By Jeff Mullin, columnist
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Another year stretches out before us, a blank canvas, waiting for the application of brush strokes both bold and tentative.
Those who adhere to the inauspicious nature of the number 13 will likely spend the next 12 months clutching rabbit’s feet or other good-luck talisman.
This is not an election year, not an Olympic year. This will be a year in which the nation’s leaders will have to come to grips with the country’s burgeoning debt.
As with any brand-new year, there are various people who have their own ideas about how the blank canvas will be colored as the weeks and months progress.
The Internet is filled with sites expounding predictions of doom and gloom for the year that has just begun. One predicts a new Korean War in June, a large asteroid striking Earth in early summer, the destruction of northern Israel by rocket attacks in July or August, a super world economic crash in October, a world flu pandemic by June and a major California earthquake in February. Oh, and Turkey and Greece will go to war, a U.S. aircraft carrier will be destroyed by terrorists in May, the Earth will be hit by the worst solar storm in history and Sinead O’Connor, Lindsay Lohan and/or Britney Spears will commit suicide.
Sidney Freeman, who characterizes himself as a mentalist, foresees Jimmy Fallon being named to replace Jay Leno as host of the “Tonight Show.”
He also predicts a massive fish die-off off the East coast, and makes Oscar predictions. He likes Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) winning best actress, Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”) as best supporting actress and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) as best supporting actor.
“Zero Dark Thirty” will win best original screenplay, Freeman said, while “Life of Pi” will win for cinematography.
He also foresees a “new, odd, unexpected source” of fuel for cars, trucks and/or machinery being discovered, and he says the eating of bugs will gain a large following.
The website “The Stir” predicts people will name their babies Alessandra, Cassandra or Sandra in 2013, inspired by Superstorm Sandy. Other names the authors see coming down the pike in 2013 include Lev, Leopold, Magnus, Lily, West, Weston and Wilder.
Forbes magazine predicts the Green Bay Packers will beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and the Oklahoma City Thunder will get revenge over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Oh, and the 2012-2013 National Hockey League season is toast, according to Forbes.
Columnist George Will predicts California or Illinois will petition Washington to take its public employees’ pension obligations off its hands and turn the debt over to the American taxpayer.
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post thinks Michelle Bachmann will be elected Speaker of the House. The Post’s Eugene Robinson predicts the deaths of both Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in 2013.
The website “The Daily Sheeple,” whose subtitle is “Wake the Flock Up,” predicts a steep stock market decline, widespread legalization of marijuana, a major cyber attack on America, the toppling of Syria’s President Assad and a western attack on Iran that triggers World War III.
On her website, psychic Betsey Lewis predicts the death of Nelson Mandela and a former U.S. president in 2013. She also says many people will become vegetarians as prices for milk, meat and corn soar, Lee Harvey Oswald will be exonerated in the assassination of JFK, more UFOs will be seen around the world, the folks from CERN will announce time travel is possible, and stunning breakthroughs in disease prevention and cures, particularly in the areas of cancer and MS, will be announced.
As for me, I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know. Some of these things may happen, or none of them may.
I know what I hope happens. I hope the Democrats and Republicans in Washington learn to play nice. I hope there are no more repeats of the mass shootings we saw far too often in 2012. I hope the drought in this part of the country is broken.
I hope there are no major disasters, either natural or man-made, anywhere in the world. I hope Forbes is right about the Thunder and that Betsey Lewis is right about a breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of cancer and MS. Oh, that time travel thing would be pretty cool, too.
Whether any of that happens, who knows. All I know is I predict we will be here to tell you about it.
Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.