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2008: Ten Oracular Ruminations On What Comes Next

Feb 11, 2008
It's that time of year when trends are all the rage. The business community needs to know, what's coming down the cultural highway next year? How do we make a buck off of it?

Fair questions.

Part of the problem in answering , of course, is that trend identification is often just a business-appropriate term for fortune telling. Some people are granted high regard for this...you'll know them because they collect lots of data!...but the truth is they are looking backwards for answers regarding events that will largely be shaped by the unknown and the unknowable. And far be it for humility or even a decent calendar to stand in the prognosticator's way.

At least when astrology is brought to bear on this practice of future casting, it's no secret that one is playing with the intellectual equivalent of a squishy toy with a Magic 8 Ball(tm) in its tummy. But the truth of squishy toys is that they can be both comforting and charming. And admit it, one was once your best friend.

So I encourage you, as you read the following oracular ruminations (not trends for godssake), to not think so much of some high priced business consultancy with a penchant for groovy terminology and highly polished statements of the obvious. This is coming straight from your teddy. Okay, a well-spoken teddy who probably needs to get out more.

1. Making good use of time is not always the same thing as being quick.

Our society has become speed hungry in a zillion different self-destructive ways. This year the astrological clock speaks of enormous change in cultural time perception. We are on the precipice of rediscovering that the race is a marathon rather than a sprint, and it will go to the steady rather than the swift.

2. Authority will vest in the effective and the responsible; talk is cheap.

It may not be clear right now, but we are leaving an age of duelling concept articulation for one in which power will vest in the capable. On any level of enterprise, the most desirable chief will be the responsible steward of resources...not the one with the best patter. Claims to authority must be backed up by evidence of experience, competence and stability.

3. Self-discipline is making a cultural comeback, even if it's just an ideal.

It's long been observed that everyone thinks they should lose weight, a sentiment frequently expressed while one consumes a double cheese pizza. The point here is that human nature will always remain messy in its expression. There are times though when there is an idealism about resilience, self-discipline and an honest appreciation of the small things. This is one of those times.

4. The individual soul is nourished by participation in cultural peak experiences.

It might be a holiday dinner or a rock concert or a revival meeting, but folks are especially attuned right now to the beyond of existence, and are generally inclined to a path to personal salvation that leads through virtuoso performances that are experienced in community. That's a mouthful, but it does probably indicate that event sponsorships are an attractive path to pursue right now.

5. Apprenticeship is a very attractive concept, if the master has any skill.

A confluence of cultural factors suggests that generations are in place that might have a practicable notion about the dynamics of apprenticeship. The real key is an understanding that time and practice and a patient outlook are inherent to long-term success and vested authority. I will follow for a while, says today's teen/early 20's individual, but you must actually teach me how to do something worthwhile.

6. Sell neither sizzle nor steak but, rather, a really great hamburger.

It's a broad sweeping generalization (and it's admittedly based on astrological insight) but 2008 is shaping up as a year when basics are back in a big way. This is more than just an observation about the efficient compatibility of design and function. This is more along the lines that lillies are a rare commodity right now, and gilding them is in poor taste. Better yet, sell me a perfect daisy.

7. Sophistication ain't dead yet.

If you have a few minutes to kill and you occasionally enjoy a good dictionary definition, look up the word sophistication. What you will discover is that this is an etymological nugget with both fans and detractors. This is relevant here, because the concept itself demands a sort of pitch perfect positioning for it to display any charm. Marketers should thus take heed...dignified is not the same as boring, but tawdry is always tawdry.

8. What's the matter with kids today?

Children, as that terminally bromidic lyric goes, are our future. Yes, we love them. Yes, we particularly love our own. But culturally, let's face it, they're just not that cute in the aggregate right now and we don't want to hear them telling us how we should run our lives. Please note that this is cyclical. Thank goodness, I suppose.

9. Keep your eye on Hillary.

Predicting elections is a sucker's game. Heck, predicting most anything is a sucker's game. But an astrologer can't help but notice that there is at least one important astrological similarity between 2008 and 1979, the year that Margaret Thatcher became England's first female Prime Minister. (Of course, if Oprah continues to support Barack in a big way maybe she will be America's first de facto female CEO.)

10. And finally here are some random things your teddy bear is whispering, so they must be on his mind:

China, Mars, Evita, The Fugees, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Homer's Odyssey, Jerry MacGuire, Mcdonald's Arch DeLuxe, Big Night Out, Statins, Protease Inhibitors, Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Garnett, Apocalypse Now, Ayatollah Khomeini, Jonestown, The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs Kramer, Mork & Mindy, Animal House, Amazon, Epicurious, The Library of Congress
About the Author
Steven Mark Weiss is an award-winning journalist and the author of SIGNS OF SUCCESS:The Remarkable Power of Business Astrology (Amacom, New York, 2008). The cosmically curious may learn more at http://www.stevenmarkweiss.com/ or http://blog.stevenmarkweiss.com.
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