Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Crystal Balls
I don't really have any magical or supernatural powers of any kind. I know it may seem hard to believe, but I think some of you--based on the unchartable levels of Awesome you see from me just in print form--project that in real life I must be able to read minds or fly or bend spoons with my brain. I need you people to know this and remember: I'm just a man. A handsome, handsome man of many gifts, yes, but I can't do any of those supernatural things. Except the spoon thing. I can totally do that. Sure, I have to send the brain waves down my arms and into my hands which I then command to bend the spoon (provided it's not too sturdy), but still, it's all very macho and occult. It's machoccult.

Before my disavowal of magic powers disillusions (ha ha) you all to the point where you start questioning all of the other rock-solid assumptions about the nature of the world you've come to rely on (gravity, death, MTV Spring Break) thus triggering an emotional cascade resulting in bleak depression, neglect of personal hygiene and ultimately suicide, I can tell you that there is ONE magic-y thing I can do.

I can predict the future.

Generally, yes, like everyone else I can only predict it in retrospect, i.e. "I totally knew that was going to happen." But that doesn't diminish the value of the gift nor does it preclude it being real.

The difference between me and you is that when I you say it, you're using idiomatic speech to express yourself emotionally, to connote frustration, realized generalized anxieties or rue. Rue rue rue. I don't know if you can use that word as a noun, but I'm totally going to because it's fun to say. Rue. See?

When I say "I knew that was going to happen," I am not being metaphorical at all. I'm being absolutely literal. I say that with the confidence of a man who can never be proven wrong. Everything I have retrospectively predicted has come to pass before I mention it in any publicly recordable form, 100% of the time. Maybe the trick is that I keep to myself the stuff that I predict that never happens. Maybe it isn't. I'm not saying.

To bolster my case, I would like to point out the following news story:

Higher gas prices before the summer driving season may make people re-think taking long trips.

I knew that story was going to come out.

I will admit to you, however, that there is nothing occult (or even macho) about my clairvoyance in this particular instance. I knew this story was going to come out because this story comes out every single year. The same story. Probably verbatim.

I don't have the research to back this up, but I would be willing to advance the theory that gas prices in every summer of my life have been higher than the gas prices from the previous summer. Every single one. Sure, the change happens by degrees, some summers increasing more than others, and while I agree that the economic impact of rising fuel prices constitutes legitimate news, every year the tooth-gnashing analysis is always exactly the same.

The print news is bad enough, but then there are the requisite TV news stories with pictures of gas station price boards and interviews with people trying to fill their tanks with gas.

REPORTER: Do you think the price of gas is too high?

CONSUMER: Lawks! What a burden for me and my family, these high gas price! It's all I can do to keep my turbo-charged Hummer running!

It's predictable on both sides, but it's somewhat confusing. I mean, we are a nation of drivers and capitalist consumers of goods. There would be less dissonance for me if the exchange were more like:

REPORTER: Do you think the price of gas is too high?

CONSUMER: What are you, some kind of communist? High prices ensure the health of the energy industry in general, which drives the economy. Hey, is this part of the Jew media trying to keep America down again? Fuck off, you hippie!

This year, all the rage amongst the Analysis Class is to blame tensions with Iran for the spike in prices. This stems from Iran enriching uranium for use in nuclear reactors.

So, logically, the fear is that Iran, an oil-rich nation, might develop nuclear power for electricity, reducing their own reliance on petroleum for energy, thus freeing up a substantial portion of their substantial underground reserves for release to foreign markets including the United States. And prices go up.

I'll never understand economics.

Sure, there's all this hullabaloo about how maybe Iran could use enriched uranium for something else, but for the life of me I can't think of anything else you could use enriched uranium for. It tastes awful and makes a terrible plant fertilizer.

Ah well. These things have a way of working themselves out for the betterment of all. I mean, look how well that Iraq thing we were all so worried about got straightened out. Yes, that one worked out just as I predicted it would as well.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.5



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