In 1982, Prince declared that he would party like it’s 1999, the year before the predicted millennial apocalypse. Prince wasn’t necessarily saying that the world would end in the year 2000, but he was using that occasion to articulate the end-of-days revelry that he intended to mimic in his everyday merriment. January 1, 2000 came and went, and while the world didn’t end, the idea of partying like it’s 1999 has remained shorthand for the hardest type of throwdown you can imagine.
Since then the apocalypse has been anticipated on a near-monthly basis by a variety of sources both more and less credible than Prince, from doomsday religious groups, to CGI animators, to sham scientists, and most recently, a bunch of hysterics unable to look up the Mayan calendar on Wikipedia. But tragically for these wishful thinkers the world still remains, and instead of ending in a painless flash, we’re still here soldiering on in our shitty lives.
Enter Justin Bieber. In his new single “Beauty and a Beat,” Bieber ups the ante on Prince by declaring he’ll “party like it’s 3012 tonight.” At face value that augury is a life-affirming vision. We humans shall persist through each and every supposed demise. Lo, a thousand years into the future, we’ll still be partying. But Beiber misses an incontrovertible fact about the future of our planet and our species: If we make it to the year 3012, the world will be completely and utterly horrifying.
Over the course of the coming centuries, the sea levels around the world will rise, drowning most costal cities, especially those in the so-called “developing world,” which have contributed the least to climate change. The rest of the world will be ravaged by continually strengthening super-storms that will destroy oceanfront property in Provo, Utah. Meanwhile, the quality of air, soil, and water on the planet will continually degenerate, as our supplies of coal and petroleum are burned out entirely, and nuclear power continues to prove even more of an environmental disaster than the supposedly dirty sources it was intended to replace. And every charismatic politician, non-governmental organization, weepy liberal public relations campaign, and Potemkin wind farm will be completely powerless to stop this death march so long as profit remains the bottom line for the human race.
As the delicate global ecosystem that gently nourished the ascent of humanity begins to crumple, basic resources will disappear. Noxious air, brackish water, and nearly indigestible food will become commodities for which we risk our short, cancerous lives to procure. Wars that begin between governments over resources will rapidly degenerate into a war of all against all, as states lose their ability to provide basic services and repress populations.
Accordingly, there will be a loss of faith in the ability of logic, reason, and science to solve basic human problems. Our suicidal obsession with scientific progress will not be replaced by a more humane or spiritual conception of the universe. Instead, this will herald a new Dark Age of brutal xenophobia, superstition, and barbarism. Philosophers will extol the virtues of Enlightenment reason from torture chambers. Human sacrifices will be commonplace, disemboweled entrails will decorate our streets in vain appeals to new merciless gods.
Those who flee Earth’s crumbling, murderous, blood-drenched cities into the barren, lifeless countryside will find still more barbaric horrors await them there. The lucky will die instantly. Blood will be guzzled as once was water, and our thirst for it will never be quenched. Slayer records will be classified as Easy Listening.
In short, Justin Bieber is one sick fuck. We all know that childhood stars grow up fast, but what kind of next-level shit could Bieber have possibly gotten into over the last few years if he’s already partying like it's 3012? And where do you go from there? The reanimated corpse of Caligula would put down his roast baby leg just long enough to tell Justin Bieber to chill the fuck out. But Bieber’s in good company: If there’s anyone in the industry who can get down with his bad new self, it’s his new collaborator, Nicki Minaj.