What does the media say, where are the trending words growing?  Word of the year to come, person of the year to be anointed, most talked about cat video?
We are quickly moving to a world imperiled by so many worrisome factors and yet, there exists a pall of potential that settles in the glens and valleys and at times blankets entire regions either metaphorically as in the exuberance for technology still found in Silicon Valley and the latest consumer generation, or actual literal blanket of miasma as seen covering the city of Beijing when the barometer doesn’t cooperate.

photo 3

2016: The Year of Anger
Perhaps the crystal ball says we are sliding into chaos in 2016.  We can predict some increase in anger, not just the typical anger in the world, but anger in places we are not used to seeing it.  This is inevitable in an election year that things get weird.  The number of de-frended friends rise, career-ruining Tweets, and accompanying family rows always trend up in an election year.  In the United States of America, unlike the majority of the world, elections are not typically accompanied by gunfire and bomb blasts such as we hear about occurring in the Congo, Cameroon, or much of the Developing/Third World.  This may change.  In a way, it can be argued, the “mass shootings” are an unstated sign of social unrest.  The loonies tuning into a greater sickness within all of us. There is an increase in contentious politics as personified by Mr. Trump as there is a more peaceful yet intense dissatisfaction expressed those supporters of Mr. Sanders.  The “moderates” this year may be but filler for the extreme side about the fight the epic battle between good and evil, the sidekicks and “straight man” [film theory not gender normative reference], in an unfolding New American political landscape brought on by intentional Balkanization by our ruling corporate class.  We squabble more, and this is none other than intentional.  The fulling corporate class, the designer class, the Knowing Ones, the certain billionaires with foundations we have heard about in the news of late have been orchestrating this for decades.  The growing squabbling amongst the many new cultures taking root in This Great Nation benefit these few and the more divided the population, the simpler it is to conquer them, especially with Distracticon 2016 in full swing as it has been for at least a year now.  This is not the funding of organizations, Super PAC support, or little details.  This is much larger and encompassing as those on the top do not occupy the same spectrum of politi as we lesser creatures, but are playing a far different game than that we understand since while we play chess, they are playing four dimensional corn hole.

photo 12016: The Year of Fear
Oh crystal ball, will 2016 be the Year of Fear?  Will the media, largely situated in the Northeast, now start railing against Global Warming/Climate Change/Mass Extinction since the temperatures and sexual peccadilloes of those who live on the Upper East and West side of Manhattan have a strange impact on news trends and media conversations (also see the Thisamericanlifeafication of human interest stories). Now that it is warm in Gotham, will the unusual weather be the next official Fear Factor?  Will this year coming unleash some new forces of nature, or at least the media coverage of each rain drop so that we can focus our fear and start replacing all our appliances and heating systems, or binge buy self-driving electric cars? Perhaps the fear will come from some unknown terror.  Maybe the usual cast of characters as our nation [re]enters the war (what may be a thirty years war in the Middle East 1990 – 20??) and the news attempts to tamp down the story about how we never left the war, we just put it on hold.  There is perhaps too much to fear and we can just relax knowing that obviously something is going to get us, so why worry about the exact shape, texture, and time?  Or we can worry about the new global migration?  So many countries on the move.  In Houston, Texas I had dinner with a graduate student of sociology who originally was from the subcontinent.  He reminded me that the migration so spoken about in the Western Media and worried about in Europe is a great issue all over and even in India there is mass movement that concerns the residents of one space and challenges the society of another.  Will 2016 then see the mass migrations and climate be folded into a singular story, a world fear, or perhaps we will as I predict, dig up the old bugbear of war and again beat the drums… except it won’t be an official war.  Since we are just there to support the “good guys.”

photo 2The Third Option for 2016
Things more-or-less plod along.  Interest rates are raised to about 1% which then drops the stock market’s progress right on it’s face.  The singularity of market marching value towards unlimited growth is big news. The drop in stocks followed by ‘meh’ post-holiday employment figures – to improve growth, the interest rate goes down to a historic high/low of .5%.  The Fed is trying to wiggle out of the corner it has been in for close to a decade, maintaining this chimerical economy, but it will be a hard position for banks now used to owing %0.  There is no real fear or anger in the population.  Mr. Trump is out of the race in keeping with all radical candidates left, right, center, and progressive, since the media has a way of tossing aside all contenders to the status quo when things get real and they no longer need sessional stories to improve ratings.  Mr. Sanders is also marginalized by the ruling class and the inevitable race to replace Obamabushclinton with Clintonobamabush will begin.  The ‘national conversation’ shifts to make everything eco and lots of green paint is spilled as people replace everything in their houses with more friendly versions of their toys, and now with all that energy savings, you can buy new toys.  We see 2016 being the year of the migrant, and you get new neighbors with professional degrees willing to work for the wages you wanted to reject this year but now fear not to  You swallow your pride and keep working at your wage, and out of fear for social rejection on the BookofFace, you welcome all new comers to the new America, especially since those bastard Millennials are quick to Tweetshame those they don’t agree with, and G/o/_/d/s/es/ss damn it, you just got a Twitter account.  Things limp along as they have in 2015, punctuated of course, by a few mass shootings from crackpot right wingers angry that Mr. Trump was pushed out just before he wrapped his tight little fat fingers about the gold ring of success and the occasional ISIS-inspired loonies.
The only issue about predictions and using crystal balls, is that they can be entirely wrong.  Don’t say I didn’t tell you to dust off your old survival stocks of dry beans, but don’t blame me if your new shipment of beans also goes unused.
Editor’s Note: Photos Chokoloskee, FL, New Orleans, LA, and Seattle, WA.

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