Big Smile, No Teeth: Jason Godfrey predicts 2019


  • Living
  • Monday, 14 Jan 2019

A new year is here! And what’s the most fun thing to do at the start of a new year? Why, to look at the various predictions people are, uh ... predicting! I’ve done the leg work to look up a variety of predictions from an array of sources, from that age-old sage Nostradamus to the uber dry World Bank, and will evaluate through a tried and true scientific process (my gut) which ones seem most likely to come true.

Let’s take a look.

The World Bank is up first, cheerily predicting “Skies Darkening” over the world economy. The World Bank says global growth will be down to about 2.9%. “Growth has weakened, trade tensions remain high, several developing economies have experienced financial stress, and risks to the outlook have increased”. That’s some dry, fact-based predicting.

The World Bank doesn’t believe we’re headed for a global recession but does state that, in any given year, if China or the United States were to drop into recession, the chance that the rest of the world joins them is 50%! Don’t go into recession China and the US!

The chance of this prediction coming true seem pretty good since the only real prediction is that the “skies are darkening” over the global economy. So if the economy drops even a little, this one will come true.

While the World Bank is predicting about the sky – albeit the metaphorical, economic sky – a real weather prediction is coming from climate scientists who warn via Accuweather that 2019, because of the El Nino effect (an effect they think is likely in 2019) could be the warmest year ever since the Precambrian. OK, I said Precambrian, they said in recorded history.

The years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 are all on the record as the hottest years globally.

With the chart of yearly global temperatures resembling the astronomical climb you’d like to see on your stock chart, I think it’s fairly safe to bet that with an El Nino effect, 2019 will be the hottest year on record. I think it’s also fairly safe to make that bet for the next 12 years, until we smarten up and reduce carbon emissions or we go extinct.

But I digress. Back to the prediction list.

Over at Forbes magazine, they’ve predicted “Machines to start taking our jobs”. Bold prediction. If it were 1932. Haven’t machines already been taking our jobs? Since the 1990s the globe has lost vast employment to automation. Maybe every year we re-define what we call a machine. Maybe a machine isn’t a machine unless we can order it around by voice command and surf the Internet on it.

The chance of this prediction coming true is low because machine started taking our jobs decades ago. The right word to use in that title would be continue.

Next up we have a couple gems from 16th century prophet Nostradamus, who has demonstrated for over 500 years that if you speak vaguely enough, and people look hard enough, meaning will be derived from every word you puke out of your mouth.

Nostradamus predicts the start of World War III!

“The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt. An evil deed, foretold by the bearer of a petition.”

This is the act that will plunge the world into a 27-year war that will start in Europe and spread across the globe and be “terrifying”.

If you want to look for meaning in a vague statement, surely you can find truth in ol’ Nostro’s prediction. What’s a thunderbolt? A bullet, a car, a train, basically dying of anything could be a proverbial thunderbolt. As far as predicting that the war will be terrifying. Yep. It probably will be. Way to put yourself out there, Nostro.

Chance of this coming true? Hopefully, pretty far gone. Then again, we do have a rise of nationalism across the globe – which was the cause of one of our world wars, so maybe Nostro’s on to something.

The next prediction is another one from Nostradamus, and I couldn’t ignore it because it’s the one time he’s specific.

Ol’ Nostro predicts the coming of Mabus the Antichrist. Whose death will usher in the start of World War III and who, as the Antichrist, will probably be up to no good.

Chances of this prediction coming true? A solid zero. Mostly because nobody is named Mabus.

And finally we move onto Baba Vanga the blind Bulgarian woman who has predicted, among other things, that in 2019 Donald Trump will fall ill with a “mysterious illness, which will cause him to suffer nausea, tinnitus, brain trauma and hearing loss”.

I rate this prediction 100% accurate because if you have ever heard Donald Trump speak, you sort of feel like he’s suffering from all this stuff already.

Well, there you have it. A list of predictions. What will come true?

Probably none of them but it won’t stop anyone from predicting or listening to predictions in 2020.

Big Smile, No Teeth columnist Jason Godfrey – who once was told to give the camera a ‘big smile, no teeth’ – has worked internationally for two decades in fashion and continues to work in dramas, documentaries, and lifestyle programming. Write to him at star2@thestar.com.my and check out his stuff at jasongodfrey.co.

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