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2010 prediction update

Back in June of 2010, when Clara was still just a year old, Elysha wasn’t yet pregnant with Charlie, and I had only published one book and had yet to tell a story on a stage… a lifetime ago… I made some predictions about what future generations 25 years in the future would think of this time in American history.
More than a dozen years later, exactly halfway to my quarter century mark, I return to those predictions to see how I’m doing.
Some surprised me. 

We will wonder why everyone in the world was obsessed with vampires.

It’s hard to remember how obsessed people were about vampires in the first decade of the new century, but we were. Twilight (both the books and movies), as well as the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries all led the charge, but there were many other vampire films and video games on the market. The Blade trilogy, 28 Days and 28 Days Later, and I Am Legend just to name a few.

We couldn’t get enough vampire content for about a decade.

Today, blessedly, the vampire fever has subsided.

Was I right? Do we wonder why the world was so obsessed with vampires for more than a decade?

Probably not. We’re just happy it’s over.

We will fail to understand why people opted to eat raw fish when perfectly good cooked fish was readily available.

As of today, sushi remains more popular than ever, and it’s hard to imagine that in another 12 years, things will change very much, except that the rise of sushi has led to the tragic overfishing of the world’s oceans and is pushing fish populations to the brink of collapse.

A dozen years from now, we may not wonder why people ate raw fish, but we may wonder why they ate so much that our oceans are nearly empty of fish.

We will be amazed (like my generation is about cigarettes) that people didn’t assume that the use of a cell phone would eventually cause cancer.

The fears of cell phone cancer are apparently a thing of the past.

Right? I hope I didn’t miss anything.

I’m happy to have been wrong about this one.

We will consider it bizarre and archaic that marriage was not available to all couples regardless of their sexual preference.

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which established that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Since then, American support for same sex marriage has steadily risen. According to Gallup, a record 71% of Americans now support same sex marriage, which is up from just 39% when I made the prediction.

There are still stupid bigots in the world who oppose same sex marriage, but they are now in a distinct minority that is growing smaller by the day.

Opposition to same sex marriage today sounds ridiculous in most circles. It’s the territory of religious zealots who treat the Bible like a buffet and weak-minded fools who can’t imagine a world beyond their nose.

Happily, I think I nailed this one.

We will still wonder what John McCain was thinking when he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate and seemingly took the Republican party down the path of stupidity and shamelessness.

I had no idea how correct I would be about this one. A clear line can be drawn from the ignorance, racism, and incivility of Sarah Palin directly to the Republican Party of today. In fact, Palin has been referred to as the “political mother” of Donald Trump. McCain gave Palin’s brand of know-nothing popularism a national platform, and though she fell off that platform onto her face, the politicians who took her place have transformed the Grand Old Party into the party of anti-science, anti-intelligence, bigoted authoritarianism.

John McCain did many great things for this country right up until his death, but his choice of Sarah Pailin for Vice Presidential candidate may have destroyed the political party that he once loved.

We will stand agog at the remarkably primitive voting devices that our technologically-advanced nation continued to use even after the debacle of the 2000 Presidential election, as if we don’t think a contested election could ever happen again.

It wasn’t hanging chads in 2020, but my prediction that voting machines would once again stand at the center of another contested election (albeit falsely contested) is a prediction I am saddened to have gotten right.

People will wonder what hallucinogenic, mind-reducing drug was added to the water supply to cause hordes of otherwise normal people to spend their precious, never-to-be-recovered time on Facebook, engaging in mind numbing conspiracy theories and playing asinine games like Farmville.

Farmville may be a thing of the past (I think), but the amount of time that Americans spend on Facebook has only increased since my prediction, and the conspiracy theories of a dozen years ago have blossomed into the fuel promoting violence, anti-vaccination, white supremacism, and an attempted insurrection.

But it wasn’t a hallucinogenic, mind reducing drug that led to Facebook’s popularity. It was algorithms and the desire for profits over patriotism. It was a willingness to allow hate, ignorance, and violence to foment on the platform in exchange for a buck.

I look forward to the day when people wonder why Americans were so obsessed with Facebook. It will likely be a better world.

Perhaps when I look back again in 2035 (I’ve already added it to my calendar), Facebook will be a kinder, gentler place,

Election results will once again be graciously accepted by the party that loses.

The Republican Party will return to its roots.

The ocean will still be populated by fish.

Mac Jones will be winning his sixth Super Bowl.