I very nearly didn’t bother this year. All my usual flim-flammery aside, like many I’m genuinely pessimistic about the future, and I’m sure I don’t need to explain why. Oddly, and happily, when I decided to conjure up some predictions from somewhere and got on with it, I found my mood lifting a notch or two.
Dunkirk spirit. Keep buggering on. Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once. You’ve gotta laugh, haven’t you? World’s gone mad.
Here we are, then: predictions for 2017. I’m trying to be optimistic.
- Civilisation does not end in a nuclear fireball or similar Trump-triggered catastrophe.
- 2017 is not the warmest year globally on record, causing morons to assert that climate change isn’t happening, etc.
- Mike Pence becomes Acting President after invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution with the help of his chums in Congress. (Pedants: under this clause, Trump would remain president but have no powers.)
- Trump resigns as president. (Pedants: see above as to why this is not the same prediction as that.)
- Self-inflated gaffe balloon Boris Johnson loses his job as foreign secretary.
- Marine Le Pen wins the French presidency and oh god will this never end.
- Olympics! Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 summer games.
- Formula One! Lewis Hamilton wins the World Drivers’ Championship.
- Cricket! India win the ICC Champions Trophy.
- Ladygolf! Europe win the Solheim Cup.
- Soggy oars! Cambridge win the women’s university boat race.
- Sandy balls! Portugal win the men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Yes it’s a real thing.
Science and technology
- Samsung drops the 3.5mm headphone jack from at least some of its phones.
- The Nobel prize for physics is awarded for the confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves.
- A self-driving Uber kills someone. (Pedants: when the software is in charge, whether or not there is a person “supervising” in the driver’s seat.)
- Google buys Slack.
- Apple’s next major release of the iPad (probably called iPad Pro 2) includes both 3D Touch and a haptic engine that tries to make typing on a screen feel more like typing on a keyboard.
- A major ISP is hacked and the internet browsing habits of its users are published online.
- Oscar for Best Actor: Denzel Washington, Fences.
- Oscar for Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Jackie.
- Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Arrival.
- Oscar for Best Picture: Fences.
- Channel 4 announces that the Great British Bake Off will be hosted by Jo Brand.
- In the second Fantastic Beasts film, the role of Dumbledore will be played by Hugh Laurie.
This year I’m predicting different things for different people.
- living: Betty White, still going strong at the end of 2017.
- out of the closet: Cristiano Ronaldo, probably via accidental Instagram.
- hired: Brooklyn Beckham, as a magazine photographer or similar.
- fired: Jack Dorsey, as CEO of Twitter and/or Stripe.
- retired: John Humphrys, as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
- expired: Henry Kissinger, please and thank you.
Attendees of the ceremonial lunch that heralds these predictions were invited to suggest their own. By this stage, some drink had been taken.
- Andy H – Celebrity deathwatch: David Attenborough.
- Andy C – the UK does not invoke Article 50.
- Andy C – Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister.
- Andy C – Celebrity deathwatch: Harry Styles.
- Andrew M – Scotland votes to leave the UK.
- Andrew M – Celebrity deathwatch: Princess Anne.
- Chris W – Some chunk of wall of some kind is built between Mexico and the US.
- Chris W – Celebrity deathwatch: Nicholas Lyndhurst.
Join us this time next year, as we fend off mutant humans and chimps on horseback from the shattered remains of the internet, to learn how pessimistic we should’ve been instead.