Ugh. I don’t want to write this, but as someone whose life is almost entirely motivated by a sense of “obligation” instilled by an martini-fueled mother (b. 1929) who has been dead for a decade, I feel I must follow through and write out my predictions for this year.
I’ll drop this brick into the Medium well, but I’m not really sure what I hope will happen. I’ve eschewed the Medium Partner’s Program out of fear that writing dreck for shekels would destroy the buzz, but guess what? It left just the same. The blood of inspiration has drained out through my heel. The whole platform suddenly appears artistically jaundiced. While there is plenty of activity by those I follow and the home page is packed with possibly interesting content, the offerings looks sallow to me. What’s wrong? What happened? What is the source of this ennui?
I know the answer. You cannot serve both god and Mammon. When there was no money for writing on Medium, the possibility that writing on Medium would result in riches existed. When I say “riches” I mean that each of us got to fill in the blank of what might happen. Here are three examples of my daydreams:
1. Maybe if this post goes viral, attractive people will show their appreciation by posting pictures of themselves in their underwear in the comments section.
2. Maybe if this post really hits, Bob Dylan will read it and mention “Gutbloom” in a new song the way he mentioned Alicia Keys in “Thunder on the Mountain”.
3. Maybe if people like this post, a tractor will fall out of the sky.
None of those things was ever going to happen, but the possibility existed. Now, with the partner program, the daydreams are even less sustainable. The best I can hope for is to underwrite my addiction to Slim Jims and convenience-store coffee, which I already underwrite by betting on bull fights.
So why write on Medium? At this point writing my New Year’s prediction is tradition, and tradition is “error handed down from the past”, so that can’t be the reason. I could write out of obligation, but, as I noted, the corporal incarnation of my super-ego no longer walks the earth, and in the comprehensive list of obligations, writing my predictions here ranks pretty low. It can’t be for riches, or for fame, or tractors, or underwear pictures. I’m convinced none of them are going to happen. The “magic delusional moment” has passed. Medium is maturing, so should our aspirations.
I will tell you why I write. I write because I have a belly full of stollen and too much rum running through my system. I’m agitated by the holidays and should be doing something else. In short, I’m wasting time. I’m wasting my time, and now I’m going to waste yours.
My “More Personal” Predictions for 2018
My past predictions have not worked out well. If you would like to review them, you can read backwards. I include the following links with full knowledge of the fact that nobody reads backwards on Medium.
My Predictions for 2016
I know how to get the jump on you folks. Everyone is summing up 2015. Many Mediumans started a week ago. I’m going to…
Given my lack of success, I decided this year to predict what I hope will happen rather than what I think might happen. In other words, if I’m going to be wrong, I’m going to enjoy my wrongness more:
- Donald Trump will be visited tonight by the ghosts of New Year’s Eve Past, New Year’s Eve Present, and New Year’s Eve Future. He will wake up tomorrow a completely changed man. He will hold a press conference to say, “I’m a fraud and my whole life is a lie” and then promise to “become the president you hoped I could become.” Despite the change, the residents of Mar-a-Lago, sensing weakness, will storm the clubhouse, grab him, and hang him upside down from a lamppost in the village square (they may have to travel to “The Villages” to find a village square in Florida.) The inverted Trump will grant an interview to Don Lemon during which he says, “This is justified. I deserve this. As soon as they cut me down I’m going to abdicate… I mean resign… the presidency and spend the rest of my life trying to use my fortune to take care orphans, widows, and pets with rare and expensive health problems.”
- Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump will be killed by a Tasmanian Tiger while hunting in Australia.
- As a result of reading my yet-to-be-written post about how I made and served tortoni on Christmas Day and it was a FUCKING SENSATION, tortoni becomes the “hot food” of 2018.
- (This is item #1 BECAUSE MEDIUM CAN’T HANDLE A PHOTO IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ORDERED LIST. It doesn’t matter because I lost count anyway). The Celtics Will Win the NBA Championship and the Rest of the Nation Will Realize That They Hate Boston More Than Trump.
- “Wetsuit Chic” will be the fashion rage of 2018.
- (Again, #1 because see above) Part of China’s Ascendence will Revitalize Confucianism in the West and You Will Have to Endure Listening to Family Members Quote “Master Kung” in Response to Legitimate Complaints and Grievances. You may wonder why I want this to happen. There are two reasons. The first is that as a middle-aged man I’m kind of “pro-Confucianism”. The second reason is because I have a lot of racist “Confucius say” jokes memorized. For example:
- Man who runs in front of car soon gets tired.
- Man who loses key to girlfriend’s apartment gets no new key.
- Man with hole in pocket feel a little cocky all day long.
You get the idea.
- (Again #1 because Medium lists don’t allow nested lists). France Will Become Cool Again. We are ready for another cyclical love-affair with France. Did I mention that tortoni was invented in Paris? Hating on the French is the derivative, inherited-from-Monty Python-for-reasons-they-don’t-understand domain of Internet trolls and 14-year-old boys wasting their lives playing CoDWW2. Let’s hope that Macron’s “New Liberalism” includes some kind of kindness directed towards former French Colonies.
- Medium will take off, everyone will get a Medium account. My cousins will find my Medium account, and out of embarrassment and shame I will delete it.
- Ending Medium posts in mid-sentence will become