Not-So-Predictable Predictions for 2006

Brian Unger ventures forth with some bold predictions for the year in politics, society and culture.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

On a day like today, you can't throw a rock without hitting a prognosticating pundit offering predictions for the new year. Today we throw a rock and hit Brian Unger with his first Unger Report of 2006.

BRIAN UNGER reporting:

Nice toss, Alex.

The last thing this country needs is another voice in the maelstrom of forecasts and foreseeable in 2006. But because need is subjective and my employer would not give me the day off, here are the Unger Report predictions for 2006.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: In politics, the midterm elections and the 2008 presidential race, like invisible hands, will push agendas on the left and the right. As the rhetoric will grow meaner, louder and dirtier, the Democrats with no winnable candidate of their own, will desperately attempt to draft Oprah Winfrey to run for president and Jon Stewart as vice president; a black woman from Mississippi, a Jewish liberal from New York, unbeatable. The Republicans will counter with their version of Jon Stewart, John McCain. And their Oprah? Condoleezza Rice. It'll be an historically diverse matchup: Winfrey-Stewart vs. McCain-Rice. Who would you want to have a beer with? Better yet, who's going to give you a free car?

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: In society, America's culture wars will continue to rage in 2006. Fresh from the battlefield in the war on Christmas, the far right will wage a passionate fight in the war on Easter. No longer will the right tolerate the secularization of the Easter holiday and its politically correct spring break. Spring white sales, spring showers, flowers, chicks, bunny rabbits and colored eggs will all be excoriated by Bill O'Reilly. And Wal-Mart will be pressured to hold the Easter resurrection event rather than springtime midnight sales madness.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: In film, the sweeping success of the Western romance "Brokeback Mountain" will trigger an avalanche of regional gay cinema, first in the South, the gay NASCAR movie.

(Soundbite of imaginary film advertisement)

Unidentified Man: Two NASCAR racers find out they're racing for the same team and fall in love. One racetrack that grabs ahold of two drivers and won't let go. They can't quit this race or each other.

UNGER: Then, in the East, two rappers from Brooklyn on the download discover they're both in da club, a tale of two rap superstars who are gonna get married or die tryin'.

Beyond film and into the realm of pure celebrity, the marriage of Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie will break up when Madonna is found cheating with "That '70s Show" actor Wilmer Valderrama. The pair will be known as Madonnarama(ph).

And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) Time goes by so slowly for those who wait. No time to hesitate. Those who run seem to have all the fun. I'm cut out, I don't know what to do. Time goes by so slowly for those who wait. No time to hesitate. Those who run seem to have all the fun. I'm cut out, I don't know what to do. Time goes by so slowly. Time goes by so slowly. Time goes by so slowly. I don't know what to do.

CHADWICK: DAY TO DAY is a production of NPR News with contributions from Slate.com. I'm Alex Chadwick.

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