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Party Like It’s 1974 April 8, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in fantasy, inventions, iPad, weird news, writing.

One underlying purpose of this blog is to show where ideas come from (everywhere!). In the course I teach this seems to be a problem for many of the students. They have trouble coming up with ideas. I suspect the problem isn’t so much a matter of coming up with ideas as finding ideas so beguiling that they have to be written. That’s a matter of taste, I suppose, but I find myself excited by ideas all over the place.

Case in point. Pat found a stack of books at a garage sale and passed them along to me. Several westerns were in the stack from the ‘50s and ‘60s. One book fascinated me with it’s opening 56 word sentence. The other sentence in the opening paragraph was 24 words. Major league deciphering necessary and I think I found the verb. The book won a Pulitzer Prize so my taste for literary writing is small, that for entertainment (engaging ideas and characters) greater. Also in the stack was a “nonfiction” book of predictions for the year 1974.

Supposed psychics gave their predictions for the upcoming year and not one I found predicted Nixon’s resignation. In fact, one predicted not only would he not be impeached or resign but would go on to great triumphs. My guess is that wasn’t touted the next year as a “hit.” Mostly, the year could be scratched out on these predictions and the current one (or any year) substituted. One did hit, though, in much the way that a blind drunk with a shotgun might actually hit a target if he fires enough times.

It predicted the demise of print magazines and newspapers and their replacement with electronic media. Not bad back in 1974. It’s taken a few decades to come true but…I suspect the guesser meant TV rather than iPad.

I always loved the “Criswell predicts” guesses far more than the Ruth Montgomery ones since those were pallid “you’ll do better in the coming year” rather than “millions of cockroaches will eat Knoxville!” inventions Criswell relished so.

But the ideas flow from these, as much in the failures (the majority) as in the successes (teeny minority).



1. David K. M. Klaus - April 11, 2010

Criswill predicted on THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW in ’68 that the first person on the moon would be a woman because of their greater tolerance for g-forces during launch. Knowing (at 13 at the time) that the launch crew schedule was set and in training for the next year, I also knew then he was full of it.

2. Pierce Watters - April 13, 2010

Did the psychics say anything about me? I went to Clarion that year then moved to Chicago. That was pretty unpredictible behavior.

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