Totally Optimistic Predictions for 2014!

I’ve been suffering from a serious pessimism surplus for the last, oh, say, eight or ten years, so I’ve decided to use this year’s predictions post as kind of an exercise. This will be my very best effort to find the teensy, little slivers light leaking through the smothering black shroud that is always descending upon us. Ready, campers? Okay, let’s go!

– The Republican Party, seeing Obama at the weakest, most vulnerable moment of his presidency, will gather its resolve and focus a full-frontal assault on… the Tea Party! Get ready to know every bad thing even done by Ted Cruz or anyone who’s ever come into contact with Ted Cruz, including his barber and the girl who sat behind him in seventh grade history. (Whoa, that was kind of pessimistic. Let’s try again….)

– The number one target of the media becomes insurance companies and how uncooperative they’ve been in the implementation and execution of Obamacare. The more stories there are about people who thought they had signed up but never made it into the system, the more it becomes obvious — obvious, I say! — that the problem is insurance company foot-dragging. (Ok, that’s not so good either. How about this?…)

– Somewhere, someone will finally notice that kid who wears the Charles Manson tshirt every day, files his teeth down to points, and has a Facebook status that says, “So glad the new Waffle House opened nearby! Wondering how it would look with blood spattered all over the walls!” That someone will actually do something to intervene in that kid’s life before he gets a gun and kills a whole bunch of people. Dozens of lives will be saved. No one will ever know anything about it. (That’s a little better. I think I’m starting to find my rhythm.)

– We won’t hear another peep out of those guys who did “What Does the Fox Say?” (Now we’re talking! That’s totally optimistic!)

– Everybody will be really excited about the new 4-team playoff format in college football this season, until it comes time to actually pick the four teams. Then there will be at least twice as much bitching and second-guessing about it as there is about the two teams selected for the championship game under the old BCS system. (Whoops, lost the optimism again. This is hard.)

– Technology will continue to improve at an astonishing pace, and this will make our lives better for the most part, in spite of the constant cries from those who need to constantly cry about something that every new advance is the beginning of the end of humanity (a little optimism/pessimism balance there). Google Glass won’t turn us into a race of zombies. Self-parking cars won’t go nuts and launch tri-state killing sprees. Humans are still in charge of technology, not vice versa, and for the most part they’ll continue to use it responsibly. Unless they’re part of the government, which brings us to…

– Government intrusion into our lives will continue apace (pessimism…), but the private sector, including some especially enthusiastic hobbyists, will come up with some enterprising ways to counter-punch the surveillance apparatus (…with optimistic twist!). I don’t know how they’ll do it, but my belief in human ingenuity remains strong.

– Reporting about Obamacare will get much cheerier. By the time we get within shouting distance of the mid-term elections, it’ll be like a non-stop One Direction fan club rally. However, the effects of Obamacare will continue to get much, much worse. (Take this as either optimistic or pessimistic, depending on whether or not you think it’ll help us ever pull out of this dive.)

– I will have a daughter. Judging from the overall shape and level of discomfort in my wife, it could be any day now. She will bring heretofore unheard of levels of love and joy into our household. (Totally optimistic.)

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