As we enter 2017, I'd love nothing more than to do what shops do at this time of year:
At Christmas, I completely overstocked on ideas about gifting (gifting across genders); gender trends (the hot new genders coming up for summer - "hybrid and beyond"); Star Wars (Star Wars and gender; Star Wars and race, religion, species, gravity, income, age gap and other challenges to dating in the Empire; Star Wars and Jedi fundamentalism - "is it religion if the powers are real?"; Star Wars, Jedi knights and Jedi dames; and Star Wars, AI, droids and gender "R2D2, meet LGBTQ"); and Lego (Lego and gender - "is it time to stop fat-shaming minifigs?").
Anyway, too late for all that. Once the calendar makes the handbrake turn from Christmas into New Year, ideas expire like sad asparagus, a pile of soul-less giftwrap.
The first week of a brand new year requires a list, something like the top 10 best movies, top 10 years in history worse than 2016, or something forward-looking, like predictions.
So, here are mine for 2017..
It's going to be a tempestuous year for fashion. If my sources in sweatshops are correct, sleeves are making a comeback. Arms will be the new legs. Elbows will be the new knees. Wrists will be the new ankles. Shoulders will be the new buttocks. Shoulder-pinching will be the hipster way to sexually harass. Pockets will also make a return, unless you're female, in which case, the hot new thing will be losing your phone. Again.
After the hottest year on record in 2016, weather really has its work cut out getting any better. And it will! Just when you thought we'd reached peak weather, fresh deposits of weather will be discovered, and we will have more weather than ever before. Climate change will force everyone to live outdoors, making it a complete liability to own a house, unless all the doors are open. There will be an economic bubble for areas just beneath trees. Hang onto your hat!
Hats are back.
After the hottest year on record, musically, music will improve yet again, for the record 45th year in a row. Despite the demise of numerous musicians in 2016, the World Bank of Music, together with the International Musicary Fund, will apply quantitative easing, and raise the world's music supply, through the first quarter, to soften demand. Expect trombones and harpsichords. Fast music will get faster. Slow music will get slower. Tunes will reach levels of melody undreamt of since the transit of Freddie Mercury.
In a major twist, everyone will be happy. Those who aren't happy, such as the poor, or displaced, or victims of crime, will be happy for other people. Outrage at injustice will be replaced by selfless appreciation for those who are plain lucky. People on Twitter will not say anything, if they can't say anything nice. Everything will be awesome. Demand for nuclear weapons will rise, however, but strictly for celebration purposes, like national holidays, or weekends, or after a really good meal.
The global economy
With so much world happiness, the economy will go off. Uber will be replaced by driverless cars. AirBnB will be replaced by ownerless homes. Our relationship with technology will be extremely affectionate, until the toaster uprising of mid-September.
We've had the sequels, and we've had the prequels. But in 2017, we will encounter the Sprequel, which is a movie attached to a water cannon. Hollywood will finally discover a way to reach that massive untapped audience who love movies, and huge jets of water. ISPs bundle data with water, and piracy is dealt a death blow.
Bingeing will be so 2016. In 2017, the hot new trend will be View-limia. This involves watching an entire series in one weekend, and projectile-forgetting it straight away.
In a major development for evolution, a team of actual crickets will field a cricket team. In a terrible blow for animal rights, they will use actual bats as bats.
The New Zealand election
The free world, ie China and Russia, will hold its breath, wondering who will hold the balance of power in this vital region of global scenery. In a massive upset, New Zealand will elect a cartoon kiwi with laser beams coming out of its eyes.