This piece was originally published on http://globalnation.inquirer.net/viewpoints/viewpoints/view/20110203-318217/Extra-Sensory-Predilection on February 3, 2011.
Listen, you menopausal bitches. Ask for all the civility you want, or blood—libel me any time, but you can’t shut me up. And if you’re wondering about the mean tone of these opening sentences, WTF!—blame it on Earth’s wobble.
That’s right. I used to be an adaptable and communicative Gemini, but now I’m a resentful and inflexible Taurus, no thanks to the orbital wobble that distorts our planet’s alignment with the stars, says astronomer Parke Kunkle. Horoscopes have gone haywire, altering our fates. Today’s astrological positions were mapped more than 3,000 years ago, but the constellations have shifted since then. The zodiac signs we’ve grown to love and cherish are nearly a month off.
Of course, this celestial derailment has undone the fortune-telling industry. Madame Auring must be tearing her hair in confusion and dismay. The elite and the poor alike everywhere must be feeling lost without their reassuring galactic guides against uncertainty, chaos, and chance.
But all isn’t lost. An aspiring clairvoyant myself, I’ve unlocked the secret of successful fortune-telling besides divining the heavens or reading animal innards and tea leaves; but it requires an understanding of real events, plus an ear for inarticulate fears and longings. Add a pinch of probability, and voila. For example, that’s how, George Orwell deftly presaged today’s pervasive security cameras, with the all-seeing Big Brother in “1984” (published 1949).
Similarly, I can predict that former US VP Dick Cheney will have a successful heart transplant operation (he has real heart problems). But on learning that the donor was a liberal (a probability), he’ll have a massive coronary all over again (common fear—or yearning). Here are some more auguries.
Constitutional originalist and US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will rule that because the founding charter didn’t abolish slavery, you can legitimately buy Denzel Washington or Halle Berry today at auction. In the same spirit, the Tea Party will explain that its misspelled protest signs don’t indicate illiteracy or ignorance but are meant to honor the Founding Fathers, many of whom couldn’t spell either. For example, a 1778 essay alone titled “The Key of Liberty” uses “prisapaly,” “dout,” “neaver,” and “inexpliset” among various abominations.
Speaking of originalists, Birthers who question President Obama’s US citizenship won’t be silenced even after Hawaii starts selling copies of his birth certificate to raise state revenue. Their new arguments: Hawaii isn’t part of the United States–it’s thousands of miles away in the middle of the ocean; the Founding Fathers didn’t even have an idea there was such a place. Birther leader Orly Taitz will argue on Fox News, “Where in the Constitution does it say the little brown girl, in a little grass skirt, in a little grass shack, in that island wonderland, is a US citizen?”
Taking a cue from Sarah Palin’s attack on Michelle’s Obama’s campaign for healthier American diets, Glenn Beck will declare that the first lady’s move to convert part of the White House lawn into a vegetable garden is an evil socialist conspiracy to turn America into a nation of glassy-eyed vegetarians.
“It’s like the Holocaust all over again,” Beck will rant. A hundred angry rabbis will run an ad in the New York Times asking Beck, “WTF!?”
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, President Noynoy Aquino will catch flak for getting engaged to a flashy, high-society, divorced German girlfriend instead of, say, a middle-class, low-profile Asian widow. A presidential spokesman will offend everyone by explaining that the president doesn’t mind buying second-hand cars either, so long as they’re top-performing.
The Philippines will rack up an astounding 9.5 percent economic growth but, inexplicably, it’s a virtually unknown armed forces general, not a familiar industrialist, who’ll emerge on Forbes Asia’s top fifty wealthiest list.
In entertainment, the entire corps of Cebu’s dancing prisoners will appear on the hit US show “Glee.” Publicity-savvy Dr. Vicky Belo will give them free Botox shots for “more angular profiles” to turn them into better-looking convicts. “Glee” will replace “Miss Saigon” as a leading growth industry for Filipinos.
Under the guidance of Jose Maria Sison, who is actively no longer the leader of the communist guerrillas once again, the National Democratic Front will demand land reform, national industrialization, and safe conduct during renewed peace talks with the government. But the talks will break down from the get-go because government negotiators will, “as a matter of good taste,” refuse to consider Sison’s added demand of freedom to rock the dance floor with Filipina sex symbols.
Having just busted a Central Luzon-based carjacking syndicate, investigators will score another victory by uncovering a new ring that recruits and hires out desperate Filipinos as professional hostages to Somali pirates. Some of the hirees will tell reporters that being a hostage of the Somali pirates is even safer than being in Manila. Suffering from reverse Stockholm syndrome, the pirates will state a preference for Filipino hostages because they smell better than seafarers of other nationalities who don’t shower regularly.
Malacanang will wield tremendous leverage in negotiating closer ties with China by threatening to deploy Manila police commandos as escorts for the Beijing negotiating team’s tour bus. Badly shaken, the Chinese will quickly hand over the disputed Spratlys to the Philippines. But these Spratlys will turn out to be cheap knock-offs of the said islands. The duplicity will be uncovered after a title to the fake territory turns up for sale under the bridge in Quiapo. Meanwhile, thousands more dead blackbirds will fall from the sky in parts of the United States. There’ll be continued, unexplained, mass cattle deaths in Asia as well as Bible-strength flooding in Australia. Psychics the world over will declare these as portents of the coming Apocalypse, which according to the Mayan calendar will be on December 21, 2012.
They’re wrong, of course. It will be a month earlier.