January 6, 2016
4 mins read

Predicting the future in 2016 — absent any acumen related to mathematical modeling — is a fool’s errand. Even before people like Nate Silver — creator of the FiveThirtyEight blog and clairvoyant of presidential election results — proliferated the use of regression analysis and advanced predictive models to accurately forecast everything, from which teams will participate in the college football playoffs to which teams will participate in the professional football playoffs (OK, it’s mostly just sports), there was little need for the future-gazing of fraudulent psychics (wow, that’s redundant). And there’s even less of a need for the predictions of an alternative newsweekly magazine editor. However, unlike the federally indicted Jamaican-money-ripping-off-people-who-thought-she-was-a-Jamaican-wizard Miss Cleo, I’ll offer these localized predictions absent any illusions of financial return (you can, however, read them aloud in a Jamaican accent, if you wish).

Corrine Brown Remains in Jacksonville: After her district was redrawn (see: inverted) to run west from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, the 12-term U.S. Representative’s Hail Mary of a federal lawsuit will be dismissed, due to a failure to prove that the new districts rob minority voters of their ability to elect a candidate of their choosing. Despite speculation that she would run in Orlando (District 10), Brown will outlast both the opportunistic Al Lawson and ambitious Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in District 5, proving she is the most badass politician from here to ’Nole Country. Go Gata!

Tens of Thousands Leave Facebook (only to return before year’s end): Thousands of older folks have already announced they’ll be taking a year off from social media, disabling their accounts in the waning days of 2015 (though most stuck around long enough to see who, if anyone, gave a fuck). However, relieved of the burden of knowing their college Lit professors and weird cousins are likely spying on them, Millennials (who left years ago) will return in droves. And by August, those who painstakingly pried themselves away will be lured back, partly by a need to share the exploits of their recent all-inclusive stay at Sandals Jamaica, and partly by the inherent deprivation of not being able to discern which Mean Girls character they are without the aid of a shared Buzzfeed quiz.

Ron DeSantis Wins Marco Rubio’s Vacated Senate Seat: Writing for The Economist’s annual prediction issue, Gideon Rachman argued that 2016 would be the year macho men — in the mold of shirtless, horseback-riding Vladimir Putin — would return to Western politics. And Ponte Vedra resident and former Navy Jag Congressman Ron DeSantis looks like the manliest in a manly field of Senate candidates that includes Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera (R) — who’s puffed out his chest on foreign policy issues and turned up the heat by calling President Obama weak on radical Islam — and Rep. Alan Grayson (D) — who’s turned up the heat by inviting supporters to climb naked over hot coals in his honor. Deemed the favorite by Tampa Bay Times political columnist Adam C. Smith, DeSantis has two Ivy League degrees, a yacht-load of wealthy bundlers, and a 2012 endorsement from the most macho-est macho man in all the macho land, Donald Trump. He even wrote a book (OK, writing is not all that macho), Dreams From Our Founding Fathers, slamming Obama (macho) while expounding the virtues of America’s rich, white, male founders (mucho macho!).

Jacksonville’s Urban Core Will Get a New Hashtag: Sure, there are a few upscale restaurants on the way (Cowford Chophouse, a new concept from the folks behind Black Sheep, and, fingers crossed, The Bullbriar) and a couple new nightlife spots (Levels and a TBD Underbelly revamp), but until the city’s Downtown gets a new hashtag … let’s face it … shit ain’t real. I’m sure those behind TruJax — which seeks to tell the world how badass the city is — are working on a hashtag. However, while one of my two suggestions, #downtownisrelatively-morefunthanithasbeeninthepast, exceeded the well-established character limit for hashtags by a mile, the poignant and literal #downtownisonwater is gaining steam as an alternative to the much-maligned #downtownisonfire. So tag all your posts — your Main Street Bridge pics, your aquatic Avondale Instas, your candids aboard Kismet (#imonshadkhansyachtyall), your Southbank Riverwalk snaps — with #downtownisonwater. Together we can change the world.

The Amphitheater Will Be Meh. While One Spark Will Be Meh!: It’s all about expectations and, at a price tag of $90 million, the bed-tax subsidized amphitheater will treat its capacity crowds to underwhelming performances by classic rock dinosaurs like Eddie Money, a Steve Perryless Journey, and whatever collective of pudgy white men don the denim and fringe and moonlight as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Meanwhile, the scaled-down One Spark Festival, after initiating a much-needed vetting process for creator projects, will award undisputedly worthy participants in all categories, including the ever-contentious music category. Also, no Bling Bullets this year. So … win!

Gancarski’s “Fightin’ Words” Will Inspire Actual Fisticuffs: In 2015, Folio Weekly Magazine “Fightin’ Words” columnist A.G. Gancarski emasculated Jag-bros with his “Shad Khan owns you” piece, and irked many a beach-bro with his “Guitar Zero” column, causing all to ponder complicated issues like the ROI on taxpayer-subsidized entertainment facilities and the negative societal effects of white privilege, before they responded with well-thought-out letters to the editor (just kidding; they took to Twitter and let Gancarski have it). In 2016, a yet-to-be-imagined Gancarski think-piece will lampoon Kelly Slater’s Lemoore, California wave pool, calling it “the death knell to the illusion of surfing as a countercultural pursuit,” while also ridiculing the 11-time World Champ, and favorite son of the Sunshine State, saying he’s “the beneficiary of a judging-pool gone gaga over a surf-celebrity.” This will lead to increased aggression in the lineups of Northeast Florida’s famed breaks, resulting in frequent parking lot skirmishes between those on opposing sides of the argument. As a response, by year’s end, the phrase “Gancarski Don’t Surf” will become a recognizable spray tag around the region.

Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

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