One day, when my father was a young man, the company store received a shipment of radios. A line formed with eager customers ready to spend a whole month’s wages for this newest fad. But an elderly friend of my father pulled him aside and suggested that perhaps they shouldn’t shell out their cash just yet.
“In the future,” he whispered, “these things will show the people we hear speaking.” The old seer described who would appear on the TVs of the future. “They will have huge eyes, mouths and teeth,” he predicted. My father told me this story years later when he and I were in our living room watching Ernie and Bert on Sesame Street. “He dreamed of the future,” my father explained.
“Knowledge is power,” someone with a lot of knowledge once said. Foreknowledge, then, would be super-duper power. Which is why so many have claimed the power to see into the future.
Take the extremely reverend Pat Robertson, who just a few days ago claimed that God told him that the entire economic system of the US would collapse in 2010. The reason being that The Creator still can’t stand teh geh sex, hates abortion and is positively pissed over the fact that millions of American children – His chosen people, after all – don’t pray to him before the start of every school day.
There was no word from this Great Spirit about why millions of Americans didn’t die from a terrorist attack in 2007, which is what Robertson had previously warned his cowering flock they could expect for the very same reasons listed above. Who knew? Perhaps He in His infinite wisdom and awesomeness changed His mind and decided to love all of His creatures, just like it says in the Good Book.
I envy the likes of the reverend, the ground hog and Nostradamus, who appear to be surfing a high-speed connection to the future. But I don’t have that direct line to the Oracle or their millions of Facebook friends. I have to decipher my own dreams and native intuition to predict what will happen in our future.
With that caveat, I offer my visions for the year 2010:
The people who live and die by the shores of the Rupert River will wonder how anyone could have bought the idea of an environmentally sound destruction of their environment. Hydro Quebec will also have to explain why their engineers miscalculated how much land would be flooded. Millions will be spent fixing the problems but no heads will roll.
A road to the isolated community of Whapmagoostui will be proposed. To fund the cost of the asphalt, however, voters will be asked to finally approve the damming of the Great Whale River.
Due to the continuing economic crisis the Cree leadership will again float the idea of a casino in Val d’Or. Moral, legal and cultural questions will complicate the proceedings and the powers that be will postpone their decision, retiring to the Casino de Montréal for rest and recreation.
Cree TV will broadcast its first flickering images to a waiting audience. The show will be reminiscent of SCTV without the humour, but with the rocking polka music.
Another edition of Cree Idol will see Matthew Mukash taking the crown for his fine fiddling. He will embark on a cross-country tour of reserves with Shania Twain.
Further down the road, in 2014, Matthew Coon Come will prorogue the Annual General Assembly in order to avoid political opposition while basking in the reflected glory of the first Cree Winter Olympics.
Cree scholars will deem this edition of Reznotes the lamest they’ve read in years.
With his fresh and fertile young bride, Will Nicholls will sire the first of many daughters who will eventually take over the Nation, changing its editorial focus to something more sensational and yet more relevant. It will no longer be published in a paper format but will be downloaded to all Cree Kindles every two weeks.
The Mayan calendar will be found to have been off by two years. Godspeed.