• 9 Predicytions for 2018 (Photo - Stefan Schroeder, pixabay).

      9 Predicytions for 2018 (Photo – Stefan Schroeder, pixabay).

      I love reading annual predictions. I love the arrogance of it, the fruitlessness.

      By Mark Tapio Kines

      Mostly, I love revisiting such predictions a year later, to see how inaccurate they were. It reminds us of the uncertainty of life, and how deluded we are to think we can see the future. (A favorite is Michael Ventura’s doomsday article “$4 a gallon” from 2005). So here are my own arrogant, fruitless predictions for 2018. Reread it in 365 days and tell me how I did.

      Note: these nine predictions are meant to be plausible, but not obvious. “Martians invade!” is not plausible. “Another mass shooting” is, sadly, obvious.

      1. Twitter will ban Donald Trump

        In this case, it’s quite plausible that Twitter will suspend the president’s account after one of his tweets violates their policies. Of course, Twitter thrives on Trump traffic, so it will be a slap on the wrist, like a 24-hour ban. Trump, naturally, will seethe.

      2. The Post will win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

        As I write this, there’s no clear front runner in the 2018 (technically 2017) Oscar race, which is unusual. Because The Post‘s subject matter is both timely and classic Oscar fodder, I think it will win – unless Get Out pulls the biggest upset since, well, Moonlight. (Dunkirk‘s the only other major contender; no other movie stands a chance).

      3. The Democrats will not take back Congress

        After some surprising Democrat wins in special elections last year, hopes are high that the 2018 midterms will turn Congress blue. A party-flip does often occur during a midterm election, and it’s possible that the Democrats could win a narrow majority in the Senate (especially if both Arizona Senate seats are up for grabs this November – not unlikely, given John McCain’s failing health), but gerrymandering will guarantee a continued Republican majority in the House.

      4. We will finally begin phasing out the penny

        Speaking of John McCain, he is a sponsor of the COINS Act, which strives to eliminate the penny and replace the paper dollar with a coin. Yes, we’ve always had some sort of dollar coin, but Americans have stubbornly refused to use it, so that part of the bill will fail. But the penny is a costly annoyance, so the COINS Act will pass, and the minting of new pennies will cease by 2020.

      5. The Happytime Murders will be the sleeper hit of 2018

        Every movie year has its sleepers, but what will be the Get Out or Baby Driver of 2018? Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs has a built-in audience, but in terms of surprise hits, my vote goes for this Brian Henson (son of Jim)-directed oddity that sounds like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Muppets. If it has a strong story and a Meet the Feebles darkness, it’ll score. Other contenders: Sorry to Bother You, which hopes to snag that Get Out audience; Wendy, Benh Zeitlin’s long-awaited followup to Beasts of the Southern Wild; and A Quiet Place, John Krasinski’s sign language horror film.

      6. Aquavit will become a trendy drink

        I have a sixth sense about alcohol trends: I anticipated the recent popularity of the Moscow Mule, hard cider, chartreuse, elderflower-flavored things (e.g., St. Germain), and mezcal. As a first-generation Norwegian-American, I believe Norway’s spirit of choice, aquavit, is next. To date, I’ve only seen it in 2-3 watering holes, but with the recent emergence of American aquavit distilleries, the drink is going to have its moment.

      7. Snapchat will go the way of MySpace

        I never imagined Twitter stock going anywhere but down, and Twitter is (sort of) proving me wrong. Snapchat, on the other hand, has been struggling since its IPO last March, and unless Facebook, Amazon, Google or Apple buys it, the company will vanish just like the photos taken with its app.

      8. Bitcoin will crash

        This has been a boom or bust thing from the beginning. Logic tends to be right, and logic suggests that a virtual currency is bound to tank. A hack or other damning news will permanently erode the public’s already shaky faith in this cryptocurrency. Side bet: Silicon Valley will be hard hit by the Bitcoin crash, and tech stocks will suffer.

      9. People will text less and talk more

        Logic once again tells us that people usually choose the fastest, most convenient path. And while there are arguments for texting, in general it takes less time and effort to call someone on the phone. Texting has, of course, given modern communication a passivity which will be hard for many to shake. Turning the tide will require improved voice interfaces (e.g., Siri, Alexa), paranoia over hacked texts, and/or teenagers getting bored of texting. But the tide will turn.


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      Contributor

        • Mark Tapio Kines

          Mark Tapio Kines is a film director, writer, producer and owner of Cassava Films.

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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