This is that time of year when prognosticators prognosticate what's coming in the coming year, which is much too dangerous a thing for a mere blogger to actually put in writing.
It's OK to just say what you think might happen; one can always claim being misquoted. But, putting predictions in writing can haunt a guy for life.
The best way to approach a new year is to predict what will happen in the year just past. Therefore, this is what I would have predicted if only I'd known what was going to happen so I could predict what was going to happen.
The most useful place to start such an endeavor, of course, is by re-reading all those engrossing, fascinating and informative blogs I myself wrote in 2009. If you also read them, that makes two of us. Several themes arise naturally from the debris of this cosmic compilation of confusion, to wit:
In his first year, President Obama will quickly learn the principle supposedly set down by John F. Kennedy: First, that the mess he'd walked into really was as bad as he had been saying during the campaign. And second, first-year Presidents are always surprised to learn the President of the United States can do nothing about it. And, Obama will find himself condemned for what others have done and praised for things he has not himself accomplished.
All available and/or possible media will continue to exalt as meaningful those who merely entertain; mediocrity will be applauded, if it is marketable; and not totally bad will be rewarded with recording contracts. And, if by chance one comes along with both real talent and the naiveté to expose it, that person will reach a vast audience starving for actual beauty.
For 2009, I predict the highway department will continue to talk about putting a new road through town, our mayor will continue to avoid talking too much (very commendable for an office holder), and the Chamber of Commerce will continue talking. Talking about change is good, one supposes. But the routine, predictability and stability of life in Brazil, Ind., will leave us all with a good feeling about the community when 2009 ends.
People will continue to do conflicting and unfathomable things in the name of religion, while angels laugh at mere humans thinking they can know the mind of God. Church, in all its innumerable and varied forms, will continue to be the backbone of this or any other American community well into 2010 and beyond.
When year ends, all men and women will find that the only tangible asset left on the table will be family. When the year-end (of life-end) ledgers are balanced, or not, family is all that will matter.
The late Larry Gelbart, creator of M.A.S.H., said, "I need to write to find out what I'm thinking." My last prediction for 2009 is that I will write just to find out what I'm thinking. This means you don't have to bother being that one other person who reads the unintelligible ramblings, which may appear under my byline in 2010.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes, commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.