A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
The year is less than two weeks old, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say 2013 isn’t going to be a very good year. It’s not going to suck or anything; it’s just going to be dull, boring, historically dismissive. It’ll be one of those years which a hundred years from now nobody’s going care about. Kinda like 1489, or 1843 or 1771. Those were years that, I imagine, were perfectly cool at the time but simply couldn’t keep their lustre compared to 1492, 1848 and 1776. They just didn’t have the star power.
First of all, 2013 doesn’t sound right. It’s got too many syllables or something. It trips on the tongue. Nineteen eighteen has cadence. Ten sixty six has rhythm. Forty four B.C. has an authority about it. These are all years when big stuff happened. However, take a look at twelve fifty seven or seven thirty one. These are years that so closely resemble every other year that even nerdy historians don’t worry about what happened then because guess what? Nothing did. That’s going to be the problem with 2013.
Yeah, we’re going to have all the regular stuff in 2013: Easter, Father’s Day, Labour Day, Christmas etc., but we’re not going to have any of the big stuff. There are no Olympics this year, no World Cup and most importantly, no American elections. American politics are going to be dominated by budget negotiations. Big snooze! Budgets aren’t sexy, and besides now that Obama’s been re-elected, there’s nothing much at stake. The political shine is off the rose and all those oh-so-committed (informed? engaged?) voters are heading for the exits. The last thing any of them wants to do is play Survivor with fiscal responsibility; a subject most people think is about as exciting as eating lukewarm Kraft Dinner. No, Springsteen and Oprah have put away their microphones for the duration, and political entertainment has left the building.
Speaking of entertainment; don’t expect 2013 to be a banner year at the movies, either. Film makers are doing so many storyline retrofits I fully expect to see Holmes on Homes listed as technical advisor in most of the credits. First, there’s The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp, who is going to outshine Armie Hammer by a long shot and probably end up riding off into the sunset with Red (Helena Bonham Carter) leaving Lone to fend for himself. Then, there’s Gatsby who was great when Redford portrayed him in the ‘70s; something about Oz which has James Franco playing a prequel to Dorothy (remember him in drag at the Oscars, hmmm?) and two more additions to the Star Trek and Superman franchises – like we need those. Eventually, Hollywood is going to get boiled down to just one single movie with various sequels, prequels and equals regurgitated every year. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, there’s another Die Hard this year, which, with any luck at all will be Die Hard: Once and for all. Unfortunately, I think John McClane is going to go on forever — like those “Call Me Maybe” parodies on YouTube.
Of course, in 2013, there won’t be that YouTube menace Psy kicking around. 2012’s answer to The Starlight Vocal Band is gone, if not already forgotten. Last time I looked, he was hanging out in Times Square on New Year’s Eve with Jenny McCarthy and MC Hammer. If that isn’t a triple whammy kiss of death, I don’t know what is? And don’t expect a 2013 equivalent of “gangnam style;” there’s only so much a discerning public can stand in one decade.
That’s probably the problem with 2013. This decade is relatively new, and there’s a whole pile of stuff out there just quietly waiting to hit the fan. When it does, we’re going to have a lot more than reinvigorated “Hammer time” to contend with! Actually, this might be the calm before the storm. So, to that end, I suggest you just sit back and relax in the relative peace and quiet of the next eleven months or so. Gather your wits about you, because after that it’s going to be “Buckle up, Pardner! Here we go again!”