August 7th, 2010

breaking bad

Fiction prediction

I find the blog format an irresistible medium for prediction, perhaps because it is date-stamped. I don't mean mystic prognostication, I mean guesses about what will happen next. That can be serious political stuff or trivial guesses about who Moriarty will be.

And then it's quite fun to track the success of your own predictions. Of course like any pundit one might - in all innocence - remember one's successful predictions better than the others. I wonder whether the recording function of the Internet will change the way predictions are made and received. Will the better predictors be rewarded with increased attention? Does it make any difference that some commentators made stupid predictions and pronouncements (for example about the Iraq war), all of which were proved wrong, in short or long order?

I'm not sure it does, because like everything else in our culture, power relations are decisive. We can see a struggle over narrative going on right now in politics, to do with the banking crisis, and its effects on the economies. It is a power struggle: was it the greed of the bankers or the greed of the poor which caused the budget crisis? Anyway, that makes political prediction frustrating, because by the time you have been proved right, the powerful have rewritten the back-story to prove themselves right.

Fiction prediction is more fun. I've got three examples in mind: one past, two to come.

The Little Stranger. I thought Sarah Waters was dropping clues that mild-mannered Dr Faraday was the source of the evil which afflicted the house. Many online friends felt this too, but the professional reviewers took a very different view. I think in this article in the Guardian she more or less states that we were correct about her intention. 'Hooray for us'

Moriarty. I feel that in his article yesterday in the Guardian, Moffat strongly implies that Moriarty will be a lone male character, not a woman or an organisation:
Moriarty's coming back this Sunday. We're not telling you how, or who, or why, but careful where you step and avoid the shadows, because he is back in business.
What do you think? I think the other options would have been excellent approaches, but I don't think we will see them this time.

Mad Men. Collapse )