I know all there is to know about the scrying game — that is, about divining the future by pouring oil into water and interpreting the pretty patterns. I am therefore in a position to reveal, exclusively for YDN readers, cast-iron certainties for the year ahead.
January: After the confirmation of nominee Samuel Alito, suspicion mounts over the Catholic nature of the Supreme Court when Chief Justice Roberts concludes each session with a general absolution. In protest at a proposed cut in their huge subsidies, French farmers strike. Arriving at Heathrow Airport on a visit to Britain, Yale professor David Cameron is mistaken for new Conservative Party leader David Cameron and is asked a tricky question about Europe.
February: Vice President Cheney is forced to resign after being taped in the Oval Office with a copy of the Constitution and a bottle of white-out. President Bush unexpectedly taps Yale history professor John Gaddis as Cheney’s replacement on the grounds that “you need a Texan at moments like this” and that Willie Nelson was busy.
March: In a record year for straight actors nominated for playing gay characters, Heath Ledger wins Best Actor at the Oscars for playing a queer cowboy. Ledger’s emotional acceptance speech, culminating in an expressed desire to descend from the stage and embrace all his closeted colleagues in the audience, is greeted with a mass rush to the exits.
April: Continuing their drive for diversity and equality, GESO members vote to strike until at least half of faculty and students are Republican voters. “Skin color is one thing,” declares a GESO spokesperson, “but academic freedom depends upon a broad range of opinions. Doesn’t it?” In Britain, David Cameron begins to sum up.
May: President Bush flies into Rumsfeld International Airport to officially open the first Baghdad branch of Starbucks. His visit is dogged by revelations that Starbucks Baghdad has been allowed access, for hiring purposes, to secret FBI rolls of Mexican immigrants. The business is tentatively reckoned a success, despite a small fracas when a Shia customer takes exception to a Sunni barista apparently calling him a “tall drip.”
June: America is knocked out of the World Cup after the Senate passes a resolution instructing the U.S. team to lose to Iran, on the grounds that winning would be seen as an act of “unmistakably imperialist aggression” that would “inflame the Arab street.” In protest at losing to Switzerland, French farmers strike. President Chirac threatens to invade until it is pointed out that the French army doesn’t work weekends.
July: The New York Times belatedly realizes that Maureen Dowd cannot be trusted with anything more intellectually taxing than a grocery list, and replaces her with a random phrase generator. The National Review profiles Vice President Gaddis with the headline: “Like Mummy Bear’s Porridge, He’s Just Too Cool.”
August: Larry Summers is forced to resign from Harvard after expressing the heterodox opinion that, more often than not, books mean what they say. Yale’s entire Comp Lit faculty vehemently supports his departure, noting that if what he said were true, their lives would be sad, empty and pointless. French intellectuals strike in sympathy, but nobody notices.
September: Yale professor Harold Bloom publishes books 178 through 184, including “Dante Was My Bitch;” “Shakespeare Is God And Anyone Who Disagrees Is Wrong;” and “Read These Books Or Die In Misery.” GESO members vote to strike until the Yale Corporation stops investing in anything that makes money.
October: The Episcopalian Church in North America votes to remove the Old and “most of the New” Testaments from the Bible in favor of something “more relevant.” The New York Times’ random phrase generator is nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. French farmers strike, just because.
November: CBS celebrates “a night of triumph” for the Democrats as they win Senate seats in Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont. Yale “Assassins” gets out of hand as a team from the YDN occupies downtown New Haven for three days in a surgical strike against Rumpus. In Britain, a major BBC documentary attempts to analyze David Cameron’s answer.
December: In a shock move, President Bush unexpectedly steps down to spend more time with his ranch and his new position as Senator-for-Life in Iraq. President Gaddis is sworn in at a glitzy ceremony organized by First Lady Toni Dorfman. After performing at the White House, Stefano Theodoli-Braschi ’07 and Felicia Ricci ’08 appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Upon being asked, Rick Levin gleefully agrees to throw up his job for the less demanding position of U.S. vice president; he in turn is replaced by Bill Clinton, who promises to “feel the pain” of students. Howard Dean agrees to host the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. And somewhere in England, Nick Baldock desperately searches for a cup of coffee.
Nick Baldock isn’t really clairvoyant, so you’ll have to tell him your number.