Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 and (way) beyond

As we kicked off the new century, even if we were worried about the end of the world as we knew it, we partied like it was 1999. (Everybody sing along!)

Then, there was a dire prediction for 2010, of overpopulation and competition for scarce resources:

Fortunately, we haven’t quite gotten there according to the Census, which informs that we’re at about 6.8 billion people on the earth as of December 2009. (Still too many, but not too late to do something.)

But further dystopia is on the horizon for 2019, according to Ridley Scott (soundtrack by Vangelis)

And things will get pretty restrictive around 2112:

Beyond that, from 2525 on, things just get worse:

Well, with all these dire prognostications, is it any wonder I like the music of bands like Yes and Nektar, whose spacey/futuristic lyrics and album-long works of music reveal a powerful tendency toward radical positivism*. These guys were “green” way before it was fashionable:

Let it grow, you know you need no sympathy
You don’t realize how much you needed me
you will never realize it’s better when you give
'Cos your life is longer than you live
The laws of nature are to heal the wounds of man
Use them right and they will help you if they can
Wrongly used and you’ll only harm yourself
Then it’s too late to come to me for help

Don’t walk away give it a chance
Let it grow!

(From Remember The Future, 1975)

Nektar (pre-MTV) video of “Let It Grow” in 1974

Without music like this (and Yes), I don’t think I could bear to think about our future.

* A term introduced to me by Bill Martin in his book Music of Yes: Structure and Vision in Progressive Rock


  1. We have a lot to look forward to. I am encouraged, the Rock calendar ends in 2525. That is quite a few years beyond the Mayan calendar.

  2. Actually, that's just the starting point to the song. The final verse begins:

    "In the year 9595
    I'm kinda wondering if man's gonna be alive"

    If we can hang on that long we might actually start to get our act together. Can a parasite learn to be a symbiote?

  3. You have to help me with memory recall here - didn't someone earlier do a 2525 song? I am thinking 10 Years After or Spirit. But at least we know the Rock Calendar now goes to 9595, pending any catastrophic events of course.

  4. I does have a Ten Years After or Spirit vibe, but it was Zager & Evans with the one-hit wonder in 1969. It's been covered a few times - surprisingly few - most notably by R.E.M. in 1991.