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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

2001: a spaced odyssey

Well, it’s finally 2001, and not a moment too soon.

I’m sure that I speak for all of us when I say that the sooner 2000 was over the better. Of course, the whole tone of the year was dominated by the very strange events in Florida. Who can forget the weeks of endless saturation news coverage, the byzantine court battles, the armies of lawyers marching into the state, the heated rhetoric on both sides, politicians of every stripe weighing in invariably in their own self-interest, and the entire sense of the rule of law compromised for political lust? Fortunately, the entire matter was resolved fairly and expeditiously by an institution that all Americans have grown to trust and respect for many generations—men heavily armed with guns. But enough about Elián González.

It’s time to put 2000 behind us and look ahead. To this end I have assembled the finest set of predictions for 2001 available. Mind you, this is not a bunch of blathering that I just concocted whole cloth out of my own head. This took literally minutes of sheer research, perusing some of the finest tabloid publications available in the finest neighborhoods of inner cities everywhere. So, without further ado, here is what the entertainment world has to look forward to in the coming twelve months:

  • January: The public is stunned when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt announce that they have filed for divorce.

  • February: Neve Campbell insists that Scream IV is absolutely the final movie that she will do in the teen slasher series. Elizabeth Taylor marries her longtime gardener.

  • March: The world is amazed when Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas announce that they are parting amicably.

  • April: There is widespread consternation when the surprise winner of the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture turns out to be Battlefield Earth. Senator Joe Lieberman calls for a boycott of all Hollywood movies. Harvard University president Al Gore demands a recount.

  • May: Fans are bewildered when Madonna and Guy Ritchie inform the world press that their marriage is effectively over. Meanwhile, the Palme d’Or at Cannes is awarded to an young, unknown Romanian director who submitted a blank piece of celluloid as “an artistic statement.”

  • June: The first Harry Potter movie is rushed into release. Despite high hopes on the part of the studio, its opening weekend take is a distant second behind the new Austin Powers movie.

  • July: People everywhere are shocked when reliable news reports spread the word that Jennier Aniston has wed Michael Douglas in a quickie wedding ceremony on a small Caribbean island. Young, nubile actresses queue eagerly, as former president Bill Clinton begins casting calls for his movie biography.

  • August: The box office sleeper of the summer is the unexpected mega-hit Battlefield Earth II. Bruce Willis joins John Travolta in the series, which now promises to become a franchise for many years to come.

  • September: Everyone is taken aback when it is learned that Catherine Zeta-Jones has wed Guy Ritchie in a remote Buddhist temple high in the Himalayas. Elizabeth Taylor is in divorce court.

  • October: Neve Campbell insists that Scream V is absolutely the final movie that she will do in the teen slasher series. A pirated script for the new Star Wars movie appears on the Internet and reveals that Yoda is actually Luke’s father.

  • November: The masses are agog over the news that Madonna is carrying Brad Pitt’s baby and that the couple are planning to wed next year aboard a hot air balloon floating over the North Pole.

  • December: Ratings for cable news channels sky-rocket as people are glued to their television sets, watching the unfolding drama of a manned space vehicle taken over by a malfunctioning onboard computer. The artificially intelligent system (known as HAL) takes the craft ever deeper into space. Ratings soon drop, however, when the images coming back to earth become more obtuse and perplexing.

    -S.L., 4 January 2001

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