The apocalypse will be televised: 6 visions of the future in music videos

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “You Got Lucky”

The scenario: In this particular future, the clouds and sky change colors from scene to scene and the buildings are covered in giant garbage bags.  Not so bad, right?  Enter Tom Petty and one of the Heartbreakers (I think his name is Dave or Vince or something) in some kind of eighth-generation Prius.

Tom and Gus enter the baggy building, but not before they stumble upon a mint condition boombox that has a tape cued right to the beginning of “You Got Lucky”.  What are the odds?!?  The rest of the Heartbreakers arrive and enter the shanty, which is full of musical equipment wrapped in plastic.  So I’m guessing it all belongs to somebody’s grandmother.

The boys make themselves right at home, and even find some time for a guitar solo.

One of the Heartbreakers wins a bunch of tokens from a slot machine and it looks like Tom will spend the rest of the video gaming it old school.  But one random, senseless act of violence against an arcade game later and the band hits the road – with only the guitar as their spoils.  So apparently in this world the people are not only forced into a nomadic existence, they’re not very smart either.

The lesson for us is: If you come across the Heartbreakers in the future, you can probably distract them with plastic or shiny objects and then steal their cars.

2Pac – “California Love”

The scenario: That’s right, the post-apocalyptic future doesn’t just belong to white rockers my friends.  And in the year 2095, California still knows how to party (although it’s still billions of dollars in debt), even if those parties are MC’d by the obnoxious descendant of Chris Tucker, as the one that opens this video is.  But when 2Pac and Dr. Dre steal the ladies from the party, it’s on like Donkey Kong.  The evil party king (George Clinton) and his crew head to a bleak future version of Oakland that looks eerily similar to the current one.

Dre and 2Pac take the stage in Black Thunderdome and remind the party goers in attendance that the West Coast is, even in these worst of times, the best coast.

The next day, the party’s over and the rival gang is still driving out for some sort of rumble.  Dre and 2Pac spot them, and everyone heads to their little dune buggies.  From here, I’m not sure what happened.  There’s not a lot of fighting so I don’t know if the video ran out of time or if 2Pac and Dre actually drove away to avoid the other gang.  In any case, there’s lots of driving and flinging of chains.

The lesson for us is: The East side is no place to be as we head toward the 22nd century.  Ain’t no party like a burnt-out Oakland party, ’cause a burnt-out Oakland party don’t stop.

Up next: Billy Idol really is God, and once again a band gets screwed by their lead singer.

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