February 16, 2008 § 4 Comments
There comes a point in every winter when the average Montrealer realizes she has no choice but to submit. Flaneur tells me that more snow has fallen here than at any time since the 1940s, and although there have been moments of relative warmth, these are always, inevitably, followed by stinging slaps of cold. One could while away the unending hours of darkness by dreaming of spring, but this would be masochistic and also futile. Thus, the average Montrealer is forced to seek out other, more worthwhile distractions.
Amidst the usual glut of books and chores, I am using this bleak interregnum to become reacquainted with the world’s news, which I fell embarrassingly behind on while I was away. (By this I mean that instead of scanning seven daily newspapers each morning, I managed at most two. Really, it’s a wonder I get anywhere on time.) So much of significance is happening, or is threatening to happen–Canadian deal-brokering over Afghanistan, Russian saber-rattling over Kosovo, sick American credit markets becoming steadily sicker–that I’m not really sure what to make of it all other than to resign myself to a distinct sense of foreboding.
I will, however, make a prediction: Barack Obama will become the first African-American president of the United States, but he will inherit conditions that will quickly unravel his presidency. Think Jimmy Carter, except younger and better-looking. I also predict that the administration that will follow Obama’s will make Ronald Reagan’s look like a utopian anarchist birthday party, and that it will arrive much sooner than we think.