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>> A rowdy new class of genetic engineers will arise. They’ll have little interest in creating oil spill–eating bacteria, frost-resistant strawberries, or other useful hybrids. Considering themselves to be a cross between computer hackers and performance artists, they’ll create fun monstrosities that appeal to their sense of play and perversity, like winged horses and trees that grow leaves resembling $100 bills.
>> The word asshole will begin to be used widely as a term of endearment rather than of abuse.
>> The rise of the “pantheosexual” movement will present a new threat to sexual law ‘n’ order. Describing heterosexuals, gays, and bisexuals as narrow-minded, pantheosexuals will claim to have erotic feelings for everything from trees to toasters to clouds to all seven genders of human beings.
>> Supernatural apparitions of Elizabeth Dole will outnumber those of the Virgin Mary 4 to 1. Furthermore, Dole’s apparitions will be higher class, appearing on the hoods of lobbyists’ BMWs and the wine glasses of legitimate scientists, and never on pizza billboards or oil slicks in parking lots, as the Virgin’s sometimes do.
>> Citing the growing threat from “entertainment criminals” who relentlessly create soul-shriveling films, TV shows, music, and magazines, Amnesty International will launch a campaign against a previously unacknowledged form of terrorism: the genocide of the imagination.
>> Pizza Hut will be bought by Oprah Winfrey, who will convert all the existing restaurants into a worldwide chain of well-stocked vision-quest sanctuaries known as “Menstrual Huts.”
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>> The national murder rate will plummet after a cable TV network begins to broadcast live childbirths 24 hours a day.
>> Angered by the unwarranted influence of entrenched, overpaid hacks like columnist George Will, voters in eight states will approve constitutionally questionable laws imposing term limits on pundits. Egged on when Will voluntarily retires, 21 states will then pass term limits on CEOs who run companies that despoil the environment and hijack American jobs abroad.
>> Biologists in Sweden will furnish conclusive evidence that men have “periods” analogous to a woman’s menstrual cycle. They seem to correspond to changes in the relationship between Earth and the planet Mars, the biologists will claim. At the peak of the male “marstral cycle,” which can last up to 10 days a month, the adrenal glands release a hormone that makes men more likely to be irritable, more skilled at disguising their irrational impulses with logical explanations, out of touch with their feelings, and prone to violence and poor judgment. There’s also a vulnerable phase preceding the period that the biologists will dub PMS, or Pathological Macho Stress.
>> A Sufi real estate magnate will build a chain of sacred shopping centers in the American heartland.
>> Many seemingly nice people will cynically use honesty, cheerfulness, and openness to manipulate others into doing things their way.
>> In apparent response to millennial madness, the average length of an act of heterosexual intercourse in America—which is currently only four minutes—will jump to 18 minutes by the end of 1999.
>> An organization calling itself Morality Is Trendy will launch a successful boycott of all products that advertise on TV shows that refuse to depict in a favorable light the following: talking hummingbirds, green eggs and ham, senior citizens playing water polo, and healthy people with multiple personalities.
>> Stunning new trends will include gay children, holistic crack, and computers that can talk to the Goddess. Also look for digitally remastered CDs of the Big Bang, prestigious vacations in refugee camps, and an aphrodisiac that stimulates compassion even more than sexual passion.
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>> A Constitutional Convention in 2001 will produce a New Bill of Rights. Among its amendments: All Americans must be rewarded financially in direct proportion to how much beauty they create.
>> There’ll be a spin-off from the karaoke concept: nightclubs where groups of soap opera fans can re enact their favorite episodes.
>> To demonstrate their lasting commitment to serving the needs of the American consumer, some corporations will buy mountains and carve their trademarks and logos into the rock—much like Mt. Rushmore.
>> A mass ecstatic frenzy will infect more than 20,000 housewives in Iowa next summer. Much like the maenads of ancient Greece, they’ll renounce their volunteer slavery and take to the woods and hills for an orgy of singing, dancing, and dramatic readings of Women Who Love Too Much.
>> With all the money they’ve saved from not having to pay any taxes at all, three of the top military contractors will join together to buy stuffed animals for the 20 million underfed children in America.
>> The government will begin paying subsidies to some lawyers so they won’t practice law—much as it now pays supermarket chains to keep cheese off the market when there is too much and the excess would bring prices down.
>> The recovered memories movement will take a bizarre turn when many adults begin to recall under hypnosis long-suppressed memories of joy and peace experienced when they were children.
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>> Pat Robertson will call for a revival of the medieval Crusades. Hundreds of thousands of fundamentalist Christians dressed in 13th-century garb will descend on Washington, Hollywood, and Wall Street, digging in to lay siege to America’s centers of power armed with nothing more than catapults that hurl heavy stones and flaming bags of cow manure.
>> As player salaries spiral out of control, Major League Baseball and the National Football League will follow the lead of many other American corporations by placing franchises in Third World countries. Grateful native athletes will play for teams like the Managua Cobras and the Manila Roosters for only a few dollars a day.
>> Claiming it objectifies men, the men’s movement will decry the romance novel as women’s version of pornography.
>> Acting on the principle that no publicity is bad publicity, the postal service will make a succession of controversial moves to boost profits. Americans will howl with outrage, for instance, but stampede to buy the “mass murderer” line of stamps, which will feature, among others, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charlie Manson, Saddam Hussein, Ollie North, and the Unknown Postal Worker.
>> The strangest new political movement will be that of the Liberal Superpatriots. They’ll make the controversial assertion that paying taxes is the greatest patriotic duty one can exercise, more even than serving in the military.
>> The bestselling self-help book of 1999 will be The Zen of Temper Tantrums.
Rob Brezsny’s Real Astrology column will appear in the Voice starting January 20. In the meantime, his cosmic insights can be found at www.realastrology.com