For several winters, it has been my New Year’s entertainment to sit down and review the abysmal failures of some psychic’s predictions for the year just ended. I’m afraid the gilt is off the gingerbread this time. I did an initial survey of the prophecies that were on offer for 2017, and found the fun has gone out of it, because it’s the same damn thing as always.
The 10% or so of vague, woolly predictions that can be torturously retrofitted into something resembling a hit are highlighted as evidence of the psychics’ supernormal powers. The rest, including the specific predictions that failed, are ignored. Notable and startling events that somehow did not show up on the psychics’ radar are carefully not mentioned.
I’m bored with the whole thing.
Oh, for a psychic who could actually do something useful! How great it would have been if one of these self-proclaimed prophets had warned the Las Vegas police about the evil brewing at that outdoor concert. A solid prediction of that highrise fire in London would have saved lives. The earthquake in Mexico City, landslides in Colombia, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, the bombings in Manchester and Kabul and the Egyptian Sinai – dates and details beforehand might have been helpful.
Instead, we were regaled with the vague and the bleeding obvious: hurricanes on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, monsoons in the Subcontinent, wildfires on the West Coast, tornadoes in Tornado Alley, terrorist attacks in major cities and the Middle East, earthquakes in Japan and California.
We were given the hilariously contradictory. Trump would be assassinated/impeached/a huge success/dead of a stroke. Harry and Meghan would get engaged/elope/split up/already be pregnant. Theresa May would win the election/lose the election/resign in disgrace. The stock market would crash/vacillate/go through the roof. Clearly, the psychics’ spirit guides could not get their collective act together.
We were forewarned of the finely trivial and the frankly ludicrous. A worldwide pasta shortage. UFO landings. A city invaded by giant ladybugs. A pink cow born in China. The exhumation of Shakespeare, with the manuscript of a new play lying amid his bones. The discovery of Castro’s golden hoard. Justin Trudeau in a matador outfit.
Then there was the fuzzy ineffable. This was to be the year when our spiritual energies would be rebuilt, and our leadership would shift dramatically to benevolence and a strong spiritual agenda. Or, 2017 would be the Year of Actualization, when we should access our creative potential on a spiritually molecular level. All sorts of cosmic global resonance energy quantum consciousness spirituality stuff would take place. What does that even mean, and what would it look like in the real world?
And we were lumbered with the plain wrong. No, Italy and Spain did not leave the EU in 2017, and neither did Denmark. Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Carter, and Rupert Murdoch did not die. Assad did not resign and take refuge in Europe. Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline did not shut down due to a massacre of its workforce by “Native American tribesmen.” Jeremy Corbyn did not win the British general election. Mount St. Helens did not erupt. Angela Merkel did not fall from power. Trump did not deport ten million illegal immigrants by the end of the year—in fact, deportations were down last year, to under a quarter million. And so on.
Nope, I couldn’t face doing my usual exhausting tabulations and crosschecks and background research this year, though fortunately others did. And a glance at the 2018 prognostications shows just a whole lot more of the same-old same-old dull nonsense. My only prediction: next New Year’s Eve, I will find some other way to entertain myself.