As regular readers of this column know, this is the time of year when I like to look back on my predictions from 12 months ago to see whether my keen journalistic insight served me well in prognosticating the major events for the coming year.
As regular readers of this column know, this is the time of year when I like to look back on my predictions from 12 months ago to see whether my keen journalistic insight served me well in prognosticating the major events for the coming year. And those same regular readers are probably asking, “What keen journalist insight?,” because they know me.
So let’s see what I had to say about 2008:
1) The economy will continue to soar, and with it the value of our investments. If you haven’t yet put money in reliable stalwarts like Lehman Brothers or Madoff, better do it now! Clearly I was a little overzealous with this one — hopefully nobody actually listened to me. In retrospect, I’m sure glad I didn’t have any money to invest.
2) After a rough couple of years, President Bush will leave on a high note after successfully ending the war in Iraq, shoring up the economy and finally reforming Social Security. Not sure what made me think Bushie could pull it out — maybe I just felt sorry for him, being in so far over his head all these years. I should note that I also predicted he wouldn’t be hit by any shoes, which was correct, albeit just barely.
3) Once again, nothing interesting or even remotely noteworthy will come out of Alaska. Cut me some slack on this one — who could have possibly predicted Sarah Palin, or even the kafuffle over Sen. Ted Stevens, for that matter? This would have been an accurate prediction during any of the last 50 years, so you can’t really blame me for throwing in a gimme.
4) Comic book superheroes will rule the roost at the box office, led by a blockbuster sequel about a dark crusader for justice — “Punisher: War Zone.” OK, I was close on this one. I still think the only reason “Punisher” tanked was because it didn’t have Heath Ledger and was based on a comic book character that nobody ever heard of. Also, it kind of sucked.
5) Madonna will reinvent herself once more and launch her “Middle-Aged Matron” tour, performing standards from the American songbook while wearing tasteful sweaters and pantsuits, and not engaging in any controversial extramarital relationships with younger men, especially baseball players. Damn you, Madonna! Must you always defy expectations?
6) Audiences will cheer as Rosie O’Donnell single-handedly revives the variety show format, earning herself the title “The new Sonny and Cher.” Apparently I was the only one eagerly anticipating the variety show revival … and even I didn’t watch Rosie’s show. But I was right in my prediction that Jay Leno’s time slot would be changed, although I predicted they’d move him to 3 a.m. and broadcast him in Spanish.
7) The Jonas Brothers will be proven by an investigative team from E! to be animatronic creations designed by Disney scientists. Yes, I agree that this one was kind of far-fetched. E! doesn’t even have an investigative team.
8) Several forward-thinking Chinese corporations will introduce the latest sensation for kids: toys you can suck on. OK, so it turns out that sucking on Chinese toys would be bad. But I was right in my prediction that tomatoes would prove dangerous this year, even if I said it would be due to them falling on people from great heights.
9) The Patriots will face the upstart N.Y. Giants in the Super Bowl, where Tom Brady will crush them between his powerful, manly thighs. Hmmm … I think all those pictures of Tom in G.Q. were starting to cloud my judgment.
10) Barack Obama will be elected 44th president of the United States. Actually, I was just kidding about this one. But I’ll take it!
Peter Chianca is a managing editor for Gatehouse Media New England. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/pchianca. To receive At Large by e-mail, write to email@example.com, with the subject line “SUBSCRIBE.”