2001 – The Twenty-First Century begins

Contrary to popular belief, and due to the fact that there never was a year zero (history goes from 1 BC to 1 AD – or 1 BCE to 1 CE) without stopping, the hundreth year of each count – that is, the years that actually end in 00 – is a part of the previous century. So despite all the millenial madness that attended the last day of 1999 and the first day of 2000, the Twenty-First century CE did not actually begin for another year.

Nor will it end until December 31st, 2100 – and if you’re still around that night, you can bore everyone with calendrical pedentry if that’s what floats your boat.

Referenced in:
I Want That Man — Debbie Harry

2039 – The Volunteers set sail

Brian May described this song as his own little science fiction story.

It concerns a group who set out in a space ship, sailing ‘across the milky sea’ (which is a reference to both the Milky Way and to a pre-Queen band of Freddie Mercury’s, Sour Milk Sea), in search of a newer and better world. Their quest is ultimately successful, but their return to Earth That Was sees them fall foul of relativistic time dilation.

Referenced in:

’39 – Queen

More details will of course be provided, but not until 2139. Or you could listen to the song, which is awesome…

2139 – The Volunteers come home

Brian May described this song as his own little science fiction story.

It concerns a group who set out in a space ship, sailing ‘across the milky sea’ (which is a reference to both the Milky Way and to a pre-Queen band of Freddie Mercury’s, Sour Milk Sea), in search of a newer and better world. Their quest is ultimately successful, but their return to Earth That Was sees them fall foul of relativistic time dilation.

Referenced in:

’39 – Queen

2265 – The starship Enterprise begins its five year mission

Space… the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no man has gone before…

Today is the day that it all will have started (time travel weirds English ever worse than verbing), in the year 2265. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu and Scotty started their five year mission, of which, alas, only the first three years were shown on television. (Chekov joined the crew later.)

Referenced in:

Star Trekkin’ – The Firm

The first episode of Star Trek was “The Man Trap”, and the date used here is derived from the stardate given in that episode.

2525 – Something happens. Really.

Today’s entry in the Rock ‘n’ Roll History of the World could just as easily find a home in the Daft Lyrics Database.

You see, although Zager and Evans were quite happy to prophesy on at 1010 year intervals from 2525, they seem to have somehow forgotten to specify just what would actuallly happen in that year.

Either that, or what man and woman will find in the year 2525 is the year 3535, which seems to suggest that 2525 will be the year in which the human race develops time travel, thus making the doom-saying of the rest of the song trivially easy to sidestep.

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) – Zager and Evans

3535 – Humanity embraces better living through neurochemistry

In the year 3535, it appears that humanity lives in a brave new world where psychiatric drugs are mandatory – not so much prozac nation as prozac planet. And these drugs, well, they make lying impossible, so either we’re all much more guarded or we’re all much more blunt.

Either way, it makes me think of the film Equilibrium, because you’d probably need that sort of police force to run such a state.

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) – Zager and Evans

4545 — Widespread unemployment for dentists forecast

It’s unclear whether or not Zager and Evans believe that there will be starvation in the year 4545 – they say there will be nothing to chew, but that could also mean that we take all our nourishment in pill form.

More disturbingly – for anyone who isn’t a musician, at least – apparently there will be nothing to see, implying that the year 4545 will be marked by a year long eclipse and blackout. Alternately, it’s possible that Zager and Evans were members of the music video backlash before there was music video, or that the future they project is simply so incredibly boring that one wonders why they bothered…

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) – Zager and Evans

5555 – We stop using our arms and legs

By the year 5555, two important questions will have been resolved for humanity:
1) the conflict between leisure and exercise will be decided in favour of leisure, as we substitute cute little mechanised karts (or possibly some form of un-armoured personnel carriers) for legs. Apparently, they will also feature Dr Octopus-like arms, too, as we will apparently not use any of our limbs.
2) natural evolution will finally lose its race with technologically-assisted evolution.

Of these, the first forecast seems less likely, unless teledildonics has also made incredible advances (not impossible in 2500 years, I guess…)

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) – Zager and Evans

6565 — Everyone’s a Test Tube Baby

Apparently, by the year 6565, genetic engineering will finally be caught up with by social change. Not only will it be possible to completely order up the genetic makeup you want in your… let’s call them offspring, shall we? – but there will apparently no longer be any stigma whatsoever attached to being a single parent.

Not only that, but it appears that people will actually not be as socially maladjusted as you might think from all of this – although we will not yet be immune to the sorrows to which humanity is heir.

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 — Zager and Evans

7510 — We stop waiting for God to show up

Zager and Evans rather depressingly assert that we’ll still be waiting for Judgement Day in 5000 years’ time. God, it seems, moves in ways that mysterious and ineffable, but above all, slow.

To be fair, Z&E also set this point as a deadline for God, and state that if he hasn’t made it be then, he might as well not bother, and we should stop waiting for him.

If they’re right, it would seem that there would never be a Rapture, which may or may not be good thing, depending on your beliefs.

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 — Zager and Evans

8510 – God has a decision to make

So it seems that there’s a deadline: God’s only going to give us 8510 years (plus however many there were BC, I guess), and then he’s going to pass judgement on the whole Human Race Project, and like as not toss the whole thing out and start over.

Or so Zager and Evans would have us believe. The fact that there’s a next verse to this song, taking us even further into the future, tends to belie the danger of God returning to square one here.

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 — Zager and Evans

9595 — Ecological catastrophe?

It turns out that Zager and Evans were more optimistics than Joss Whedon: he thought that Earth That Was would be used more than 7000 years earlier. Still, it’s the same destination: Earth completely used up and nothing left, an ecological crash from which there is no recovery.

Indeed, there may not even be any humans left to see it – presumably 9595 is the point where the last microbes can no longer make it, either.

Referenced in:

In the Year 2525 — Zager and Evans