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Year of the Monkey

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2016 has been put together all wrong. The United Kingdom left the European Union. Donald Trump is running for president. Athletes – and athlete enthusiasts – are throwing themselves into what might technically constitute a disaster zone at Rio. I cannot locate a single pair of socks, and not for lack of trying. Something is definitely afoot.

So what should we expect from all this upheaval?

BREXIT

Brexit (British Exit) sounds like a place in England – probably with cobblestones – but is actually just a vote that the British right-wing demanded and received. One of the main proponents of Brexit was Nigel Farage, a tax avoiding, handgun-loving, career politician who nearly lost his first electoral fight to Screaming Lord Sutch of the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Disclaimer: this is an oversimplification.

Farage has just recently stepped aside from the leadership of UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) stating that he ‘wants his life back’ after reneging on several claims he made to garner the support of the British populace for a vote to leave the European Union. Boris Johnson has similarly abandoned ship.

It is more than likely that they simply do not want to clean up the mess they made.

And what is this mess? Well. Brexit entails rewriting a mountain of legislation, reissuing passports, dealing with renewed calls for Scottish independence, upheaval in Ireland and a variety of issues at the French border, including the possible destruction of a deal that allows the United Kingdom to conduct immigration checks in Calais.

Scenes from the Jungle, a refugee camp outside Calais. Source

The incredibly respected Boston Consulting Group estimates that 80,000 banking jobs will be moved to Europe if Britain loses its ability to do business with the Union after Brexit. In the prelude to Brexit, ten Nobel prize-winning economists warned against voting ‘Leave’.

In 2032, the British GDP might be 2.2% lower than it is today if things fall through. Conversely, the GDP would only rise 1.6% in a best case scenario, making this a pretty clear cut risk/reward situation. With the largest bloc of ‘Remain’ voters residing in London, there have now been calls for the city to secede from the United Kingdom and become a city-state similar to Singapore. This hypothetical state would be the fifteenth largest EU state, with nearly 200,000 people signing a petition to make it happen.

TRUMP

Trump will probably not be President of the United States of America. If Donald does somehow attain the highest office in the Western world, he will probably not build the wall. Most analysts believe that the “Great Orange Hope” would probably pull back from the rhetoric that has gained him such an expansive voter base to be a relatively mainstream president – IF he actually wants to be.

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The only thing Trump likes about the idea of running for prez is the attention he gets from spreading virulent new strains of sexism,

racism, and American exceptionalism. There is nothing attractive about the idea that he might have to follow through with it, in the same way that Farage didn’t want to deal with the aftermath of Brexit.  Until then, we’ll have to put up with his incredibly unique speaking manner and face.

Reminder: Trump used to do heaps of pills, and probably still does.

THE OLYMPICS

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Rio will be a fucking bloodbath. You don’t need to examine tea leaves or goat entrails to see that, because it already is. Body parts washed up near the volleyball venue, and eleven people have been killed in the construction. This is slightly different to the London Olympics, where nobody was killed during construction, but it’s been a lot cheaper!

Rio is famous for its vibrant beaches, but things are about to get a lot livelier! Because there’s antibiotic-resistant super bacteria in the water, and the hospitals and emergency services aren’t actually funded enough to take care of you when you catch it. It won’t matter if you don’t like hospital food, because they don’t have any! Oh, and be careful while exploring the city – you might wander into a favela that hasn’t been pacified and get shot. Or maybe you’ll get mugged on a street in broad daylight.

Contracting the Zika virus and bringing it home would also be very uncool.

SOCKS

Long-term forecast regarding lost socks looks dire. Without socks, I can expect cold feet and chafing, not to mention the stigma that will come from attending my mate’s fancy sock party sans socks. Small reward ($5) for their safe return.