Wow, 2018. That sounds so futuristic.

It’s like we should all be cruising around in flying cars and eating steak dinners by taking pills. But no, we’re still bound down by dependency on fossil fuels and still have to grill our own steaks or go to a “sit-down” restaurant to get one.

But still, Twenty Eighteen; that sounds like part of a movie title. It sounds like a time when everyone in 1985 thought “first contact” would surely have already taken place.

For your “time flies” files, here’s a little perspective: Remember Y2K? There are lots of Americans who will become old enough to vote this year who weren’t yet born when a feared cyber-catastrophy didn’t materialize as the new millennium began.

Yep, the turn of the century occurred 18 years ago. Other things that happened a long time ago include the Russians steering Katrina into New Orleans 12 years ago (allegedly), Barack Obama starting his first presidential term nine years ago and those planes hitting the Twin Towers almost 17 years ago.

Anyway, here we are in 2018, and what a time it is to be alive. Make that what a strange, volatile and unpredictable time.

I think it’s said to say that the average person (American, British, Chinese, Bolivian – whatever) is going into this year with a lot less certainty about what will – or won’t – transpire than ever before. What with all the turmoil, division and unrest going on around the world, who knows what’s on the docket?

Will parts of the U.S. freeze solid during this record-breaking run of cold weather?

Will figure skating judging at the Winter Olympics cause war between Canada and Belarus?

And this spring, who will win Season 14 of The Voice?

There are so many unanswered questions.

Honestly, though, I think the fact that things are a bit sideways in the world (OK, you’re right, that was a major understatement) adds some interest and intrigue to life.

Think about it: Wouldn’t it be boring if “leaders” like Kim Jong Nutcase weren’t always in the headlines, if we actually knew for sure whether or not “the economy” is improving or if some dull career politician was in the White House? I mean, how could we go on if all we had to look forward to was unity, prosperity and peace?

But thankfully, there is some semblance of certainly with regard to 2018, and there are some things we can count on. For example, we know Republicans and Democrats won’t find any common ground, that Islamic extremists are still going to drive trucks through crowds, that something long-considered healthy will be deemed as cancer-causing and that professional sporting events aren’t really going to be shortened.

And we can rest assured that drug lords will rule parts of Africa, Mexico and other lands, a mass shooting will take place in some unexpected place in the U.S. and hypocrites will be the only people found occupying seats in the United Nations (not that it matters, but I’m still trying to figure out what’s “united” about it and why any American would, or should, give a hoot about its existence).

Oh, and Vladimir Putin will be “re-elected” as president of Russia on March 18 (in what will surely be an entirely fair and transparent process, right?).

Boy, am I glad not everything is uncertain.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.

Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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