I had barely finished writing my post on the failed 2013 predictions of the self-described “psychics” and “clairvoyants” who are the media darlings du jour, when the sorry lot of charlatans published their latest lot of flim-flammery and codswallop: predictions for 2014.
These will, of course, prove as wrong as the predictions for 2013. And 2012. And 2011, And 2010, And 2009. And on and on and on.
As usual, the list of “predictions” contains a lot of vague or general statements in which an unidentified “someone” is involved – you’d think that a real clairvoyant would be able to see the name of the person, and provide a location and a date.
But that would spoil the effect – afterwards they can claim they predicted the event rather than made a vague and irrelevant statement.
It’s a con game as old as history. And some of it is just plain silly.
Like this: “Garlic is in the news.” Huh? How in the “news?” In the food section of the Star? On a supermarket tabloid page? On sale in the local grocery store flyer? When will it be “in the news”? What sort of “psychic” predicts vegetables?
Remember, these are the same folks who failed to predict the former pope resigning and the election of Pope Francis. And Lou Reed’s death. Nelson Mandela’s death. James Gandolfini’s Jean Stapleton’s and Margaret Thatcher’s death. The meteor exploding over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Typhoon Haiyan “Yolanda”, one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record.Lac Megantic train derailment. Anything about Rob Ford.
Well, some of them now claim they predicted some and even all of these, but their predictions are curiously absent in the roundup of 2013 predictions from so-called “psychics”…
But what are minor events of this stature, anyway when we had these headline-stealing predictions happen in 2013:
- Congress will deal with gun control: Automatic weapons and high-powered rifles, semi-automatics that belong in war zones will be removed, and only used in situations where they are absolutely necessary.
- The spirits don’t see newly engaged Kelly Clarkson living happily ever after, but they see Justin Bieber making movies.
- Tom Cruise will leave the church of Scientology.
- Nuclear attack on New York.
- Cuba and Puerto Rico becoming part of the USA.
- A weather satellite will come crashing into a building.
- Experimental monkeys escape from a lab causing a pandemic.
- Giant prehistoric sea monsters under the sea.
- A possible landing of a spaceship.
- An attack on the Vatican and Pope.
- An earthquake of great magnitude wiping out Mexico City.
- A new, odd, unexpected source of fuel for cars, trucks and/or machinery is announced.
- While I truly hope this does not occur, I foresee a medical condition that sidelines Vice President Joe Biden.
- A plague-like pandemic affects populations in Europe and to some extent in the USA. Much of it ironically occurs in hospitals.
- Apple announces and releases a “mini iPhone” geared toward children and also under-served populations around the world. Apple finally launches a “smart TV.”
- Meditation proves to be the gateway to contact loved ones on the other side.
- It will be revealed that Vice President Joe Biden has been under medical care for senile dementia. I predicted his ailment back in 2012.
- Worldwide, we will see more mysterious mass bird deaths and tens of thousands of fish washing up on shore throughout the year. Conspiracy theories will abound.
- The next doomsday “fad” will be solar flares.
- Fashion tragedy: I predict the return of mesh shirts for men.
- Israel with strike Iran with a full on attack at its nuclear programme but fail to destroy some of the more heavily entrenched facilities leaving quantities of uranium available for dirty bombs.
- In Europe I see the start of an advertising-free search engine funded by the EU on a similar model to the BBC.
- I see a major landslide on the English Coastline. I believe that this will be at Black Gang Chine in the Isle of Wight.
- Families will rediscover the family dinner table.
Okay, so none of them happened. Some of which we can be thankful for: Justin Bieber in movies and mesh shirts, for two.
But solar flares as a “fad”? Like tattoos? You have your very own? or maybe get one named after you? Hey, did you hear? Solar Flare Ian just blasted towards the Earth and is gonna disrupt all telecommunications for the next 48 hours… and by the way, Mexico City is still standing. So is New York.
And Tom Cruise? Still mired in the cult.
Families are still hunting the elusive “dinner table.” Like the hunt for El Dorado… hint: look in the dining room or the kitchen for it.
And if you’ve never read the Hunting of the Snark, you really must: it describes all too well the hunt for credible “psychics” … the Snark is a boojum, just like “psychics” are charlatans.
The almost complete failure of their past predictions hasn’t stopped the same zany gang of con artists from making a whole new set of predictions for 2014 which include equally nonsensical notions (albeit present with a few editorial comments):
- A discovery that diseases can be transmitted or transferred by pure thought from one location to another will be found. (Not gonna happen: would violate basic laws of biology)
- New protruding land masses or islands will start to form around Hawaii, Southeast Asia, and the Bahamas over the next year, sparking renewed interest in the legend of Atlantis (Form how? By vulcanism? That would rule out the Bahamas. Where in Southeast Asia? It’s a huge territory. And PS. Atlantis is fictional. That’s why we call it a “legend.”)
- U.S. economy improves at the state and national level. (duh… that’s been in the media for the past year… a prediction can’t just be reading the Financial Post headlines…)
- New storms and quakes in South Pacific Southeast Asia. (Let’s see, storms to occur in an area that’s about a third of the planet in size and has annual storm cycles… chancy…)
- Vladimir Putin wins Nobel prize for his part in Syria. (You mean there’s another guy named Vladimir Putin who isn’t the self-aggrandizing former KGB thug ruling Russian with a Stalinist fist?)
- Erratic weather patterns and recorded earth shifts, together with unusual paranormal events could be the result of us having been watched by other species in different dimensions. (1. What sort of “unusual paranormal events?” 2. What sort of “earth shifts?” 3. Paranormal is paranoid. 4. Other species in different dimensions? Oh how are you going to prove that balderdash?)
- New sightings and several landings of unknown lights seen in Arizona, New Mexico, and Alaska. (Unknown lights landing – there’s an image… Here’s some news: every time you look into a clear night sky you see “unknown lights” – that’s because you can’t name a fraction of the stars and planets up there. And when something moves, it’s either a satellite or an airplane. No aliens, no UFOs – that’s just more balderdash – but those stars aren’t going to land any time soon.)
- The ghost of Nelson Mandela could appear during a national holiday or major public event in South Africa. (Despite the fact we have photographic technology so advanced we can read licence plates from space, no one has yet to actually capture a ghost on film, or in digital form. That’s because ghosts are imaginary. But how good is this “psychic” when she can’t give a place or date…)
- Power blackout worldwide. (Clearly without the slightest clue as to how power grids work…)
- Meteor strike in the US. (Meteors strike the earth rather frequently, although there are only about five to ten large enough to be considered a noticeable event. The chances of a meteor hitting the USA in any given year is pretty close to 100%, as long as you don’t say anything about the size…)
- A meteor crashing in China. (ditto)
- Civil war will break out in the US. (Guffaw… Dream on, Tea Party… )
- Mt. St. Helens erupting.(Too vague – since this is the most active volcano in the northwest, it’s often erupting, but mostly small amounts, sometimes just smoke and steam… hardly a prediction. Do you mean lava, pyroclastic mud? If so, when?)
- UFO sightings near the Hudson River. (That’s cute. People see “UFOs” all over the USA and Canada. UFO means “unidentified flying object” – that doesn’t mean a spaceship or aliens. It could just be the ISS passing overhead).
- A possible landing of a spaceship. (Human spacecraft land all the time, that’s not a prediction. An alien spaceship? As soon as Harry Potter becomes president…)
- Garlic is in the news. (You have to chuckle at the sheer banality of this…)
- A shock wave, perhaps literally or perhaps figuratively, is felt in Russia. (Good thing you qualified it with “figuratively” because that lets you off the hook is some fashion design or a new takeout restaurant takes Moscow by storm…)
- The Dalai Lama will be taken seriously ill. He will announce that his next incarnation will be as a westerner. (Well, he’s in his late 70s, but he’s pretty strong… however, Tenzin Gyatso already suggested his successor will likely come from outside Tibet (in 2004, see here) but has also made the statement that it’s up to the Tibetan people – not him – to decide if the tradition will continue).
- A strange luminous plankton is seen under the sea that cannot be explained by scientists. This may be linked to a strange cosmic event – such as a Stella explosion and light in the sky – that changes animal behaviour patterns. (Stella explosion? I see Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire…. but how do plankton (under the sea, as opposed to above it… which would be real news…) relate to a “cosmic” event? And what sort of event?)
- The remains of an ancient civilisation are uncovered in Greenland. (What, some Viking relics? Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. But nothing under the ice – the current ice is about 110,000 years old – far older than human civilization – and the land has been continuously covered by ice for the past 18 million years, so anything found is going to be recent..)
- More shootings in schools, movie theaters, public gatherings, including in houses of worship, restaurants, bars, sporting events. The experience of gathering in public and sharing with others from all walks of life will become less popular. (Shootings in America? In a nation obsessed with guns and violence? Where you can buy guns at Walmart? That’s a prediction? Damn lame. Of course innocent people are going to be shot by gun nuts in schools, theatres, churches and restaurants. it’s America. That’s how they like it. If they didn’t, they’d change the laws.)
- Worries about those traveling to the Olympics in Russia. (Gee, you think? Travel to one of the most dangerous nations that has a history of violence against women and gays, has been imprisoning dissidents since the tsars, and has experienced many terrorist acts from its subject peoples, as recently as last week… who wouldn’t be worried?)
- North Korean President Kim Jong Un in danger. (One of the most secretive, bizarre and paranoid world leaders in danger? From whom? Dennis Rodman suddenly gets a conscience? Or from what? Does he get a cold? Flu?)
- Youth and their violent leisure activities proving to be dangerous; will get worse for next three or four years. (Yeah, they’ve been saying that since Aristotle… damned skateboarders… or is it hacky sack hooligans? Those kids in their zoot suits…)
- A space tragedy. (As in a TV show? A big-budget movie about space fails at the box office? Or a tragedy there isn’t enough space for Hummers to park downtown? Come on….)
- Cuba and Puerto Rico becoming part of the USA. (Yeah, like Raoul and Fidel are just itching to toss away 55 years of struggle to establish a socialist state in order to get Walmart and McDonald’s…)
- Hurricane wiping out Miami, Florida. (You know what sort of force is required to “wipe out” a city that size? Miami doesn’t have levees and it’s not below sea level, so it’s not like New Orleans…)
- Nuclear attack on New York. Terrorist attack at the Empire State Building. (Wait, didn’t you predict this last year? And the year before? And it has happened…. never.)
- Another marathon tragedy.(Oh that’s cute. There are marathons held everywhere around the world. Want to be a little more specific? And what’s a tragedy? A bombing? An event rained out? Kim Kardashian not showing up despite the engraved personal invitation?)
- Trouble in Lebanon; Beirut on fire. (Duh… there’s always trouble in Lebanon. It’s the heartland of a particularly nasty terrorist gang called Hezbollah. They set everything on fire because their goal is to destroy things and it has been since the 1980s when they formed.)
- A famous comedian legend will pass. (Pass what? Gas? Water? A bad cheque? And which one? If you’re so talented, surely you could predict a name…)
And then there’s the list of “paranormal” events. None of these ever happen because they’re all imaginary. UFOs, Atlantis, ghosts, They put this stuff in because it appeals to the hard-of-thinking and conspiracy theorists who expect it. I mean, that’s the association: Psychics and UFOs. Paranormal and conspiracy theory. They go together like peanut butter and ginger marmalade, right?
Yeah, right. And invisible pink unicorns. it’s amazing what nonsense people will eagerly believe.
What’s sad – truly tragic in this modern era – is that there are simple folks who will be still gullible to this medieval nonsense despite our technological and educational advancements. All I say is please, people, if you’re tempted by this dreck, if you think there’s some credibility here, use your noggins for something more than holding your ball ca. Think. Don’t be fooled. It’s all a scam.*
* Okay, to be fair, people fall for all sorts of hoaxes, scams, con games and ruses, not just fake psychics and faux clairvoyants. Like crop circles. Bigfoot (the hoax still being perpetuated on us by Dyer, says Time) UFOs. Creationism and more. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the wide and wild array of conspiracy theories, from local to international topics.