by Gilles d'Aymery
January 01, 1997
Galloping through the stables of time, here comes a new year, assuming obviously that you belong to the Christian tradition. Beside being relative, time apparently has a different meaning according to one's cultural background. But conventions being what they are I have received good wishes of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from, among others, friends from Indian, Chinese, Israeli and Palestinian background -- none of whom believes that Jesus was the son of God and each of whom uses a different calendar. It matters little, anyhow. What counts is that the retailing season was moderately successful and that people are still alive after dropping dead from shopping. Now is the time to recycle the tree and go hunting for bargains. This is known in some quarters as a market-based Christianity, the heavenly marriage of faith and the pocket-book.
We can not entertain in this space the shuddering thought of what would happen to our great civilization if people simply stopped praying and consuming, but at least we can make a few predictions for these next twelve months.
You can be confident that our last prediction will be realized.
- Family values will top the pop charts and the New York Times best sellers list.
- The Super Bowl will be won by the team that has the most help from Jesus.
- Evita will come back from the dead, where she will have seen the light, and preach the gospel to Madonna.
- Influenced by Madonna's re-birth, Chelsea Clinton will join Mother Theresa in her crusade to evangelize the poor in the Indian subcontinent.
- Newt Gengrich, back in Georgia, will teach Ethics in an all-girls college. He will call upon his friend William Jefferson to help him design the curriculum.
- Gambling, a five hundred billion dollar business and growing, will receive additional tax-breaks from Congress in exchange for an exact replication of the Capitol in Las Vegas.
- Bob Dole will pair with David Brinkley to start a comedy show on MTV. When the show fails, Bobby will move to the Vatican as a Coke ambassador and David Brinkley will return to his memoirs of bored past.
- The pope will die in the arms of his favorite alter boy after reciting the Pater Noster and three Mea Culpa in seventy-five languages.
- Michael Jackson's baby, born jet black, will be the first human recipient of a complete skin transplant from an albino pygmy.
- Churches all over the South will be repainted in black to deserve the appellation.
- Barbara Walters will go through her fifth facelift, making her smile look increasingly like Dracula's.
- Benjamin Netanyahu will convert to Islam.
- Senators Jesse Helms and Orin Hatch will confess to having more in common with Barney Frank than with each other.
- The Chinese will sell Tienanmin Square to the Disney company.
- France will propose to become the fifty-first state of the Union under the condition that French be the official language in Washington.
- Creationism hackers will break into the Human Genome Project database and delete the "G"s, causing scientist to falsely proclaim that we are all descendants of CATs.
- Car manufacturers will form an alliance with Dow Corning to produce safer airbags containing silicone gel. (Sales of automobiles to men increase by forty per cent in one year.)
- Finally, the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer and none of us will give a damn.
Published January 01, 1997