The Corner

The Future, No More

I was reading some stuff about Orwell and 1984 and something occurred to me which I’m sure has occurred to many others. There are no more iconic dates in the future. The most important ones from my lifetime were 1984, 1999, 2000 and 2001. 1984 was, of course, made famous by the book. 1999 was much less famous, but still had some cultural cache thanks to the artist-once-known-as-Prince-then-known-as-some-pagan-symbol-then-known-as-Prince-again as well as that classic of American cinema Class of 1999. 2000 was always going to be a big one, what with the millennium and Conan O’Brien and all. And 2001 was a big deal because of that (overrated) movie (we won’t rehash that again, btw).

But there are no more dates that have that literary-cultural oomph ahead. Someone should write a song or book about 2222 or something (Party like it’s 2017!) . Because, right now, the “future” is past.

Update: Jeepers! Good thing I’m pulling an all-nighter. If I waited ‘til morning the mail box would have filled-up and burst.

Some representative emails:

Uhhh, hello? Does the year “2112″ ring any bells? An album by a certain quasi-Randian Canadian power trio? How can an intellectual of your caliber forget about Rush (the band, not the EIB dude)?



PS: Yes, I once was a 15-year-old white boy.


I feel your pain. 2112 was iconic , and one of my favorite albums. But a total knockoff of the 1984 concept, plus without the cultural oomph (itself mild) of 1999.

Still, 2112 is the last year standing, icon-wise.

And, of course:

In the year 2525

Zager and Evans

Reached #1 in July of 1969

In the year 2525

If man is still alive

If woman can survive they may find

In the year 3535

Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies

Everything you think do and say

Is in the pill you took today

In the year 4545

You ain’t gonna need your teeth won’t need your eyes

You won’t find a thing to chew

Nobody’s gonna look at you

In the year 5555

Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides

Your legs got nothin’ to do

Some machine’s doing that for you

In the year 6565

You won’t need no husband, won’t need no wife

You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too

From the bottom of a long glass tube

In the year 7510

If God’s a comin’ He oughta make it by then

Maybe He’ll look around Himself and say

Guess it’s time for the judgement day

In the year 8510

God is gonna shake His mighty head

He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been

Or tear it down and start again woh oh

In the year 9595

I’m kinda wonderin’ if man is gonna be alive

He’s takin everything this old earth can give

And he ain’t put back nothin woh oh

Now it’s been ten thousand years

Man has cried a billion tears

For what he never knew

Now man’s reign is through

But through eternal night

The twinkling of starlight

So very far away

Maybe it’s only yesterday

In the year 2525

If man is still alive

If woman can survive, they may find……

And I should have seen this one coming:

Good grief Jonah! How could you, of all people, have missed that most

iconic of future dates — March 22, 2233?

And here’s another:

Jonah –

There are two more end dates to look forward to.

For the New Age fans, you’ve got the Mayan End Date of December 12,


For computer geeks, the day in 2038 that all 32-bit UNIX machines stop


Y2K38 is the Y2K of this millennium. Lots of extra money for aging UNIX

geeks in the run up to that one. The Mayan one is much more fun, but, as

is true of much New Agey-ness, is based on a fundamental

misunderstanding of the Mayan Long Count. The actual date is October 13,

4772. Unless Glenn Reynolds is right about all this life extension

stuff, I don’t think I’ll be worrying about that one…


Some people insist that as the ancient Mayan calender ends with 2012,

we’re all going to die that year. If you listened to Art Bell and

George what’s his name, you would know this. But they are the same

folks who sold a lot of freeze dried food and water filters prior to

Y2K. I plan on sticking around.

And, I really do think this should close out this post, I’ve got to get back to work:


I nominate your post on future dates as:

“Best Worst Post Ever”.

You are a Genius! You managed to fit in the lyrics

for the horrible “In the Year 2525″ and the birthday

of Captain Kirk.



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