Our Annual Back-to-School Special: THE ALWAYS-NEVER LIST FOR THE CLASS OF 2027–BORN IN 2005

by Tom McBride

he Always-Never List for the Class of 2027

Born in 2005

(Please send comments/questions to mcbridet@beloit.edu)

While this year’s new college students were being born, Johnny Carson and Rosa Parks were dying; ice caps at the North Pole were slowly moving towards what may be a summer devoid of ice; The 1918 flu strain was being revived in a lab; George W. Bush was preparing for what would prove to be a rocky second term; Hollywood was going nuts on sci-fi and fantasy flicks; the Chicago White Sox were suddenly unbeatable; Saddam Hussein sat helplessly in a courtroom; and a video called “Meet Me At the Zoo” was uploaded to an upstart new internet site called YouTube. This is all but the tip of a melting iceberg. Read down and see your whole life over the past 18 years unfurled before you, 

1 Never with Us Here on Earth: Rosa Parks, Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, Peter Drucker, Ossie Davis, Prince Rainier, August Wilson, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Peter Jennings, Anne Bancroft, John DeLorean, Sandra Dee, and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Jr. 

2 They may never see another summer colder than the torrid one of 2023.  

3 A cloned human embryo has always been a thing. 

4 Scientists have always discovered that mice sing complex songs during sex and that wearing a red shirt significantly increases a team’s chance to win a soccer match. 

5 Saturn’s moon Titan has never been free of an Earthling-engineered “splatodwn,” after a seven-year journey to get there . 

6 Saddam (Hussein, that is) has always been on his route to powerlessness and execution.

7 “Ransomware” and “sexting” have always existed in our vocabulary. 

8 A dwarf named Eris has always found it can no longer hide, 

9 A lady named Katrina has always been the Big One. 

10 Videos have always been uploaded to YouTube. 

11 Pope John 2.0 has never been with us on Earth as he is in Heaven. 

12 North Korea has never been nuke-free. 

13 The Kyoto Protocol has never had the support of the United States. 

14 A Rover has always been snooping on the Red Planet without its permission. 

15 There has never been a Republican president who got the job by winning the popular vote. 

16 The number of American counties won in a landslide by one party or the other has always been rising dramatically. 

17 People have always been surviving rabies without a vaccination. 

18 A comet has always been stalked—and socked– by a human-made flying object. 

19 Charles and Camilla have never been in a common-law marriage. 

20 In the ongoing Star Wars, the Sith have always sought revenge. 

21 The Eurovision Song Contest has always been held in a once-tranquil Kyiv. 

22 The American League Chicago baseball club has always redeemed its Black Sox in a World Series. 

23 Fifty-two people have never been alive, thanks to 4 suicide bombings in London.

24 The IRA has always agreed on paper to end its armed campaign. 

25 Controversial drawings of Muhammed in Danish newspapers and other publications have always engendered furious reactions. 

26 HIV has always been curable, more or less. 

27 There has always b been an Iraqi National Assembly. 

28 Angela Merkel has always been a major force in European and global politics. 

29 Faces have always been transplantable. 

30 In the interest of neurological research, mice have always been created with human neurons. 

31 A judge has always called “Intelligent Design” nothing more than a re-labeling of creationism. 

32 Sci-fi and fantasy movies have always been the top-grossers in a single year (will we ever forget Harry Potter, War of the Worlds, and/or Narnia)? 

33 According to best-sellers, the world has always been flat, economics has always been freaky, and YOU have always had your own owner’s manual. 

34 Yikes—The 1918 flu strain has always been recreated in a laboratory. 

35 Carrie Underwood has always been an American Idol. 

36 They will always worry about getting a job in which they can be replaced by a bot.  

37 They will always hear serious discussions about the need to paint roofs white in order to repel an increasingly potent sun. 

38 Meeting the offspring of Sanjay Gupta or of Heidi Klum in class can never be ruled out. 

39 The universe has always been simulated on a computer. 

40 Criminal forensics and desperate housewives have never been unpopular.

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