2013: The Year In Review, In Advance
As the page turns on another year, by federal law we unelected media elites are obliged to say our annual sooth. Not only are we the last word on analyzing what has happened til now, we and we alone are qualified to predict the future. And why? Because we are paid by the word.
Every single word.
Every, every single word.
But do not underestimate us. The oracle racket is no simple matter. It requires boldness, insight and the courage to risk being made a fool of by actual events. For instance, last year I predicted “economic woes for Greece, legal trouble for Lindsey Lohan, a rare Superstorm devastating the northeast, Ecuador granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the election of Aung San Suu Kyi to the parliament of Myanmar and an emerging business model for Twitter.”
Obviously I was hallucinating.
But duty is duty, and I must face my annual responsibilities, bloodied but unbowed. Herewith my predictions for 2013:
- Big Data reigns supreme.
- Mark Zuckerberg unilaterally changes Facebook’s terms of service to permit access to users’ tax returns, then later rescinds changes and apologizes.
- Apple suspends Siri due to unspecified “irregularities” in expense reports.
- In a bid for relevance, the Republican National Committee responds to the president’s State of the Union address Gangnam Style. Sen. Marco Rubio hospitalized with knee injury.
- Encouraged by the successes of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, USA Today erects a paywall, bringing Gannett Co. nearly $235 in new revenue.
- During a routine colonoscopy, a Manhattan gastroenterologist surgically removes Donald Trump’s head.
- McCann-Erickson, having slightly reduced staff at its landmark Third Avenue headquarters, relocates to Hotel St. James, Room 406.
- Ratings laggard ABC launches “America’s Got Shingles.” Regis Philbin emcees.
- Pressured in the ongoing wake of the News of the World scandal to eradicate the “culture of the hack,” News Corp. lawyers inadvertently fire all Fox News Channel hosts.
- Siri arrested by Santa Monica, Ca. police after wandering “dazed and barefoot” along Promenade. Prescription painkillers and Galaxy S3 phone found in her purse.
- Mashable sends out a tweet bearing the likeness of someone other than the super-adorable Pete Cashmore. Earth ceases spinning on its axis.
- GlaxoSmithKline hires Stephen Glass to ghostwrite journal article “authored” by Dr. Jeffrey Macdonald on the off-label treatment of Stage 4 breast cancer with Polident, despite 23 suppressed clinical studies documenting fatal side effects in 97% of subjects. Opinion leaders Dr. Brown, Dr. Denton, Dr Pepper and Dr. Scholls are paid $450,000 apiece to keynote medical conferences in Monaco, Fiji and Las Vegas touting the treatment. After thorough peer review, Hank’s Journal of Oncology publishes the article and sells reprint rights to GlaxoSmithKline. Polident sales spike. Glaxo shares up 32%.
- USA Today takes down paywall, puts up Celebrity Nipples. Gannett shares up 32%.
- Mark Zuckerberg kills a man in Reno just to watch him die, then later apologizes.
- Google acquires Semmion Datagraphics, Ntropy Systems and Greece.
- Big Congress kicks the living crap out of Big Data.
- Police respond to a dispute at the Hotel St. James, where sponsors of the broadcast upfronts discover their venue is already occupied by McCann-Erickson.
- Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to previously obscure Manhattan gastroenterologist.
- Mark Zuckerberg deploys chemical weapons against civilian populations and later apologizes.
- “America’s Got Shingles” fires Regis Philbin, replaces him with Siri.