January 2, 2010 9:19:00 PM
Welcome to the beginning of a new year, and the beginning of a new decade! This is a time when most of us will reflect on the past. I, however, have retrieved my crystal ball from the back of a dark closet to make predictions for the future. It''s been a while since this old ball was used. No promises about the accuracy, but here they are.
1. Beauty contestants will be required to take a vow of silence. Anyone with the word "Miss" in her title will lose her crown if she grants interviews. Comments about geography or world politics will result in one year''s probation without makeup.
2. Baseball players, annoyed that footballers have adopted the habit of donning baseball caps on the sidelines, will start wearing football helmets in the dugout. In retaliation, football pros will switch to wearing chef hats on the bench.
3. Thanks to role models like Brangelina and Madonna, children of our own race will go out of style. International baby swaps will be the rage, so that everyone has the opportunity to experience the joys and confusion of inter-cultural parenthood. As this trend becomes more extreme, children will be bred for pleasing racial mixes, spawning baby mills (a la puppy mills) to achieve desirable results.
4. Writers will become obsolete. New movie releases will only be re-makes of old films. Television will be limited to cameras in our homes; reality shows that are not only real, but mind-numbingly boring, as well. As the profession of writing, and therefore reading, becomes extinct, conversations will be limited to the repetition of clichés.
5. All food will not only be low-calorie, but will produce negative calories. As we eat, the pounds will disappear, making everyone svelte. This will create a backlash. Eventually, obesity will become stylish and difficult to achieve.
6. Men will take hormones to become pregnant. Women will take hormones to grow goatees.
7. Metal will become the new black. The very rich will wear clothing of chain mail, like medieval knights, while poor folks will fashion shirts and skirts from aluminum foil.
8. Sometime in the next decade, we will elect a dog for president. Executive decisions will be made by which toy or treat he picks up. This will be interpreted by placing the objects on a grid, something like a bingo card. Special advisors will be trained to interpret results.
9. Vodou will become the religion of the nation. Sins will be determined by tossing chicken bones and beads into a circle of cornmeal. Once again, only those skilled in that discipline will be able to understand the outcome.
10. The Golden Triangle will become an arts Mecca. Pilgrims from all over the world will flock to this center of a new renaissance. Visual arts, music, and all those disappearing authors, will create an environment of beauty and theatre never before seen in The United States. This will terrify the "old guard," who then build a Berlin Wall-type edifice around the us, trying in vain to prevent change of any sort. Consequently, black market enterprise will emerge, helping the faithful scale the wall, or dig under it, or squeeze through cracks in the edifice.
Well, my crystal ball has never been the most precise.
I believe that''s from all those years of sharing the stage with comediennes.
So, just take what you like from these kooky predictions.
And let''s hope that our future reality is more humorous than frightening.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.
Adoptive Mom commented at 1/4/2010 9:32:00 AM:
I have enjoyed many of your columns in the past, but your comment on international adoption missed the mark of being funny and landed right in the middle of offensive and prejudicial. There are millions of orphans all over the world and many of them live in extreme poverty. Even those fortunate enough to be in orphanages tend to be malnourished and deprived of love and attention. Although celebrities have received lots of press on their international adoptions, and writers like you have made fun of them, they are actually being good role models to the rest of us by showing how much love they have in their hearts. God tells us in James 1:27 "to look after orphans and widows in their distress." We are all called to help those less fortunate than ourselves, and sometimes that call is to be a parent to an orphan from another country. As the mother of a child adopted from another culture I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn and teach my son about his unique cultural background. We are finding wonderful ways to combine cutural traditions, and it doesn't matter if his skin might be a different tone from mine. I am his mother and there is no confusion about that. Given the opportunity, I would gladly adopt a child from another culture again. Shame on you for mocking and denigrating thousands of beautiful families around our country that were made through international adoption.
walter commented at 1/4/2010 11:42:00 AM:
Prediction "3" caught my attention, moreso than either of the others. I am curious as to whom it is you refer when you stated "...our own race will go out of style." Pat Buchanan, (Do you remember him?), would probably give you a standing ovation.
The adoption of a child already borne into this world will have neglible impact upon any race, one way or the other, as far as a particular race's viability. Depending upon the mentality and motive(s) of those adopting young and impressionable babies/children, it may very well portend that the child's own race will be diluted out of style. Culturally, the children adopted by Madonna, bless her heart, will be nothing like the families from which they originate. Only time itself will tell whether or not that is a good or bad thing.
Without knowing the race of the writer and not wishing to twist or misinterpret the meaning of the referenced phrase, please take note that my race isn't any less interested in going out of style than yours. Apparently, you fear that cross-racial adoption will contribute to your demise. Count and compare the races of persons incarcerated throughout state and federal prisons in America. Clearly with a disproportionate numbers of males from one race incarcerated, compared with others, will have the effect of diminishing the birth rate of the race with the highest number of its males behind bars. Particularly since they're of prime age to procreate.
In other words, you need not fear your race going out of style. If it does, at the rate young blacks are being imprisoned and slaughtered, the only race left inhabiting the globe will be Chinese. Perhaps you and I, and all others who are very much caught up on race, had better began the process of identifying more with the human race, instead of with some race that begins with a "w" a "B" or some other letter of the alphabet. And, maybe, what Brangelina and Madonna are trying to tell us is that we had better began sooner, rahter than later.
HAPPY NEW YEARS, ONE AND ALL!!!
Mike McCullough commented at 1/5/2010 2:02:00 PM:
Once again members of "Thinerd Skinerd" have spoken. I don't believe Ms. Elliott was trying to offend anyone of any race. You two,(Adoptive Mom and Walter) simply have a problem with something much deeper seeded than her "Predictions"... I'm more than sure you are always writing letters to the editor etc.. voicing your displeasure with the "OPINIONS" stated in this Newspaper?? Her renderings this week would not even be classed as "OPINIONS"... As far as "Celebrity" anything... They are part of what is wrong with this nation today.. I say Adoption is wonderful... Why not do it in your own backyard though... If you are an AMERICAN.. My last trip to Columbus I got to chat with some wonderful children that call Palmer Home their home. Funny, I thought they all were great kids. I don't have to leave my county to find a cultural difference. Perhaps adopting from another country is "The THING to do"... Like voting for a guy for President that hasn't a clue and is about as dependable as a Yugo. Is he an American from ??? Bottom line is that you whiners should worry more about this snowball headed for hell rather than globe trotting trying to "Save the World" when there is saving that needs to be done in your own backyard.
Jackie commented at 1/8/2010 6:58:00 PM:
I must say that I hope the editor of the Dispatch and the readers of this paper realize what a treasure they have in you. You are a poet writing in prose and I want to thank you at the beginning of this new year for all the wonderful columns you wrote last year.