Published in the Rains County Leader on January 6, 2020:
Happy 2020 – a new year, a leap year, and the beginning of a new decade. One hundred years ago marked the beginning of the Roaring Twenties, a decade of economic growth and widespread prosperity, driven by postwar spending, a construction boom, and the rapid growth of consumer goods. The few forecasters I saw didn’t really commit on whether the 20’s will roar this time around, but apparently advertisers are jumping on the band wagon. One article showed a dozen or so Art Deco logos touting the Roaring 2020’s in upcoming ad campaigns. It remains to be seen whether the next ten years roar or whimper.
Chinese New Year is on January 25 and will begin the Year of the Rat. That sounds rather unpleasant if not downright disgusting to those of us with a Western mindset, but the Chinese characterize this zodiac animal as having spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility, and vitality. Nice traits but not ones that seem likely to produce much of a roar. On the other hand, there was quite an uproar (pun intended) in the 1950s when Leonard Wibberley wrote a novel called A Mouse that Roared.
I surfed the Internet a bit to see what the experts think is in store for the next year or so. We’ll have to wait another few weeks for Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction on Groundhog Day, but the 2020 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac predicts that two-thirds of the country will face a colder-than-normal winter season. One tech site I visited said that it’s going to be a bang-up year according to “a dazzling number of technology predictions.” When it comes to politics, it seems to be anybody’s guess, but I did find a few guesses worth sharing:
- Joe Biden will embark on an “apology tour.” I didn’t read to see what he would be apologizing for. I don’t really want to know!
- San Francisco’s streets will become Trump’s rallying cry. Back in the 70s, The Streets of San Francisco was a crime drama starring Michael Douglas and Karl Malden. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what this prediction refers to.
- A serious third party candidate enters the presidential race. This is an interesting thought, but given the current political climate, it’s hard to take any of the parties too seriously.
- Nostradamus 2020 predictions: WAR, Trump impeachment and rising seas in the New Year. This one really confused me because I thought one of the Y2K scares was that the Nostradamas predictions ended in the year 2000 so that must mean the world was about to end.
I wasn’t thrilled with any of the predictions I found, so I decided to make some of my own. Here is my forecast for 2020:
- Many people will continue to write 2019 on checks and other dated documents until early summer.
- Many people will begin watching YouTube videos, the Disney Channel, Amazon Prime, and any other network that doesn’t report on the presidential race.
- In some parts of the country it will be colder than it was last year, in others it will be warmer than it was last year, and in still others it will be the same – and people in all of these places will complain about the weather.
- Technology will make huge advances this year and the majority of us will have no clue how to use more than about 10% of it.
- There will continue to be problems in the world and the majority of people will blame those problems on either the past or the present President of the United States, depending on who they voted for.
Regardless of what happens in the next decade, I hope that the next year is full of good things for all of us. Happy 2020!