WILL UNWOUND #321: “Dear Monday – Joe the Soothsayer asks for your Predictions”January 3, 2011
Note from Will…A wise and wizened soothsayer (our beloved Joe Schallan) wandered into the Tavern in the wee hours of Sunday morning, complained about the lack of opera on the jukebox, bellied up to the bar, complained about our paltry selection of German beers, and handed over to me a long list of what we have to look forward to in 2011. Enjoy, Unwinders, this is a special treat. And Joe…many thanks. We are on the opera and beer issue toute suite.
Yesterday Will blogged about New Year’s resolutions. Today I have come to guestblog about New Year’s predictions.
The start of a new calendar brings all the pundits out of the woodwork to cast their prognostications about what to expect in the 12 months ahead. Tax law reform? Further health care reform? Higher gas prices? Stabilization in home resale values? A healthier economy and more jobs? An end to Lindsay Lohan stories in the media?
The library world is no exception. Since Will has handled the resolutions side of things, I’ll tackle the predictions. And since on Will Unwound we’re all pundits, I’ll ask you to add yours. And you don’t have to be deadly serious like me; feel free to add a little humor. If you don’t want to cry about what 2011 will most likely bring, you may as well laugh.
Joe’s Fearless, Peerless Predictions for 2011
• Several hundred columnists, editorialists, and bloggers will again predict the demise of public libraries. Meanwhile, America’s public libraries will set new records for gate count, circulation, computer use, and attendance at programs. The same people will make the same prediction in 2012.
• There will be unprecedented mergers in the mediasphere. Google will acquire Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, ESPN, MTV, The New York Times Company, the Associated Press, IBM, and Barnes & Noble to form The Googleplex. Apple will merge with Amazon, PETA, the Sierra Club, REI, and 157 Annoyingly Hip and Environmentally Responsible small companies, including the makers of Pendleton shirts, to form the Green Apple Zone. Microsoft, Walmart, the nation’s largest health insurers and banks, the American Trial Lawyers Association, along with Facebook and Fox News, will merge to create The Dark Side.
• Concerned that the marketplace offers so few choices, a major Asian electronics manufacturer not named Sony will introduce a new e-book format and reader.
• Someone will finally out The Annoyed Librarian. It will turn out to be Michael Gorman.
• The last English teacher will throw in the towel in the fight against “comprised of” and “general consensus” and will abandon insistence on the distinction between “faze” and “phase.” Students will now be taught that spell check catches everything, and everything is on the Internet, and if it is on the Internet, it is true.
• Fed up with bad behavior from its patrons, a library system will outsource its public-service function to a community of much more appreciative patrons in India.
• At 8:59:59 pm, Hawaii Time, on April 15, 2011, someone will be the last patron ever to take the last paper tax form ever, from a public library in that far-to-the-west time zone. On the evening of April 16, public librarians nationwide will celebrate. On Monday, April 18, public librarians will ask for aspirin when the IRS announces its program to promote electronic filing on public-library computers nationwide.
• The IRS will not have consulted libraries or librarians prior to its announcement.
• Due to an unforeseen wave of grass-roots activism and the subsequent passing of a Constitutional Amendment by the states, Congress will be dissolved and the legislative function of the United States will be crowd sourced.
• In its last session before dissolution, Congress will enact law abolishing the concept of privacy, due to privacy’s inconvenience to marketers.
• Idaho’s hunting season for liberals will be extended by six weeks, but chumming or baiting with social-welfare programs will still be forbidden. It will also be forbidden to take liberals in deadfall or leghold traps. Idaho will be the first state to ban low-flow showerheads, and to make concealed carry by junior-high students mandatory.
• Someone will explain why young men have suddenly started wearing “http://www.askmen.com/fashion/accessories/eugenia-kim-ryan-porkpie-hat.html” ridiculous little hats.
• Coincident with record low temperatures in hell, the Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals will meet in the World Series. Prior to Game 7 at Wrigley Field, a ticketholder will attempt to enter the park with his pet billy-goat and be rebuffed by security staff. The Cubs will lose the game in the 13th inning, when a catchable Kansas City fly to deep left center will be interfered with by a fan falling out of the bleachers. That fan will turn out to be Steve Bartman.
• The International Court of Justice at The Hague will finally rule, definitively, that golf is not a sport and golfers are not athletes.
• Rachel Ray will tell all those viewers who have been shocked, yes shocked, that their public libraries do not carry cookbooks, that they should have been searching under “Cookery.” Ms. Ray’s on-air slip-up will betray The Heading Conspiracy, a longstanding, secret kickback scheme between the Library of Congress and the publishing industry to obfuscate catalog searches and drive library patrons to bookstores.
• A major web portal will launch a celebrity-free online news site, to the relief and accolades of a grateful nation.
• A consortium of pharmaceutical companies will obtain copyright on the human genome and then sue all 303 million Americans for unauthorized performances.
• Oprah will be declared an independent country and will receive a seat at the United Nations, a seat on the UN Security Council, and membership in the G20 group of nations.
• The first Sino-American War will end disastrously for the United States six months after China cuts off the U.S. shoe supply.
• Contemplating spiraling costs and budgetary pressures, someone will ask hospitals why they can’t run their operations with volunteers. A pioneering hospital will implement the first completely volunteer-staffed service — its Neurosurgery Department. By September 1, the first brain surgery performed by a retired postal worker will have taken place. This will revolutionize health care in the United States.
There you have it. You heard it here first.
Now, Unwinders, it’s your turn.
Happy New Year ,