It’s a toughie

Happy new year from Usable Interfaces! And to celebrate, it’s quiz time.

What do the following pictures have in common?

Hurt_Punch large_PatWhite cagney-james-photo-xxl-james-cagney-6231376challenge-laska

The answer: toughness.

And if one thing really is tough. It’s 2009. Like a smouldering James Cagney or an overly aggressive and motivated sportman. I’m not saying this from some sort of expert economics point of view.

I’ve got no idea what it’s going to be like.

But I think it’s fair to say that there is a consensus that whatever else it’s going to be… it’s going to be tough. Every newscaster, every newspaper, every CEO making redundancies, every retailer planning their constant campaign of sales, and just one word.

It’s certainly captured the common imagination but isn’t it a bit strange? Did 2008 have an adjective, did 1939?

Previously we might have thought that this might be the year that, perhaps, America will be hopeful or decisive. But not any more.

And what effect will all this toughness have on us all? If our common consciousness has managed to brand the year ahead of us especially in an area – the economy – which is so highly sentiment-based, are we predicting or actually determining the experience we’re about to have?