December 31, 2008
Petzal: Predictions for the New Year
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
“Coach says it’s OK to bleed from the ears.”—Reggie Ray, in Not Another Teen Movie
For fear the hearts of men are failing,
For these are latter days we know.
The Great Depression now is spreading;
God’s word declared it would be so.
I’m going where there’s no Depression,
To that lovely land that’s free from care.
I’ll leave this world of toil and trouble.
My home’s in Heaven; I’m going there.
—A.P. Carter, from Songs of the Depression, by The New Lost City Ramblers, 1959
Some of the following is already fact. The rest of it will probably be fact before 2009 is out.
On December 18, one day after Washington announced its new “reasonable” gun-ownership laws, MSNBC news bunny Mika Brzezinski was mugged outside her D.C. hotel by a robber who did not carry a gun. Meanwhile, the murderer of Chondra Levy, the intern who was killed in a Washington park in 2001, remains at large.
President Obama will push a new firearms-control law through a Congress that is distracted by a debate over whether to bail out kitty litter manufacturers (unsympathetic reporters label the pro-litter faction “The Pissing Pussy Posse”). It establishes the National Bureau of Gun-Owner Control, and requires anyone possessing a firearm in the U.S. to carry an I.D. card issued by the Bureau. One of the requirements for obtaining a card involves passing a psychiatric exam and, to set the example, Vice President Joe Biden takes the first one. He fails it.
Stung by the shooting public’s rejection of the 592nd variation on its basic mid-20th-century rifle design, a major gun manufacturer will develop a breakthrough “game-harvesting system” that is actually a hand-held miniaturized heat-seeking missile with an effective range of 12.7 miles. Called the GHS and mounted with a celestial telescope, it requires no aiming—only pointing in a general direction--and cannot miss.
The GHS is given a radical advertising campaign (“Fair chase is so 20th century.”) and is a raging success; a black-powder version for special seasons soon follows. BATF chief Chelsea Clinton attempts to classify it as a destructive device, but Congress, distracted by the $13.5 billion in severance paid to top execs at GM, Ford, and Chrysler after their companies’ respective bankruptcies, does not go along.
And: This past hunting season I drove to hunts in South Carolina, Maine, and West Virginia, thereby depriving the airlines of the money they would pay ramp apes to dance on my gun case. I also avoided the TSA, getting stranded, the Ritalin-deprived 12-year-old sociopath who always sits in the seat behind me, and the awful despair in the eyes of all flight attendants.
My thanks to all of you who read this thing and contribute to it. I get a tremendous kick out of what you have to say, even if you disagree with me, which is surprising because I am always right.
Happy New Year.