Features & Columns

Predictions for 2012

Newt Gingrich Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain will form the Adultery Party

Politics

The electoral college will be replaced by a system where voters will choose the polling firm they trust the most. Barack Obama will be re-elected because his vice-presidential running mate Joe Biden will be replaced by Hillary Clinton, thereby gaining the women's vote. Failed Republican campaigners will all take other jobs. Mitt Romney will start smoking a pipe and portray the character Bob Dobbs in a movie about the cultish Church of the SubGenius. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain will form the Adultery Party to run in 2016, joined by Democrats John Edwards and Bill Clinton. Ron Paul will unite with RuPaul, and they'll perform on Dancing With the Stars. Rick Santorum will be caught in an airport bathroom stall having a gay encounter. Michele Bachmann will launch a lie-detector company. Rick Perry will copyright the word "Oops." And it will be revealed that Donald Trump was actually born on Mars; he will have a birth certificate to prove it, along with a photo of him as a Martian baby with the first comb-over ever.

Lady Gaga Lady Gaga

Show Business

Vegetarian converts will include Lady Gaga, who will wear a dress made entirely of heirloom tomatoes, and Meatloaf will change his name to Tofuloaf. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will win Academy Awards for best male and female actors. Angelina Jolie will legally adopt Brad Pitt. Kim Kardashian will get married and divorced on the same day. The Tea Party will become a popular sitcom. Capital-punishment executions will become a top-rated reality-TV series. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur live on a three-hour special to be telecast on every single channel simultaneously, with an offstage voiceover narration by God. Atheists and agnostics will picket the production, only to be struck by lightning. Howard Stern will expose himself on America's Got Talent. The Taliban and al-Quaeda will be the final competitors on The Biggest Terrorists. Hulu and Netflix will merge as Huflix.

Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI

Fashion Trends

Square Hitler-style mustaches will finally become stylish after decades of ridicule. Botox will become a soft drink that will get rid of unwanted wrinkles from the inside. Pornography will be allowed in public libraries, but moaning out loud will definitely not be permitted. Fetus transplants from poor pregnant girls to wealthy anti-abortion women will become a controversial new fad. Arizona, Mississippi and Tennessee will refuse to recognize Leap Year. Lottery winners will be fingerprinted. Private prisons will be turned into ashrams. Inspired by Steve Jobs, many industries will continue his legacy by transforming planned obsolescence into a virtue. Prescription drugs will become children's names, such as Ambien and Lipitor. Travel agents will begin arranging guilt trips for clients who have given up on airplanes. Combination vibrators and insomnia cures will be invented, trademarked as Dildoze. Pope Benedict XVI will permit condoms to be marketed if there are tiny pinhole pricks in the reservoir tips in order to ensure a fighting chance for spermatozoa to get through. Serial pedophiles, gay bashers and Internet hackers will form unions.

The Economy

The Department of Energy will release a report concluding that so-called "clean coal" is, in point of fact, "filthy dirty." The largest protest in history will take place by ongoing Occupy-the-Federal-Reserve-System demonstrations. The recession will evolve into a depression, which will end quickly as the war on drugs morphs into legalization as every single strain of cannabis will be designated as medical marijuana. Facebook members will be taxed for every friend, Twitter users will be taxed for every tweet, Monsanto will be taxed for every genetically modified food, and masturbators will be taxed for every ejaculation. The Supreme Court will download all corporations into embryos. Several million jobs will be created as Unemployment Insurance clerks.

Mayan Temple YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR: Jay-Z comes under fire over a T-shirt critics (fans included) believe exploits the movement's notoriety.

International Relations

North Korea's new leader will be caught cheating on his SAT examination, but he will redeem himself when he allows almost 70 McDonalds restaurants to open all over his dictatorial realm. Saudi-Arabia will outlaw laughter. Iraq will become our 51st state. Afghanistan will require all men to wear burkas. Iran will develop a nuclear bomb, than drop it by accident on Libya and Syria. World War III will be fought entirely by drone planes attempting to destroy each other in the air. Products made in China will be increasingly pirated by American entrepreneurs. Global warming will continue to melt icebergs as well as Sarah Palin's cold heart. World will end on Dec. 21, but will begin all over again on Dec. 23, just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping. The most popular gift will be cans of pepper-spray in a variety of flavors. Pakistan will continue to be bribed by us. The Nobel Peace Prize will be secretly awarded to Anonymous.

Paul Krassner is the publisher of the infamous Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster. His latest book is an expanded and updated edition of his autobiography, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture, available at paulkrassner.com and as a Kindle e-book.


will smith

More 2012 Predictions

TECH

Responding to an onslaught of complaints, Twitter will increase the allowable character count to 142 so that people will no longer have to use the irritating abbreviation "U" when they mean "you."

Google will address charges that it favors its own services by reinventing itself as a portal and eliminating all non-Google URLs from its search results.

Wearable video devices resembling Bluetooth earpieces become the latest fashion accessory, prompting Facebook to introduce "Realtimeline," in which everyone's waking moments are broadcast and archived. The service's popularity, however, causes Facebook's first "unscheduled maintenance" service outage.

The next version of Google Android, named Madeleine, will feature Siri-like functionality but with a snooty Parisian attitude.

Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page will host This Old Hangar, a PBS show about the refurbishment of Moffett Field's Hangar One.

Facebook will be confronted with a serious threat from new social-media website YourSpace, where people can create profiles for everyone else but not themselves.

Apple will release the iPad3 to much fanfare. It will feature beefed-up specs and a super-high-resolution display. It will be hailed as the most powerful tablet yet, but old people will still insist on typing everything into the Google search bar.

Apple will unveil its new iPod Nano, which will be so small that a number of theories will arise that the company is selling empty boxes (Apple will be unable to prove otherwise).

2012 The year 2012 will be nothing like the movie 2012, government scientists say.

FILM

In the new year, 4-D films willt become the latest hope for movie exhibitors reeling from the worst box office receipts in more than a decade. The state-of-the-art 4-D system, "360 Degree Chronotropia"¬, is unveiled in a Santa Clara research park. 4-D glasses (available for a $10 surcharge) contain a digital clock in the corner of the lens. This clock charts your two-hour-long, technology-augmented journey into the future.

Rival engineers proclaim 4-D dead with their development of 5-D technology. After the founders flee to Venezuela with the IPO money, the 5-D system is revealed as nothing but a VHS cassette of 45 minutes of footage of pop sensations the Fifth Dimension.

In order to enhance user experience and entice back disgruntled former subscribers, Netflix will replace Streaming with Miming. A Netflix employee will come to renter's house and personally re-enact—Marcel Marceau style—the movie of their choice.

Meryl Streep will nab three highly coveted roles in the coming year, including Condoleeza Rice, the lead in the Steve Jobs biopic and Christian Bale's replacement in the next Batman film. There will obviously be an outcry, however, since she is, well, over 40.

Kreayshawn Kreayshawn

MUSIC

After widespread success from Oakland rapper Kreayshawn and her White Girl Mob in 2011 (more than 28 million views on YouTube in six months), "basic bitches" ditch their chic Gucci wardrobe for cheap thrift store threads, excessive piercings and tattoos of fast-food menu items.

Bob Dylan will release an album of pro-Occupation anthems in honor of the first major protest revival since his early days. The album will be sold exclusively at Starbucks' around the country, and will require the purchase of a gift card to access.

Bieber Fever is reduced to a Bieber head cold after the teen star's numerous attempts to swap his pop stardom for hip-hop swag fall flat. Look for him on the Indian casino circuit and rapping in the next Hyundai commercial.

Florence (of the Machine) will finally admit to being closer to her late-40s than her mid-20s.

Emboldened by their success integrating funk, soul and other genres into their programming, local jazz festivals will reach out to yet another demographic when they start booking death metal this spring. Morbid Angel headlines the San Jose Jazz Fest, and are excited to collaborate with Herbie Hancock until they realize his BHead-Hunters and Death Wish albums are actual jazz.

queztal San Jose was way ahead of the curve in embracing ancient gods of the Americas.

LOCAL

The San Jose Police Department will fight a new late-night foe in the downtown area: tumbleweeds. Rolling rogue Russian thistles, growing in front of abandoned nightclubs and shuttered local businesses, will go wild at night. They will break speed limits and endanger the few pedestrians who aren't being pulled over by the police for slovenliness and bad attitude. Meanwhile, moaning winds and dust devils will fracture San Jose's tough new noise-control and air-quality regulations.

In December, West Valley Disunified Four-Year Feeder College releases will list of the Most Overused Words of 2012. "Aiyeeeeee!" leads the list, with "Arrgh!," "Nooooo!" and "Medic!" as the runners-up. Officially "banned from the English language" are sentences like "Oh, my God, this isn't happening!," "Please spare my life, kill the kids instead" and "Welcome, Sacred Tentacled Overlords, I am your quivering slave."

Downtown San Jose will displace San Francisco as the Bay Area's hip, high-tech hub. Dozens of new startups staffed by single-speed-bike-pedaling twentysomethings will flood into downtown spurring a housing and restaurant boom.

A lively music scene will emerge, spawning what will become known as the "San Jo sound"—punked-out electronica-meets-low-fi yodeling. New cafes selling premium quality coffee will multiply. Then someone will complain about the noise and lack of parking, and police will shut it all down. All the cool kids will go back to San Francisco.

Construction of a high-speed rail line between Sacramento and L.A. will continue, and will be completed roughly around the time of total unemployment, give or take a week.

Occupy San Jose will grow dramatically as the weather grows warm, with June seeing the group reach at least a dozen members.

A liberalized North Korea will become the newest low-wage destination for Silicon Valley outsourcing, and "commie kimchi" will replace Greek restaurants as the trendiest local culinary trend.

The murder rate in Santa Clara County will have no choice but to go down due to the sheer number of people killed in 2011.

The Hells Angels will finally break the catch-22 of having to hold funerals for members who are killed at each others' funerals.

RuPaul Ron Paul will team up with RuPaul

POLITICS

In the spirit of protest, rich people will begin their own "occupy movement," taking up spaces in soup kitchens, unemployment offices and underpasses. "Let's see how they like it when we come to their houses—or wherever these people live," will be their rallying cry. The movement will come roaring back to life, setting its sights on the real villain: social media, with its tendency to take all the credit during times of revolution.

Then, in a calculated bid to blunt the Occupy movement, the 1 Percent announces that it is expanding to become the 2 Percent. "This unprecedented move toward inclusiveness should set to rest once and for all the idea that the rich are different from other folks," a spokesperson says.

The Supreme Ccourt will declare Obamacare illegal—in fact, the court, in a 5-4 decision, will opine that all health care is illegal and an affront to natural law. "You don't see the word 'doctor' in the Constitution, now do you?" Chief Justice Roberts will say.

California's fiscal crisis will deepen, forcing Gov. Jerry Brown to offer corporations naming rights to various state landmarks in exchange for cash. The Golden Gate Bridge will become the Golden Grahams Gate Bridge. Yosemite National Park will be renamed Exxon-Mobil National Park and Silicon Valley will become Googletown. General Millspitas will prove to have the most outcry during the change.

The Plastic Bag Uprising will dominate 2012 after San Jose's strict ban goes into effect. It will begin when a bag in the produce section sets itself on fire, igniting a city-wide revolt that topples the tote regime.

SPORTS

The Oakland A's receive permission to move to San Jose, sparking a 24-hour celebration in the streets until everyone sobers up and remembers the A's suck and baseball is boring.

The NFL continues its streak of mind-numbing halftime shows by combining bone-crushing football with an appearance from another geriatric pop starÔ Madonna. Team Cougar rejoices while football fans grab a refill.

The Oakland A's and San Francisco 49ers build stadiums and prepare for their big move to the South Bay. San Jose officially adopts 'Man Jose' as its alternate name after a surge of jocks and their fans migrate south with the teams.

Kim Kardashian Prediction: Kim Karadashian will be in the news in 2012, but we are not sure why.

POP CULTURE

After the shocking news that Russell Brand and Katy Perry are getting a divorce, state legislators will recognize the special nature of Hollywood marriages. Given that that the average union between actors and pop stars lasts a mere 17.5 months, lawmakers will create the "Kardashian Union," a legally binding contract between a famous man and famous woman that sunsets in six months, and houses built-in endorsement deals for the divorce.

Harold Camping will make another of his seemingly endless Rapture predictions, this time envisioning the world's end on Novemebr 16, the opening weekend of the final Twilight film—a date most anticipated as the return of culture, not the end of it.

Alarmed at their lack of native reality TV stars, San Jose city officials will in March produce a birth certificate showing James Durbin was actually hatched from the Quetzalcoatl statue in Plaza de Cesar Chavez. After this is proven to be fake, Chuck Reed and Sam Liccardo will oversee a top-secret project to build a new Kardashian from spare parts. Their plot will be exposed, however, after they unwisely name Kim's "long lost sister" Sharkie.