By PAT WATSON
This year has been one for the history books with new highs and lows. But, as we close out 2009, in which the Toronto District School Board opened the long awaited and long fought for Africentric Alternative School, and America’s first president of African descent, Barack Hussein Obama, was sworn in, we look now to the future and wonder what the New Year will bring. For one thing, we had better get used to hearing the term ‘Twenty-ten’, because that is how the year 2010 C.E. will commonly be referred to. It’s catchy.
As we look toward the end of the first decade in the third millennium of the Common Era, the time is auspicious for pulling out the crystal ball that sits hidden for most of the year gathering dust in the corner of our collective psyches.
Here then, are some absolutely unsubstantiated and openly absurd predictions for Twenty-ten.
First to politics: Stephen Harper will have the itch to solidify his position as prime minister and will pay close attention to the rise and fall of Liberal Party popularity as well as his own popularity polls to decide when to call the next federal election. He will consider the Olympics a positive mood enhancer for the country, so an election will be called by the spring.
In a major shocker, all of Toronto’s professional sports teams will win championships this year. The victories by the Raptors and Maple Leafs will be considered a major rationale for Harper to call an election. He will be heard to say, ‘If Toronto feels good, maybe it’ll send some love my way’. But the election will only lead to another minority government. However, for a few tense days we compare ourselves to the U.S. as post election results leave us unclear about which party will take the reins of government.
In Toronto, many will be surprised, some visibly shaken, when a former mayor campaigns again to become the city’s next mayor. Meanwhile, David Miller will consider federal politics, but opt instead to move to Saskatchewan.
To no one’s surprise the St. Clair streetcar line renovations continue to drag on. As well, the local subway system will set a new record by having at least one major delay every single day of the year. Commuters will burn their transfers in disgust, en masse.
Turning to the weather, an extremely cold winter will have doubters questioning the claim of global warming by scientists. Some scientists will point to volcanic eruptions as the reason for the colder temperatures. There will also be less snow this year, leading to bargain prices on snow shovels. However, there will also be sharp swings in temperatures due in part to El Niño. The rapid shifts will lead to mass confusion, especially among city dwellers who will not be able to decide which coat to put on as they leave their homes. Some will become stressed about having to carry two coats. Adding to the confusion, squirrels will continue to be seen running around right through the winter months.
Tiger Woods will breathe a sigh of relief when even bigger news about a high profile personality becomes known – people will claim sightings of Michael Jackson, thereby sealing Jackson’s connection to Elvis Presley. Some will question whether the King of Pop has really “left the building.”
The recession will continue to cause havoc and, in response, there will be more marriages and fewer divorces as people join together to pool their resources or stay together to keep their resources intact. One associated outcome is that there will be a mini baby boom by the end of the year. At the same time, “Two can live as cheaply as one” will become a common bumper sticker as well as the title of a timely hit song by k-os.
Despite the recession, communications technology will grow in popularity ever more. Mobile phones and other personal digital assistants will have strong sales, increasing month over month, as hard competition from China leads to more affordable products. However, PDA-related injuries will increase as more people bump into sidewalk obstacles and one another while looking down at their devices instead of looking ahead to where they are going. Also related to this trend will be the new term ‘phone rage’, which will refer to the violent response by persons who feel their public space is being polluted by the unwelcome, audible banter of mobile phone users.
Twenty-ten will end with a sigh of relief and a renewed hope for a better year in 2011.
On a note of defense…
An active sense of humour – a willingness to laugh and smile – is a strong defense in trying times.