As a monitor of psychic predictions, I notice what appears to be a trend away from calamities and events of profound public moment to silly trivialities.
Perhaps that is because no one will ever remember their having been predicted, and because, though there isn't a chance in a million of their coming true, they are amusing in themselves.
A story in the paper the other day quoted the National Academy of Sciences as saying that 130 years of research had produced "no scientific justification" for belief in extrasensory perception, mental telepathy and other forms of parapsychological phenomena, but the public belief in the practitioners of such dubious arts remains undiminished.
Last June in the National Enquirer, for example, New York psychic Shawn Robbins, who was said to have correctly predicted a lower inflation rate and a booming economy in 1986, failed to predict the Wall Street crash for the second half of 1987.
Instead, Robbins predicted that Jane Fonda would be named the nation's first film star astronaut. Of course Robbins still has two weeks to go on that one.
Recently the National Examiner, another of those supermarket scandal sheets, published its own stable of psychic predictions for the 1987-88 winter, and they are definitely on the frivolous side.
Psychic Sven Petersen predicted that Jessica Hahn, the girl Jim Bakker allegedly led astray, will launch a national purity campaign, using some of the money she received for posing in Playboy. I just can't see Miss Hahn wasting her hard-earned money on a campaign of such poor promise.
Petersen also predicted that Jim and Tammy Bakker will announce their divorce on television to follow separate careers--she as a French fashion consultant, he as Dan Rather's replacement on CBS News.
I wouldn't be surprised at anything the Bakkers might do, but I doubt that CBS is that hard up.
Meanwhile, the New York medium Penelope Fortune predicted that Rather will leave CBS News to host a new TV game show version of "What's My Line?"
I doubt that Rather is that hard up.
Petersen also predicted that Tom Selleck will run for President, promising to choose a woman as his running mate, thereby provoking a flood of mail from would-be veeps. Let's wait and see how he does in Iowa.
Belle Starr, "an astrologer and clairvoyant," predicted that Elizabeth Taylor will jump a motorcycle over 13 Greyhound buses to raise money for AIDS research. I can't imagine Miss Taylor doing anything that foolhardy.
Miss Starr also predicted that UFO aliens will land on the White House lawn and kidnap Chief of Staff Howard Baker. If extraterrestrials can actually land on the White House lawn, why wouldn't they go for bigger game than Baker?
Miss Starr, by the way, is said to have predicted the recent Los Angeles earthquake. I don't happen to remember that. (They never say when and where such successful predictions were published.) Anyway, all you have to do is go on predicting a Los Angeles earthquake every year and sooner or later you're bound to be right.
Miss Starr shows her piquant sense of the absurd when she predicts that famous dead people will appear live on TV. "Millions will see Richard Burton appear with Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Gracie Allen." What a treat that would be. Honest Abe and Gracie!
Miss Fortune predicted that "Democratic leaders, foreseeing a deadlocked convention, will gather in a smoke-filled hotel room . . . and reporters will learn of the secret meeting to draft Robert Redford." Selleck vs. Redford. That ought to get out the women's vote.
My favorite, I think, is parapsychologist Emil Dumas' prediction that militant feminists will camp out in front of the U.S. Treasury demanding that George Washington's portrait on dollar bills be replaced by that of his wife, Martha. "They will burn thousands of dollars in protest and call on their followers to discontinue using money."
If women were to discontinue using money, the stock market wouldn't collapse--it would vanish.
Dumas also predicted that billionaire developer Donald Trump will buy thousands of acres of Nevada desert in anticipation of another California earthquake that would make it beach-front property. "Thousands of panicked Californians will pack their bags and move east."
Meanwhile, I predict that thousands of freezing New Englanders, having seen the Tournament of Roses on television, will pack their bags and move to California. Also, just to show I can be positive, I predict that the Big One will come on Feb. 6.