Cheery predictions for 2021
Many political pundits are like the worst American president ever: They refuse to admit when they’re wrong.
I will. This is what makes me morally superior to media bloviators that make money declaiming with false certainty and pathological karma-daring.
In that light, to honor the late great Washington Post columnist David Broder and his classic year-end “annual accounting of errors and misjudgments,” I offer a look-back at my look-ahead to 2020 and admit where I blew it, before I prognosticate for 2021:
· Upon the 2019 year-end holiday season, I wished everyone “the happiest, healthiest 2020!” thinking that was pretty safe to say.
· Initially I dismissed the novel coronavirus as something only novelists needed to worry about (and I had no novel in the works), but then my sickly quip quickly turned deadly.
· Following his January impeachment (remember?), I assumed Trump would be chastened and feign presidential behavior to win reelection and then preen, crow, and attack his opponents real and imagined.
· I also predicted the U.S. economy would continue the historic Obama recovery thanks to Trump’s titanic brilliance as a billionaire businessman. Who knew just how titanic his captaining of America would be?
My warning of a tech bust was also wrong.
As an amateur Wall Street investor analyst, I rang the death knell for internet providers of goods, services and public engagement such as Amazon, Grubhub, Instacart, Netflix, Wine.com, Zoom and “social” media led by presidential Twitter and also Facebook, TikTok and QAnon opinion leaders.
“Like all modern electronic fads, these ‘internet innovations’ soon shall be swept into the proverbial dustbins of history,” I huffed, “Just like the electric automobiles Popular Mechanics envisioned in the 1950s.”
My bad, as nobody says anymore.
But forgive me for believing people prefer to shop in person at big mall chains and small local village merchants. Also dine out for the delightful cuisine and torturing of wait staff, squeeze their own supermarket avocados for inedibility, and flock to the nearest cineplex for the latest blockbuster action movies and inscrutable independent cinema.
My tech bust forecast presumed that humans prefer to engage personally to pick up nonverbal cues such as, “Did you ever notice how you fleck my glasses with your spittle when you talk?”
If it’s any consolation, I too was victimized by my vision of 2020’s limitless possibilities:
· I vowed to spend more time with beloved friends and family even if they always tell me they’re pretty busy and can’t get together.
· I planned to start my global travel bucket list with China’s breathtaking Hubei Province and TripAdvisor’s “Best Things to Do in Wuhan.”
· I resolved to eat healthier, imbibe less and reach higher culturally, starting with not watching Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen struggle through New Year’s Eve even if they were somewhat less flailing than former co-host Kathy Griffin and her “bawdy comic relief.”
· In early January, after strolling Manhattan over the 2019 holidays, I assumed my incessant dry cough, debilitating fatigue and breathing so labored I visited a pulmonologist was either new allergies or— as they say — I’m a typical guy being a big baby when not feeling his best. No way I had this so-called Covid!
All that behind me, I look forward to 2021 with my predictions:
1. Some bad stuff, some good stuff and some normal stuff. Whatever, our media will obsessive about it for ad sales.
2. Fights over Covid vaccines — how every vaccine rollout plan is wrong and -ist.
3. Conspiracy theories that unite anti-vaxxers on the left and right that keep the Covid going.
4. Bitter fights over Joe Biden’s attempt to heal and unite our nation.
5. Senate hearings to smear Joe Biden’s cabinet picks as not being righty or lefty enough to please everyone all the time.
6.Investigations by Republicans into Democrat scandals and vice versa so regular Americans believe all politicians are corrupt except the ones they like and voted for.
7. Trump’s appeal to the Galactic Courts of the Federation of Free Alliances to declare election fraud and his victory. I don’t know Star Wars but apparently when his own U.S. Supreme Court picks decide (and I translate from legalese), “Get the f*ck out of here with that sh*t,” it’s not good enough.
8. Vaccines from the terrible horrible greedy pharmaceutical companies will ease the growing tide of Covid illness and deaths. The Trump Pandemic of 2020 will begin to pass into history like the not really “Spanish” flu of 1918.
9.Dr. Anthony Fauci will receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine for fighting the Covid and also the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for resisting a numbskull president, bootlicking politicians and bleating sheeple who ignorantly spread the Covid.
10. Amazon, Grubhub, Instacart, Netflix, Wine.com, Zoom and the so-called “social” media will continue to dominate our lives because most people love the Covid life without its personal interaction.
11. Nobody but a few despicable nerds will want to go “back to work” when that means going into the office, wasting time, money and the Earth from commuting and chemical dry cleaning, hurting body positiveness to dress in lookist professional clothing, and worst of all, suffering colleagues personally.
12. Just like in all futuristic fantasies such as Star Trek, we will all continue wearing the same uniform 24–7 for work, play, bedtime, occasional sexy times, and obsessively streaming Hulu’s “The Looming Tower” with Dan Futterman.
For example, blown-out ’90s GAP sweatpants and classic AIDs 3k fun-run tee-shirts and filthy ball caps to save on haircuts we didn’t get during the Covid to signal our Covid virtue. Every stain tells a story, don’t it.
Most of all, I predict my 2021 predictions will be completely wrong.
But look forward to my 2022 predictions in December 2021!
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.