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What to Look Forward to in 2012: Economic Meltdown, Political Chaos and … Lots of Laughter

Posted on the 11 January 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
What to look forward to in 2012: Economic meltdown, political chaos and … lots of laughter

The London 2012 logo. Photo credit: Ben Sutherland,

The first month of 2012 is barely finished and I won’t deny that I’m already getting bored of New Year’s resolutions. Between giving up booze, foregoing irresponsible flirting, exercising regularly, consuming the dreaded five-a-day, and resisting the temptation to spit at the builders next door who appear set on continuing major construction work for yet another 12 months (yes, yes I know, they’re only doing their jobs), the whole thing is frankly exhausting. Not to mention that if one actually sticks to them all there’s not much to look forward to when getting out of bed in the morning. And I didn’t even start my useless resolutions until January 10.

So, what can we look forward to in 2012? Well, if the commentariat is to be believed, we may as well just hit the bottle and enjoy life before the whole planet goes to hell in a hand-basket (and no, I don’t know where that phrase comes from; it just sounds cool in a retro sort of way).

In the world of politics, 2012 looks set to be a busy year. France and America will both hold national elections – one taking about a year and over a billion dollars to accomplish and the other enjoying life, wine and cheese until the day of the great occasion. North Korea and Iran likely pose the greatest foreseeable threats to world peace due to their volatile and violent leaderships, while the Arab Spring looks destined to sputter into a protracted, not very democratic limbo. As for Europe, my bet is that Greece and Italy will settle back into their preferred political status of organized chaos, Spain will soldier on inspired by a grumpy but industrious Germany, and, with a bit of luck, the British coalition government will hold together long enough to offer some modicum of stability in the face of a Europe-wide meltdown.

Speaking of meltdowns, nobody seems particularly optimistic about the world economy’s prospects either. We all know the story of the predicted continuation of the eurozone debt crisis, and while America saw an uptick in employment it was hardly revolutionary stuff – especially given that it coincided with a time of year when shops traditionally hire extra staff to cover the Christmas shopping sprees anyway. Japan is still reeling from the tragedies of 2011, it’s anybody’s guess what’s really going on in Russia, and even India and China are looking fragile. It seems that Brazil may represent the one hope for economic strength in 2012 as, to paraphrase the BBC, it marches to a “samba beat.”

And what about life and culture? Ah, now there’s a ray of sunshine. However bad things are, however dire the prospects, we’ll always have the great fallback of laughing our way through it all, either at the expense of desperate celbutards, or through those guilty twin pleasures of gossip and star gazing. How many times this year will our favorite screen idols marry and divorce for our entertainment? To what heights will our hearts soar as our favorite sporting legends shatter records at the London Olympics or in other tournaments around the world? And most of all perhaps, dare we hope for more bunga bunga from leaders of the free (and not so free) world?

Whatever 2012 holds for us, there’s one thing we at Periscope can promise you, dear readers: we’ll scour the vast mass of information that is the modern day news-o-sphere to find and present you with digests of the best news commentary and opinion out there – saving you time, entertaining you, and keeping you up to speed.

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