Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, May 19

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Pete / January 1, 2009 2:40 PM

The only thing that I will predict is that most of the predictions made within the next few days will turn out to be completely wrong.

Carlotta / January 1, 2009 9:20 PM

* Chicago will not get the 2016 Olympics, it'll be awarded to Rio de Janiero.

* A serious assassination attempt will be made on President Obama's life, i.e. gunshots or explosions in his vicinity.

* The Sun-Times folds. There will not be a Trib/Sun-Times merger.

* The Reader goes the route that UR Chicago took and publishes exclusively online.

* The Cubs, ashamed of consecutive early exits from the playoffs, will get past their first series but not beyond that.

* The Bears will continue to wallow in mediocrity, although this is like saying that the sun will continue to rise from the east.

And I'm too scared to think about the economy, much less make a prediction about it.

Dave / January 1, 2009 10:19 PM

Well that was depressing.

snuh / January 1, 2009 11:11 PM

my prediction for '09: more nudity.

madachode / January 2, 2009 9:07 AM

This is not and will never be the Reader. Go ask mom and dad for more rent money.

Gaigen / January 2, 2009 9:10 AM

Blago's fixation with Elvis Presley, and in particular the song "Jailhouse Rock", will take on a whole new dimension.

Running out of things to tax and sell in the city, Mayor Daley becomes a male prostitute to raise more money. No one notices the difference.

Following the success of the Blackhawks outdoor game, the Bulls try the same thing in February with disastrous results.

The next "One Book, One Chicago" selection? This one

A. Lewellen / January 2, 2009 10:29 AM

More of the same but hopefully less of it.

Spook / January 2, 2009 11:40 AM

Good question, hold on let me get my crystal ball. Its somewhere around here......

O.k., it’s cloudy, very cloudy, but wait its getting clear, clearer!
Yes I see it!

The economy will improve (but not structurally) and rich people will get a lot richer.

The middle class will get just enough to lull them into another false sense of security to where they can go back to their flat screen TV's and credit cards with out fear.

The white liberals who voted for Barack will fade back into the sleep of carbon copy baby making medicoracy and some vapid TV show (like Seinfeld) will be disgustingly popular amongst them for the next 50 years.

The political activism of the Black middle class (also see middle class above) who voted for Barack will go no further than continuing to pay their preacher's luxury foreign car note, mortgage and believing that "Da Lord" will take care of all every day matters

The republicans and the insatiable religious right (helped by Obama liberal policies of “fairness” to all) will organize (starting at the grassroots level on up) for the next eight years and beat and old and befuddled Joe Biden for the Presidency and all gains will be reversed
America economically rotten from the inside will fall as we know it.

China, Russia and Nigeria will be the new world powers

The New York Knicks will win the championship and reward me for my unwavering support
With 10 billion dollars to set up an independent republic in Nola with an embassy in New York.

Patrick J Daley will be the Mayor of Chicago for the next twenty years

vise77 / January 2, 2009 12:01 PM

1. Double-digit unemployment rate by end of second quarter (12% official govt rate).
2. Stimulus package by 15 Feb, but not by 21 Jan. $850 billion. Big part of package will be direct payments to states but too little mass transit aid.
3. Further decline in oil makes Russia weaker, which, in traditional inverse relationship often seen from Russia, makes Putin more combative, probably toward Ukraine.
4. More social unrest in China as unemployment grows there.
5. Pakistani govt grows more fragile as Afghanistan grows more violent.
6. Illinois approaches bankruptcy.
7. Quinn enjoys his brief tenure as gov.
8. Daley struggles to find more things to sell to private sector.
9. Chicago gets Olympics.
10. Leftists realize that Obama, for all the good he may do, cannot change everything (neither can any president).
11. Right-wing prepares for UN takeover of US now that Dems back in charge.
12. Universal health care put on back burner for a while as immediate economic problems command focus.
13. Continued dithering on reform on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as immediate economic problems command focus.
14. Military action of some sort against Somali pirate harbor[s]--may not involve US directly.
15. Chicago becomes one-newspaper city.
16. Continued brief flashes of violence in US and/or elsewhere because of economic woes.
17. Chrysler goes under.
18. Major diplomatic effort toward Iran, followed by military action when "grand bargain" rejected.
19. Hamas hobbled by Israel in Gaza, though with massive loss of civilian life and with consequences for Israel.
20. Another major terrorist attack in India, followed by stronger calls among Indians to attack Pakistan.
21. Declining bond ratings for Chicago, Cook County, state of Illinois, increasing the costs of borrowing.
22. City homicide count tops that of 2008.
23. 2009 makes us all nostalgic for 2008, though pundits and experts assure us good times are just another few months away.

Mr. Bummer / January 2, 2009 1:32 PM

2008 has certainly been a kick-in-the-pants year for many, but sadly I expect 2009 to be worse based on the economic numbers I follow. The biggest economic item scaring me right now is the rapidly and incresingly deteriorating freight railcar movements reported by the big four freight railroads. This shows how badly our economy is suffering.

Here are my expectations for 2009:

1. Home prices continue correcting (declining). I expect things to hit a 1999/2000 price point, but this may take longer than 2009. If you are curious to see where the correction currently stands take a look at the S&P/Case Schiller home price index for the Chicago area. These prices need to return to a more appropriate income to home price level, as found before the lax underwriting standards of the 2000s came into effect.

2. More of a commercial real-estate bust. Too much retail, hotel, and office space buildout in past years.

3. Large wave of retail closings and layoffs post holiday season.

4. Unemployment situation turns more ugly. I expect the numbers next week to be quite bad.

5. Stock market grinds significantly lower, with the occasional sucker rally thrown in for fun. P/E ratios are way too high as it stands.

When/if things get bad remember that it is people who matter. Be a lover not a fighter.

P.S. Vise: I agree that the financial situation of several states, municipalities, and pension funds are quite concerning.

Mr. B

r / January 2, 2009 1:46 PM

Chicago will NOT get the Olympics. With all the political BS going on here, even Obama's endorsement won't get the Olympic committee on board with having the games here. This city can't accommodate it, can't help pay for it, and would majorly f**k it up. Congrats, Rio de Janeiro!

flange / January 2, 2009 2:27 PM

hm. i'm a leftist and i didn't expect a bit of change from obama. it's the liberals who took his "change" rhetoric seriously, i think.

but back on topic: my predictions are that some things will be good and some things will be bad. there will be some surprises but other things will be exactly as expected. by and large, good people will continue to be good and bad people will continue to be bad.

Brian / January 2, 2009 2:41 PM

1. Chicago loses Olympic bid to Rio
2. Blago's impeachment fails do to legislature infighting. G-Rod is convicted by feds anyway, governs from prison
3. Sam Zell sells all the Tribune Co. papers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Red Eye to Gannett Co. Gannett lays off all Chicago staff, all newspaper content is written at HQ in Virginia. No local news or columnists survive. The paper takes on a distinct far-right editorial flavor.
4. Sun-Times and all the STNG suburban papers fold.
5. The Daily Herald (from the burbs, which is independently owned) also sells out to Gannett. Same treatment the Tribune receives also takes place at the Daley Herald. The Daley Herald is re-named Chicago Daily Herald and moved into the city.
6. The Reader, plagued by parent company Creative Loafing's financial woes, folds.
7. More bank mergers. Chase buys several smaller banks, then acquires Bank of America, making the total branches in Chicagoland well into the thousands.
8. Safeway Co, parent company of Dominick's, realizes their upscaling of Dominick's into the 'Fresh Market' and organics concept is misguided, closes all Dominick's stores.
9. Due to the ongoing and prolonged Depression, Wal-Mart succeeds in moving into the city of Chicago. They open so many stores, that they start putting many local businesses out of business (much as they do in small towns), and the economic health of Chicago is further damaged, as well as the deflation of wages.
10. Once the Children's Museum moves into Grant Park, Mayor Daley quickly realizes the economic value of Grant Park, and sells it off peacemeal. The park exists no more, becomes the 'Grant Park' neighborhood.
11. The city, faced ever-worsening snow storms this winter, resorts to only plowing the expressways, and a limited amount of arterial streets. Western makes the cut, but Ashland does not.
12. The CTA (and RTA) is gutted by the republicans in the legislature, cuts all 'L' service except for the red and blue lines, which are scaled back to rush hours only. 75% of bus routes are cut, owl service is eliminated, and no buses run before 7am or after 8pm. Pace is discontinued. Metra is reduced to 2 routes, rush hours only.

Time for a Change / January 2, 2009 3:45 PM

People will re-evaulate life and what makes them happy.

I decided to move back home to Iowa, save money until August then travel Europe in the fall. Like any other reasonable person in a bad economy! (HA)

eee / January 2, 2009 4:08 PM

I predict there will be fighting amongst the regular commenters here. (This is quite certainly the only prediction guaranteed to come true.)

Spook / January 2, 2009 4:22 PM

The world will turn on its head on June 16 2009 when
Tupac Amaru Shakur will appear alive at a press conference marking his original birth date June 16 1971.

Standing along side him will be Dr. Cornel West, Dave Chappell, Aaron McGrruder, U.S. Senator Al Franken,and Naomi Wolf.

At this time Tupac will announce that his murder was faked to protect him from assassins in the CIA, FBI, LAPD,and both Bad Boy and Death Row Records who were afraid/knew that his music would unite street gang members and progressive intellectuals causing an end to the established political hierarchy in America and the commercialization of Hip Hop.

He will then take questions and Rob Reynalds of Al Jazeera- English will ask
where he has been for the last seven years.

Tupac, who predicted in his alblum Makaveli,(released "post death)" that he would be killed and rise from his grave in seven years, will say that he was in training in the Snow Mountains in Tibet like Brue Wyane did in the movie Batman Begins.

Mucky Fingers / January 2, 2009 7:33 PM

Despite economic woes increasing at both the local, federal, and interntational level, Mayor Daley will continue making over this city into a big suburb - as he has since the mid-90s - in hopes of securing an Olympic bid, or at least making the city look safe in order to draw more midwestern transplants here.

That was a long sentence!

Steven / January 2, 2009 8:03 PM

I just walked to the pop machine at work, looked at the can of diet Coke I intended to buy and had a thought: the dollar in my hand has better uses, if only just to sit in the bank until I really need it. I put it back into my pocket, grabbed a glass of water from the cooler and walked away. No easy task for someone who can't even leave the house on less than six cups of coffee (and the ensuing caffeine buzz). For 2009 I predict that I will continue to walk away, not only from diet Coke, but also from ordering the large size of anything, from taking CTA for trips less than two miles, from watching reruns because I can't think of anything better to do and from people who work my last nerve. I think 2009 will be a better year.

matt / January 3, 2009 10:55 AM

We're going to have one incredible year!

HopefulTrixie / January 4, 2009 12:46 AM

WOOO!! 2009!!!

PMan / January 4, 2009 11:22 PM

Bad times for the economy,

lots of innovation that we later look upon with a degree of awe,

Good, but not necessarily financial prosperous, times for the PMan.

J.Q. Pub Lik / January 8, 2009 4:59 AM

1. The Cubs will have "Be a Goat Day" where the first 1,000 entrants will get a hat where the cub is replaced by a goat. Though mildly interesting and somewhat sad this has the obvious effect of nil on the cubs having a winning season.

2. Mark Cuban will be found guilty of insider trading and will get a light prison sentence. While in prison Cuban will establish an official Prison Baseball League which will act as farm system to rehabilitate inmates and add to the roster of the teams he will acquire.

3. President Obama will excel at innovative, creative, and ultimately effective policies, most of which will have to be put in place by executive order and not run through congress where feckless congressional efforts are stifled by sycophants of entrenched special interest groups.

4. On a diplomatic trip to Isreal/Palestine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have a shoe thrown at her. It will not miss this time, striking her in the back-side. She will pick up the shoe and in a fit of repressed rage throw it back at the offender, yelling "son-of-a-bitch" - all live on CNN.

5. Chicago will indeed win the 2016 Olympics but instead of building an Olympic village will house Olympians in the uninhabited rooms of the Trump tower, Museum Village Condos, and the condos in the South Loop.

6. A reporter at the faltering Chicago Tribune will discover that all the city improvements done over the past decade were financed by the,once huge, Cook County surplus. This deal was found to be struck with John Stroger before his so-called stroke (aka relocation to Brazil). To continue the unquestioned deficit spending ordered by the Daley Machine, Todd Stroger was appointed to the office as the defacto yes-man of the mayor and given strict orders by his controller William Beavers, to toe-the-line, lest incriminating photos, accounting records, county-spending invoices be released to the press - all of which happens anyway. Daley, Stroger Sr. (extridited from Brazil), the Toddler, and Beavers all get a matching pair of silver bracelets courtesy of Patrick Fitzgerald.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15