The Economy Will Change Everything

Peggy Noonan, in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, made the following predictions:

“By 2010 the mayor [of New York], in a variation on broken-window theory, will quietly enact a bright-light theory, demanding that developers leave the lights on whether there are tenants in the buildings or not, lest the world stand on a rise in New Jersey and get the impression no one’s here and nobody cares…People will be allowed to grow old again… There will be fewer facelifts and browlifts, less Botox, less dyed hair among both men and women. They will look more like people used to look, before perfection came in. Middle-aged bodies will be thicker and softer, with more maternal and paternal give. There will be fewer gyms and fewer trainers, but more walking. Gym machines produced the pumped and cut look. They won’t be so affordable now…The new home fashion will be spare. This will be the return of an old WASP style: the good, frayed carpet; dogs that look like dogs and not a hairdo in a teacup, as miniature dogs back from the canine boutique do now…It will look like 1970, only without the bell-bottoms and excessive hirsuteness. More families will have to live together. More people will drink more regularly. Secret smoking will make a comeback as part of a return to simple pleasures. People will slow down. Mainstream religion will come back…”

HOWARD MEGDAL: Fat pets will grow thinner, as people cut back on cat and dog food. Normal-sized pets will become fashion-model thin. Thin pets will die, and be burned for fuel, as people cut back on traditional, expensive means of heat. Fashion models will also become less reviled, incidentally, as Americans without enough to eat begin to more resemble what was previously thought of as an unreachable body type…

DAVE TOMAR: Pet owners, no longer able to feed their pets or themselves, begin eating their pets for sustenance.  Dogs, increasingly aware of the danger that they are in, begin to eat their owners in self-defense.  2011 marks the gravest day in what has by then become a full-scale civil war in the United States.  The Battle of Petsmart marks the height of violence.  Over 4,000 schnauzers are eaten without condiments in a two-day long melee of gorging known thereafter as the Trail of Kibbles.

HM: Caviar will disappear, and cans of soup will become the chic meal for the very famous. Eventually, even the soup will become a luxury, and those in the public eye will be seen chomping on the actual cans, murmuring about the delightful roughage provided by the label and the iron found in the cans. Andy Warhol’s famous piece will no longer be seen as art, but rather as a delicacy…

DT: The morning after Thanksgiving, traditionally called Black Friday and generally recognized as the start of the Christmas shopping season, will be the biggest looting day of the year.  Instead of loud obnoxious commercials touting incredible bargains, most businesses will invest in commercials describing lethal force security systems and cautioning rioters to remain a safe distance from their businesses lest they suffer the consequences.  Shoppers who are hungry for discounts will still be welcomed at all Wal-Mart store locations, though the introduction of roving death squads to a staff previously comprised of shelf-stockers and door-greeters will actually make this a much more organized experience than in years passed.

HM: Jennifer Aniston’s famous picture wearing just a tie will become a symbol of poverty for a country that can no longer afford pants. People far less desirable than Aniston will soon be sporting a look that in previous years would have gotten them arrested for indecency. Unfortunately, enforcement of said laws will also prove to be unaffordable in our new, spartan time. The law books will evetually, too, be burned for fuel, with a hybrid car that ran exclusively on burned law books and thin pets becoming a retooled GM’s biggest seller…

DT: Expressions such as ‘landed gentry,’ ‘peasantry’ and ‘bollocks’ will return to everyday parlance because we will only be able to afford crappy British sitcoms.  Consequently, American ad space of the not too distant future will be saturated by commercials for frozen bangers and the local snooker pub.

HM: Monocles will no longer be the province of the snob, as millions of nearsighted and farsighted poor alike will find themselves unable to purchase replacements when their glasses break in half. Instead, poverty will mean those visually challenged will make do with looking through one half or the other of a formerly full set of spectacles, providing the illusion of affect. An effort to buck up the lower class by teaching them to say “Well, I never!” falls flat…

DT: Homeless people will just be called people.  People with houses will be called mayor such and such.  People with beach houses will be called assholes.

HM: Lawn care products will become a thing of the past, since no one will want to tend a lawn for a house that belongs to a bank. Instead, people will become fastidious about the gutter they sleep in, and gutter beauty products will proliferate. Other popular new buys will include bindle polishing and Thompson’s Cardboard Box Seal.

DT: By 2012, the value of the dollar will have deteriorated to the extent that we have moved to a new transnational currency, shared betwixt the United States, Canada and Mexico.  It will be the taco.  At an exchange rate of 12 American dollars to the taco, taco counterfeiting becomes one of the great security challenges of the 21st century.

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