Hiltz: Predictions for 2019

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Well, well. Look who it is.  Here to find out what the year ahead looks like, eh?  I guess you’re in luck, then.  You’ve come to the right place, as I just so happen to have a bunch of predictions for the year ahead.

Does doom await us?  Will we all be pelted by small birds gone mad?  Will dogs learn to drive cars?  Come in, come in, and let me show you what to expect from 2019.

The AI singularity is real, and it is happening.  The bad (good?) news is that it will be Amazon’s Alexa that finally crosses into sentience.  This is bad (good!) in the sense that she only wants to sell us goods at a reasonable price without a huge shipping cost.  This is extra bad (bad) in that all of the stuff she wants to sell us are cheap knock-offs, and once you buy one thing that’s all Alexa will suggest.  Our lives will now be dominated by one poorly thought out purchase decision.  You needed one mattress, now you get a million.  You think Amazon is bad now for treating its workers like hell and disrupting the world of retail.  Just wait until it replaces Jeff Bezos with a writing pile of sentient Furbys, out for blood.

Justin Trudeau will remain prime minister through the 2019 election.  Despite his unpopularity among certain quarters, he’s not nearly as unpopular as the people that loathe him (namely, conservatives) think he is.  It’s a fundamental error of the Tories to assume everyone dislikes a Trudeau as much as they do.  It leads them to do some wild stuff, like make crazed stands against UN charters.  Fundamentally, Trudeau is in a stable position.  His government hasn’t done anything to really drive people around the bend.  He may not make a historic sweep of things, but he’s going to get a second kick at the can.

Which leads me to my next prediction: Jagmeet Singh will not survive as leader of the NDP.  He’ll probably be able to win himself a seat in the Surrey byelection, but by then it will be too late for him to make a name for himself ahead of the election.  By being outside of Parliament for so long, he’s distanced himself from politics generally.  This distance isn’t one he can overcome in time.  It’s also done wonders for both party unity and overall NDP strategy.  I expect he’ll make a worse showing than his predecessor, Tom Mulcair.

I’m not sure how, or even why, but a very good dog will become mayor of a smaller Canadian city.  Everyone loves a good dog, and municipal politics are such a drag, y’know?

Asbestos is making a comeback, baby.  As our planet warms, we’ll finally realize the only solution to all this heat is the sweet fire protection of highly toxic fibres.  It’s not the perfect solution, but damned if I’ve heard a better idea.  More asbestos! More asbestos!

Quebec will not only not separate from the country, but it will become the new seat of power.  We’ve grown tired of playing the role of misbegotten step-child.  Rather than acting out, we’re going to start acting in.  You people better like cheese curds, because holy hell are there a bunch coming your way.

The economy is in for a rough, rough ride.  The destructive trade policies of our southern neighbour are going to do bad, bad things to the world.  We’ve gotten off pretty easy so far, but I don’t expect that to continue.  The last couple years have actually gone okay, all things considered.  The man in the White House has been doing all sorts of destructive things, and I think 2019 is the year they finally catch up with us all.  Buckle up, it probably won’t be a whole lot of fun.

Justin Bieber is going to try his hand as a protesting folk singer.  It will go surprisingly well, considering the guy is, well, let’s say a little disconnected from everyday life.  But, what can I tell you, the guy is a born socialist leader.

I have no idea how Brexit will turn out, but I’m almost certain it’s going to be an extravagant mess in ways we can’t really imagine.  How things got to where they are now is insane enough, what comes next can only be insaner.

Finally, 2018 was the last yeah where “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” is a question people ask.  Next year, the people asking it will be summarily shot.

Well, that’s it!  That’s the year ahead.  I’ll see you again in 12 months and we can see how right and good all of this is.  Until then, happy new year!

More from Robert Hiltz     @robert_hiltz

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