The Year Ahead: 135 Eerily Prescient, Stupefyingly Accurate Predictions for 2013!

Illustration by Alex Fine.

Illustration by Alex Fine.

Prophecy, dear reader, is not an exact science—unless, of course, you’re Nate Silver. And you’re not in fact Nate Silver, are you?

(Called it.)

Instead, it is a mystical art, a terrible burden, a mysterious gift that tends to skip a generation, dooms those who possess it to a lifetime of harrowing visions, and makes it really easy to inadvertently reveal Walking Dead spoilers to everyone on your Twitter feed.

In days of yore, soothsayers employed a number of dubious means to foretell the future, from “scrying,” or gazing into a crystal ball, to “hieromancy,” the casting of entrails, and “uromancy,” the study of urine. (You will eat asparagus …)

As for our own methodology, let’s just say it’s a bit more ad hoc. The Observer staff—aided by a few ringers—simply squinted real hard and observed. Occasionally, when the hoped-for revelations failed to materialize, we knocked back a few Jäger bombs and tried again. Eventually, it all became clear.

Herewith, then, a glimpse of the future. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

• John Kerry resigns as secretary of state to play himself on a six-episode arc of Parks and Recreation.

• Having lost all users to Google Maps, Apple’s Maps shows every street leading directly to a liquor store and then into a nearby ravine.

• Lena Dunham receives a $7.4 million advance for a funny observational memoir about getting paid $3.7 million for her first one.

• Breaking Bad ends on a tragically ironic note when it’s discovered that Walter White’s cancer treatment would have been completely covered under Obamacare.

• Ellis Island is converted into an NYU dining hall.

• Rupert Murdoch discovers that his Twitter feed is public.

• Preet Bharara indicts his mother for insider trading, swears he saw her kissing Santa Claus.

• Wayne LaPierre accidentally falls on a knife. With his dying breath, he calls for a nationwide ban on cutlery.

• After 12 years at Phillips de Pury, Simon de Pury begins a lucrative new career as ringmaster with Cirque du Soleil.

• The wrath of Buzz Bissinger is finally harnessed to power a small town in Idaho. Amazon builds its newest server farm in an adjacent cornfield.

• Judd Apatow becomes a tad more confident about speaking at length about his movies, as well as the world of comedy in general.

• Jerry Saltz helps Roberta Smith paint the den. She playfully dabs the tip of his nose with a Martha Stewart/Glidden Plum Wine. They totally make out.

• After Red Bull signs on to sponsor the next fiscal cliff, Paul Ryan wows a global TV audience by plunging into the abyss wearing a sporty red and blue singlet.

• A bunch of financiers who haven’t used public transportation in decades set fund-raising records on behalf of former MTA boss Joe Lhota.

• James Franco earns a doctorate in neurosurgery and begins to randomly operate on hot passersby.

• Mayor Bloomberg signs an emergency order limiting frozen yogurt toppings. Preet Bharara opens an investigation into Howard Wolfson’s timely sale of Reese’s Pieces stock.

• In a last-ditch effort to improve his visibility, Thomas Pynchon joins The X Factor as head judge.

• Tim Cook leaves Apple and moves to an ashram, only to find all anyone wants to hear about is what Steve was really like.

 • Chris Brown hogs the remote on a Sunday night, causing Rihanna to finally dump his sorry ass for good.

• The hacker group Anonymous attacks exercise app FitBit; everyone in Union Square unwittingly gains five pounds.

• A filthy Mitt Romney, wearing nothing but bunting from a June 2012 campaign stop, is spotted sleeping on the hood of the president’s limo.

• The last guy on Wall Street to feel slightly guilty about ordering $8,000 champagne officially gets over it.

• Guy Fieri opens Tipps, the world’s first highlights-themed bistro.

• Groundr, a new social media app for gay baseball players, is released in beta. Half the AL East seems sluggish the next day.

• Preet Bharara indicts Jay-Z for fraud after more than 60 percent of the singer’s 99 problems turn out to be more like minor annoyances.

• In the Mad Men season premiere, set in 1986, an aging Don Draper grimly stares at a mango wine cooler and realizes he no longer has the words.

• Instagram’s terms of service are amended to include the disclaimer, “Use of the Mayfair filter proves you are a douche.”

• After Americans gleefully embrace several new apocalypse hoaxes, health officials begin to wonder if perhaps the entire country might just be a bit depressed.

• To prove that his big short against Herbalife was nothing personal, Bill Ackman polishes off four medium dulce de leche-flavored Healthy Meal nutritional shakes in one sitting.

• Peter Jackson signs on to direct the new Star Wars movie, casts Andy Serkis as Harrison Ford’s neck wattle.

• All the babies conceived to dubstep music in 2012 are born, and they’re a little too into their binkies.

• On re-examination, the God Particle is found to be a dust bunny caught in the lint trap of the Large Hadron Collider.

• Q4, 2013: Kevin Ryan insists Gilt Groupe’s IPO is right on schedule for 2032.

• Jessica Chastain’s star continues to rise, thanks to an insatiable public demand for movies about sad, pale moms.

• The one lasting legacy of the 2012 Romney campaign: Mitt and Meat Loaf stay in touch, hang out a lot.

• Lena Dunham’s left breast is nominated for a Golden Globe, narrowly losing to Michael Fassbender’s penis.

• 2013 is dubbed The Year of the Gay Jewish Statistician.

• After Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson begins penning a column on XOJane, Michael Stipe invites her to duet on “Georgia on My Mind” at the Super Bowl halftime show.

• Randall’s Island sinks into the East River, due not to rising sea levels but a bumper crop of Richard Serra sculptures at Frieze New York.

• A shake-up occurs at The New York Times when Nicholas Kristof is reassigned to write weekly web recaps of The Middle.

• Gov. Chris Christie angers his fellow Republicans by responding to a President Obama coughing fit with, “Ya okay over there, big guy?”

• Just as you feared: Instagram makes millions off your sepia-toned photo of a dog crossing his paws.

• BuzzFeed’s “13 Objects That Look Like Coco’s Butt” nabs a Pulitzer.

• The NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” program is modified to a more agreeable “stop and frisk and give a free 45-minute hot stone massage.”

Reddit Magazine launches to a glowing write-up from David Carr.

• Lena Dunham’s right breast starts a Twitter account, and it’s full of racial slurs.

• An embittered Barnes & Noble officially changes its slogan to “Spare Us Your Pity.”

• A new bespoke cocktail lounge begins serving a shaving of Black Jack chewing gum in an otherwise empty martini glass.

• When Apple’s iPad Mini Mini flops in the marketplace, the company rebounds with the blockbuster iPad Mini Maxi.

• Katy Perry attempts to drown John Mayer in a bathtub full of cupcake frosting.

• God is welcomed back into the classroom, and it’s a lot like Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School.

• A man douses himself in Mountain Dew and attempts to self-immolate in protest of the soda ban.

• The sequel to This Is 40, titled This Is 41, opens to middling reviews.

• Rush Limbaugh lashes out at sunrises, baby smiles and hot cocoa on cold winter days.

• Unemployment drops when millions of working YouTube house cats are included in the jobs numbers.

 Sunday Styles takes note of that whole yoga thing.

• Jalopnik posts a sex tape that appears to show Google’s self-driving car giving a lube job to Herbie the Love Bug.

• Chevy Chase, still a major-league asshole.

• Newly unearthed Mayan calendar predicts the outcome of Homeland, incorrectly.

• Justin Bieber is spotted in a corner booth at the American Girl Place cafe with Josefina.

• Poor Mark Sanchez wanders the streets of New York, a handsome, young multimillionaire who could pretty much retire tomorrow.

• “Fiscal Cliffing” enters the lexicon of sexual slang; you think you know what it means, but it’s actually not that.

• Quentin Tarantino makes a darkly violent revenge fantasy film about 9/11 survivors killing al-Qaeda operatives. Viewers are outraged by the plot, but won over by the elaborate musical numbers.

• The doodlebugs take over. (Sadly, you won’t know what this means until it happens.)

• Lehrer rehabilitation, stage 1; Spitzer rehabilitation, stage 3.

• Mayor Bloomberg replaces all movie theater seats with Bowflex Tread Climbers.

• Lena Dunham’s left breast pens a lengthy essay in The Atlantic about the state of womankind. Katie Roiphe delivers a scathing rebuttal in Slate.

• The emergence of the Bronies as a credible third party stalls after Politico uncovers internal emails indicating that friendship is not, in fact, magic.

• Tim Geithner leaves his post at Treasury to become the latest bailout veteran to ink a book deal ragging on his performance during the financial crisis.

• Blacks and Jews finally gain admittance to Middle Earth.

• The Guggenheim announces the addition of three new whorls to its iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed flagship.

• Maureen Dowd officially unveils pop culture references from 1993 with her column headline: “Whoomp! (There Bobby Jindal Is).”

• The artisanal trend begins to wane as Brooklynites conclude, “Making shit isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Buying shit that Chinese people made.”

• Soho is evacuated after a faulty valve at the Hollister store releases a plume of fragrance into the surrounding streets.

• David Karp leaves Tumblr to become Japan’s most popular menswear model.

• Comedians with less than 100,000 followers leave Twitter to launch their own platform, Bitter.

• Taylor Swift remains coy about the real-life subject of her new single, “You Are a Fucking Dirtbag and I Hate You, Warren Beatty.”

• No one ever mentions the Mayans ever again.

• Tina Brown helms the reboot of Cat Fancy with controversial “Garfield at 50” cover.

• Lindsay Lohan and Nic Cage start dating, move to Vermont, open up a little coffee shop and never bother acting again.

• The first papal selfie fail.

• Huffington Post just says “fuck it,” redirects to BuzzFeed.

• Marty Markowitz eats a cheesecake.

• Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst begin making art as a single Tokyo-based corporate entity called Takhirko.

• Mitt Romney is found wandering around a construction site in La Jolla, screaming, “But he says you didn’t build that!”

• Clint Eastwood’s chair is acquired by the Smithsonian, where it teams up with Archie Bunker’s chair to give Dick Van Dyke’s ottoman a beat-down with Ben Franklin’s walking stick.

• Governor Andrew Cuomo is injured after Sandra Lee’s pyrotechnic Fourth of July tablescape goes horribly awry.

• 3D-printed sexts!

• Lindsay Lohan runs herself over with a car, successfully sues herself, fails to pay herself awarded damages.

• Vice President Biden convinces Boehner, Reid, Pelosi and McConnell to resolve the next fiscal crisis over a friendly game of beer pong.

• A Times Square Elmo finally has the decency to do something about the oyster sauce on his fur.

• Gary Shteyngart publishes a lavish monograph of his blurbs. Joyce Carol Oates pronounces it “unputdownable.”

• Dennis Crowley ditches Foursquare to become the world’s first self-quantified ski instructor.

• Staten Island becomes the new Queens. Queens becomes the new Brooklyn. Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. Manhattan is the new JerseyCity. Jersey City is the new Staten Island.

• Margaret Sullivan publicly excoriates @NYTFridge for letting Ross Douthat make off with her last raspberry Fage.

• Lena Dunham’s vagina causes a near-riot with an unprintable rant at the MTV Music Awards.

• Anna Wintour becomes the most effective ambassador to France since Ben Franklin, but after she flies a kite in a thunderstorm, her hair is never the same.

• Turns out, Leonard Cohen’s “ChelseaHotel #2” wasn’t about Janis Joplin. It was about Sally Singer.

• Katie Roiphe opens a cupcake shop.

• In the season two finale of The Newsroom, Will McAvoy yells at a girl.

• The town of Hyannis Port, Mass., officially changes its name to HyiannisPort out of respect for Taylor Swift’s spelling of it in her album’s liner notes.

• The Stefon thing starts to get old.

• Due to a tightening real estate market, all Brooklyn authors move into a DitmasPark house share in the C-SPAN reality TV hit “Franzen ’N’ Friends.”

• SoulCycle is overshadowed by its more intellectual, albeit flabby cousin, MindCycle.

• Lena Dunham’s left breast is spotted making out with Dane Cook at the Chateau Marmont.

• Snooki’s baby gets his first D.U.I.

• With the end of 30 Rock, Tina Fey enters the New York mayoral race. She loses by a hair but seizes control of the Working Families party and plays kingmaker for years to come.

• On a very special Homeland, Saul is faced with a stark choice when he is called before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the same day he has tickets for the Cranberries at Wolf Trap.

• Undeterred by the failure of its Snapchat ripoff “Poke,” Facebook releases Words with Zuck, Angry Zucks and Zucksquare.

• Taylor Swift stays mum when asked about the real-life subject of her new chart-topper, “Earth to Enrique (I Wouldn’t F— You With Gaga’s D—).”

• Christian Marclay’s The Clock is released as a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt as the minute hand.

• Justin Bieber’s hair becomes sentient, signaling the dawn of the Singularity.

• Microsoft upgrades its flailing retail stores with holograms of Steve Ballmer yelling at customers, and sales spike.

• Lloyd Blankfein says goodbye to Wall Street to replace Paul Shaffer as David Letterman’s wise-cracking sidekick.

• MORE CUTE ANIMAL VIDEOS!

• Preet Bharara indicts Lena Dunham’s right breast over a minor nip slip.

• Jamie Dimon phone sex recording surfaces: “Baby, I’ve got the deepest, widest capital market in the world.”

• Kristen Stewart is caught smiling by a paparazzo, who immediately turns to stone.

• In effort to shore up his flagging mayoral campaign, John Liu seeds a rumor that his wife Jenny was “obsessed” with Pink’s first album.

• The Chelsea art district is purchased by Messe Schweiz, owner of Art Basel, and becomes an art fair. Booth sizes are small, medium, large and the-booth-formerly-known-as-Gagosian-Gallery.

• A new H&M&M store opens in Manhattan, featuring fashions right off the runway in a colorful candy shell.

• After Kris Humphries is traded to back to the University of Minnesota, Kanye West’s country album tanks and Bruce Jenner cuts himself shaving, The Kardashian Kurse is green-lighted for 12 episodes on E!

• Anna Wintour and Graydon Carter retire; Vogue and Vanity Fair merge to become luxury powerhouse Voguerty.

• Deborah Needleman takes the editor in chief spot.

• Jessica Chastain is booked for first four covers.

• Twitter’s privacy policy is amended to include the language “may be incorporated into a CNN news ticker or Times Styles trend piece.”

• Kate Middleton gives birth to a child whose name is something super normal.

• Jon Cryer and all remaining cast and crew publicly announce they also hate “Two and a Half Men.”

• Chris Christie is charged with harassment after sending 2,398 unreturned emails to Bruce Springsteen.

• Taylor Swift finally comes out of the closet in a controversial Us Weekly cover story, “Yep, I’m a Chronic Late-Night Cereal Eater.”

• After Preet Bharara indicts every remaining employee of SAC Capital, Stevie Cohen subjects the Damien Hirst shark to a furious harangue.

• Honey Boo Boo’s new restaurant, Times Square Sketti Trailer, is awarded a remarkable three stars by Pete Wells.

• Brian Williams is spotted in Times Square asking German tourists if they “like comedy.” (They have a jam-packed week, but they’ll definitely try to stop by.)

• Death, mayhem, the usual.

What else? Add your own predictions in the comments.