As my regular readers know, every January I like to look back on my annual predictions from a year ago to see whether my keen journalistic insight had served me well in that exercise. And yes, I for some reason insist on continuing to use the word “keen,” despite all the evidence to the contrary.
So let’s see what I had predicted about 2009:
1)“The economy will come roaring back as the stimulus plan creates millions of new jobs and Wall Street bankers embrace sensible new practices.” Um … I may have been a year early on that. Other things I said would come roaring back: Saturns, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the band Kiss and rotary phones.
2) “Bizarre outfits, about a dozen different wigs and thumping dance beats will spell success for the one and only Taylor Hicks.” I was close: It turns out that formula was actually the ticket to the top for Lady Gaga, not Hicks, who opted to stick with his tried-and-true “Huey Lewis on Ritalin” image and sold only 37,000 albums. I was closer on my prediction about Kanye West, who I said would attack Taylor Swift with a Super Squirter and be wrestled to the ground by Beyonce and Bruce Hornsby.
3) “Couple of the Year will no doubt be Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin, with proud mom-in-law Sarah embracing Levi as a shining example of someone who lives up to his responsibilities.” Not quite, although Sarah Palin did wind up wanting to embrace Johnston in a windpipe-crushing chokehold. I did predict accurately that her book would be full of incomplete sentences, but that’s sort of a gimme.
4) “Teenagers will use their ubiquitous cell phones to text thoughtful, pithy poems, resulting in the creative resurgence of the haiku.” Replace “poems” with “naked pictures of themselves” and “haiku” with “homemade stag film” and I was dead on.
5) “In a remarkable show of bipartisanship, President Obama’s health-care proposal will sail through Congress without a single Republican accusing him of trying to murder old people.” Don’t know how I didn’t see that one coming.
6) “No dowdy, middle-aged singers with funny hair will score a hit record.” Darn you, Susan Boyle — I thought I was pretty safe with this one, unless Rod Stewart had another comeback. But I was right when I predicted this would be the year of Michael Jackson’s big career resurgence. Well, sort of half-right.
7) “Wholesome family man Tiger Woods will wind up on the cover of ‘Faithful Husband’ magazine.” I was way off here — turns out there is no such magazine. But I do hear Tiger is slated to share the cover of next month’s “Cheating Horndog,” along with David Letterman, John Edwards and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, if anyone can find him.
8) “Health experts will step up efforts to encourage women to get more frequent mammograms, catching and curing thousands of incidents of breast cancer.” OK, so they did exactly the opposite — turns out they’d prefer if women just asked the screeners at the full-body airport scanners if they see anything unusual. In my other health predictions, I was also wrong when I said that most of the human population would be annihilated by swine flu, that a zombie plague would sweep the planet and that the world would end in an orgy of computer-generated special effects and John Cusack.
9) “Jason Bay will ink a deal to play with the Red Sox until the end of time.” In fairness, this one came from my 8-year-old son, whose undying devotion Jason sold out for an extra $6 million and a fifth-year option, plus his eternal soul. I was also wrong when I predicted that Tom and Gisele would have a baby and name it “Eli Manning Brady.”
10) “President Obama will be universally hailed for the stunning success of the stimulus plan, the health-care reform initiative, and the removal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Er … I meant to say that he would get a dog.
This column appeared originally in North Shore Sunday. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “SUBSCRIBE.”