Predictions for 0-Ten

V1’s human crystal ball looks into the near future

Eric Rasmussen, illustrated by Holly Zimmerman

I love the New Year season, mostly for all the reviews and predictions. Perhaps I value the process of self-reflection that occurs with every re-examination list, whether our culture takes stock of its literary accomplishments with 2009’s Top Fiction Titles, or we explore the state of the American musician through the Decade’s 50 Best Nipple-Slips and Crotch Shots. Maybe all those predictions resemble something like societal goal setting. Or maybe I just like reading articles in numbered form because, you know, they usually have fewer words.

Either way, V1 ran all of its writers through an ESP test for predictive ability. I correctly guessed that the animal our editor was thinking of was a “miniature dwarf pony,” so I will be putting my apparently considerable prognosticative powers into a few forecasts for the upcoming year(s). Instead of dividing these on some sort of time line, I will separate my “visions” based on my confidence in them. Some are community-focused, others are national, and several are personal predictions. Nostradmus and all the powerful ancients, speak through me …

Prophecies Of Which I Am Totally Confident
    In 2010, I will continue losing hair, and by the end of the decade I will face difficult decisions about head shaving or hair replacement technology. Obviously, this one didn’t require too deep a look into the crystal ball, but in terms of the things that will be worrying me over the next several years, there you have it.

In 2010, and into the several years that follow, music will continue growing as an important cornerstone of local culture. Justin Vernon’s popularity explosion (and his inclusion on lists of 50 Best Albums of the Entire Freakin’ Decade) and the success of Daredevil Christopher Wright, Laarks, Meridene, and others do not represent some sort of lottery win. They are simply the first of many dividend checks this community will receive on its musical investments, including award-winning high school and university music programs, great music venues, music in Phoenix Park, etc. As a corollary, I predict we will see the re-emergence of the Stones Throw this year.

Divinations That I Really, Really Hope Will Come To Pass
    In the early parts of this decade, area schools will solve their budget problems. After years of cuts, teachers and parents are frustrated with declining services and increasing class sizes. The community is frustrated with perceived waste in the school system. But, this town is too education-centered to not find a solution that doesn’t gut our schools or taxpayers’ bank accounts. We have a major university, excellent test scores, and strong traditions in sports, music, art, and academics. It will come around.

In the next few years, the gol-darn, flingin’-flangin’ jail will be built, in the original location. Not to discredit the incredible work done by the people passionately opposed to putting the jail on the river, but as far as I see it, it comes down to this – in slow economic times and with a wealth of empty retail and office space, this city will not see a whole lot of interest in erecting brand new empty buildings on First Avenue. So, your options are an attractive new jail that maintains business and traffic downtown, or empty dirt lots and the loss of downtown business. Like it or not, that’s an easy decision.