13 Safe Bets for 2013
by Michael I. Niman
Republican elected officials will continue to soil themselves and expect the rest of us to clean up after their messes. Republican governors and Republican-controlled statehouses will distinguish themselves with crackpot legislation mostly targeting the rights of women, wage-earners, the sick, the poor, and the weak, all while their states go to hell. The corporate media will continue to avoid terms like “obstructionist” and “unable to govern” when describing the GOP.
There will be “cliffs,” more “cliffs,” and more talk about bigger, steeper, and scarier “cliffs,” as politicians and idiot journalists torture the nation with an endless stream of hyperbolic metaphors. What they mean to say is, “If you tax the rich or insist on health are, clean water, or living wages, we’ll kill this cute kitten, your mama, and the global economy.”
Maniacs with guns will kill thousands of Americans this year, spurring maniacs without guns, hoping to protect themselves from maniacs with guns, to buy guns. Meanwhile the gun industry lobby, masquerading as the gun owners lobby, will use every upcoming massacre as a marketing tool, to get more maniacs to buy more guns to protect the nation from more maniacs with guns. Expect a banner year for gun manufacturers, gun sellers, gun runners, and emergency rooms.
More children will die in a mass killing, this time at the hands of a serial killer. He or she will pull the “trigger” near Syracuse, New York. The killer will have accomplices who will refer to him or her as a “pilot.” The killer’s weapon will be an aerial drone. The children will fall dead thousands of miles away. American flags will not be at half-mast. There will be no national moment of silence.
The corporate media will continue to describe rich Democratic politicians who join forces with rich Republican politicians to screw poor, working-class, and middle-class Americans as “crossing the aisle” and supporting “compromise.” Other conspirators engaged in less lucrative and less organized theft and pillage will earn the title “criminals.”
The GOP propaganda machine, with more money than God, will attempt to buy and neuter any news organization whose reporters actually ask pertinent questions of politicians. The result will be more zombie newsrooms, cloned from the Wall Street Journal and Fox News.
Meanwhile, the pop culture phenomena of zombies and the zombie apocalypse will continue to grow in popularity, spurring more sales of zombie-themed products to zombie-like shoppers inspired by zombie media and media about zombies. A performance art piece entitled They Walk the Malls will involve millions of actors and will simultaneously run in every major city.
Psycho killers, Trumps, Kardashians, and other people whose names we really shouldn’t have to know will continue to get way too much press in the mass media. Everyone else will blog.
TV weather forecasters will continue freaking out over snow, while ignoring big picture events such as catastrophic climate change.
Carbon energy industry money will dominate the “debate” on our energy future, funding political campaigns for carbon-lackeys and ad campaigns greenwashing “extreme energy” development. The corporate news media will continue laying off reporters, while enjoying revenue from energy propaganda ad sales. Count on them to use terms like “energy independence” and “economic boom” to describe end-times energy development projects.
The Obama administration will sell out the environment, reaching a “compromise” to allow fracking and tar sands projects to continue. This is akin to reaching a compromise with your assassin, asking him to put off your murder until after lunch. People will enjoy relatively abundant carbon energy while not really wanting to know any details about where it comes from.
In a similar vein, more overseas factory workers in the big-box supply chain will die horrid deaths so that we can enjoy cheap jeans and disposable electronics. Again, nobody will want to know where their stuff comes from, or where it goes when they’re done with it.
On a positive note, while “New Climate” weather continues to cause more mayhem, the Occupy movement will grow to become one of the country’s largest emergency relief providers. A new Occupy offshoot with a name like “Occupy the Climate” should emerge by year’s end, kindling the Occupy fire and laying the seeds for the 21st century’s most important global movement.
Dr. Michael I. Niman is a professor of journalism and media studies at SUNY Buffalo State. His previous columns are at artvoice.com, archived at www.mediastudy.com, and available globally through syndication.
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