Predictions for 2008
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While most of the city whoops it up tonight, the Urban Man will be closeted with leading psychics and well-known experts so I can complete my predictions for Greater L.A. in 2008. I know that everyone from politicians to financiers have come to depend on this forecast, which has always proven just as accurate as they expected.
This year, you'll be pleased to know that things aren't nearly as bad as you thought, and won't go nearly as wrong as you have been told. I know you're interested in the subtle, long-term trends…but let's get the obvious out of the way first.
Yes, three more E.R.s will close. No subway will reach the airport. Local news will be dominated by shocked neighbors and lost parakeets.
The writer's strike will end badly for the writers...but you knew that already. The mayor will pour his remaining energy into the school system without making any appreciable impact...but you knew that too.
I have no idea what will happen in the election, but home prices will continue to drop until Sept 14, 2008 when Ms. Amy Thornblatt, 26, finally sells her condo at 113 Palms Boulevard, and the whole thing starts to turn around. Whether you buy or sell in the mean time, you can be sure you did the wrong thing.
The really good news is the earthquake scheduled six months earlier, at 4:26 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11. Don't be concerned, it's going to be a very minor quake: A slight rattle of pictures down the hall. A slight tintinabulation of mugs in the kitchen.
Still the consequences will be dramatic and...strangely positive.
Take Mr. Lance Pitt, a day trader living at 452 S. Sepulveda. The quake will knock Mr. Pitt's alarm clock to the floor, causing him to miss the opening bell. When he loses out on a 2% rise in Amazon, he'll find his enthusiasm for the market on the wane. In fact, he'll start blowing whole mornings at Starbucks, where he'll meet Amy Thornblatt.
You see, it will be Lance who helps Amy get her condo ready for sale, thereby saving the whole town.
And that same afternoon in South L.A., Jasper "Big Boy" Johnson will be leaning out the window of his '98 Chevy Malibu, aiming to shoot rival gang leader Kwanja "Kangaroo" Gilroy. But the quake will have nudged a window on the front of the laundromat at 720 N. Compton Boulevard a full 2 millimeters out of alignment. This will cause the sunlight to flash in Big Boy's eyes at just the right moment to send his bullet astray. In fact, Kangaroo won't even notice the projectile safely passing his head 10 inches away at the speed of 600 miles an hour.
That means Big Boy will not die in a revenge killing. In fact, he'll eventually buy a Jiffy Lube franchise and father two sons—one a leading violinist who will someday play Brahms so beautifully that Gillian Pitt, daughter of Amy and Lance, will shed her first tear of joy in 2029.
After this same quake, comedian Stephen Colbert, unable to sleep, will fall into a reflective mood. That evening, his show will prove less snarky than usual. In fact, snarkiness in media will decline by a full 8.3%. And without sufficient snarkines to piss them off, local right wing talk hosts won't feel up to accusing either Schwarzenegger or the Democrats of treason for a full 30 days. In fact, accusations of treason will drop by 13% overall, and the rabid baiting of immigrants will drop by a full 17% compared to 2007.
Okay, I admit all this nice stuff will be…subtle. No pro football team will arrive. Measures to improve traffic will harm neighborhoods. Developers will run roughshod over City Hall. But maybe the Urban Man will join an L.A. party or two tonight. You see, leading experts agree there's at least a 50/50 chance that good things lie ahead.
Copyright © 2007 Marc Porter Zasada. All rights reserved.
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