'In The Year 2039' is a twenty minute dystopian monologue, performed by the artist and writer Adam Stone, backed by the esteemed psychedelic trio Dead Sea Apes.
Stone intones a fictional report on the state of planet Earth in 2039 AD, from the perspective of a sentient alien researcher. Written as a one-off performance piece, '2039' was delivered to an unsuspecting audience in a shed in Derbyshire in September 2016, acting as the prelude for a gig by Dead Sea Apes.
Listen and you will hear strong elements of classic British science fiction at play, interwoven with black humour, political satire, dystopian speculation and moral commentary. Dead Sea Apes provide an unsettling improvised live score that invokes dark krautrock and BBC Radiophonic Workshop-style apocalyptic claustrophobia.
The recording is pressed onto one side of a limited edition 12" (edition of 250) housed in a screen printed, hand numbered and hand stamped sleeve and comes with a 4 page booklet with a transcript of the performance, foreword and artwork by Adam Stone.
released June 16, 2017
recorded live at Kunst Gallery, Belper, September 2016.
Attention. It is the year 2039 Common Era. This is a progress report on the planet Earth’s current status. The economic and political events of the decades previous have been unprecedented in the history of humankind. Multiple variables have converged to produce a near obliteration of the once dominant species.
It is the year 2039. This is a progress report. The earth has been ravaged by the effects of thermonuclear war for a full ten years now. There has been some rudimentary recovery of various populations in the last few years, however, a multitude of adverse environmental factors inhibit any substantial progress.
It is the year 2039. The human global population peaked at 7 and a half billion in 2029. It was also more than halved in that very same year. This period is now referred to by existing humans as The Great Decimation.
Most initial survivors who escaped immediate incineration were nonetheless horrifically injured. The majority found no assistance. Almost all medical facilities were destroyed in the blasts. Most of these humans perished within weeks.
It is the year 2039. The inevitable combination of infrastructural meltdown, total crop failure due to limited sunlight, radiation sickness, bacterial infection and intense human conflict has further reduced the human species to an estimated 2 million survivors.
Most of those alive in 2039 inhabit underground facilities hurriedly built by pre-nuclear war governments who anticipated the worst. The survivors are drawn mostly from the scientific research communities. They are high on skills but low on morale.
The survivor’s water supply is drawn from deep underwater wells and aquifers and is treated to reduce its toxic potential. They manage to derive their primary nourishment from a strain of cultivated fungus. However, cannibalism provides a secondary source of calorific intake.
These subterranean communities are, as to be expected, demoralised and weak, and they are invariably ill, both physiologically and mentally. They have engaged on a breeding programme, although this is a means of providing food as much as it is a statement of continuation.
It is the year 2039 – this is a progress report. Additional survivors exist on the surface, but they have been mutated beyond recognisable human form. Their intelligence is primitively low and their general psychological status is unstable and psychotic. These subhuman mutants roam the ruined lands of the six main continents, too savage and irrational to even work co-operatively in the quest for survival.
The frightful mindless hate of the mutants is particularly repellent. Such rage reminds one of the personality traits of the catalyst dictators of the twenty teens. The American harbinger of doom Donald Trump immediately springs to mind. Human survivors underground can barely speak his name out loud anymore; such is their utter and complete antipathy. To deliberately invoke his memory has become a crime, punishable by death.
It is the year 2039. The earth is an irradiated wasteland. Events prior to The Great Decimation merit further examination.
Earlier in the century the nihilistic greed and arrogance of a tiny minority triggered the demise of the majority. The international banking system and the global super-rich elite coalesced into a force of unparalleled dominance.
This concentration of power naturally led to a steep intensification of wealth polarisation and repeated economic downturns. The myopic avarice of those who sought to maximise their own capital assets culminated in a prolonged world recession from 2007 onwards. That was a pivotal year from which global capitalism would never fully recover its equilibrium.
It is the year 2039. The previous events of the century must be analysed further. During the 2020s the climate rapidly warmed beyond the expectations of even the most green and non-corruptible of scientists. As foretold, conflict over resources increased to a critical level.
Amongst the so-called ‘developed’ nations a new class of authoritarian leader was appearing. They led the de-intellectualised neo-proletariat with apparent ease. Due to popular demand, huge walls were erected to serve as impenetrable national boundaries against millions fleeing the effects of war and climate change. Such walls served both literal and symbolic purposes.
The standard of living for the neo-proletariat began to spiral downwards at a rapid rate. Unemployment rose steadily due to automation and a decline in consumer culture. It was, as one eminent German philosopher of the 19th century predicted, the pauperisation of the masses. Much of his analysis has proved to be accurate.
The increased impoverishment of the majority prompted significant increases in hate crime amongst working AND middle class groups. Revolution was kept at bay by the effective scapegoating of minority groups, via an all-encompassing media. Inter-ethnic violence was actively encouraged.
It is the year 2039. Recent history demands further objective analysis. Seismic political shifts in the early 21st century rapidly led towards extremism. The masses easily subscribed to the new post-capitalist fascism.
Such desperate conflict, accelerated by pre-existing ideological struggles, resulted in the final slide towards global nuclear devastation. It was the kind of scenario that had only previously existed as adolescent dystopian fantasy, a projection of the liberal conscience of the creative community. It is a pity such themes were widely regarded as mere ‘science fiction’.
It is the year 2039. The popular progressive social movements of the twenty teens comprised millions, but there was little they could tangibly achieve without the consensus of the fascist-leaning majority.
The masses were not receptive to solutions based on egalitarianism and wealth distribution. They were too easily infected with fear and hatred - human emotions that had always played a central role in social life. The constant hysteria of the all-pervasive media merely confirmed and reinforced this fact.
It is the year 2039. This is a progress report. Ten years ago from now, the American Dictator Eric Trump pushed the buttons that his father had always wanted to, before he was assassinated three years previous.
In response to America’s opening move, hundreds of thousands of thermo-nuclear warheads were detonated all over the globe. Nations destroyed each other in a matter of minutes. Only a few humans ever thought this would actually happen. They are a race marked by a peculiar optimism, or should one say, ignorance.
It is the year 2039. For years previous, the super-rich were secretly readying their hidden spaceships for the newly terraformed Martian colonies. Even they didn’t quite comprehend the scope of the destruction unleashed by the last Dictators.
Few of their space-craft successfully made the journey to Mars. By all reports, the humans that did make it soon wiped each other out in the rarefied air of the red planet – a fitting colour for such a bloody and sociopathic sample of the species.
It is the year 2039. The human race has started to slowly rebuild the economic and organisational structures that were wiped away in The Great Decimation. The earth’s surface will become more hospitable in time, but estimations vary between one hundred to a thousand years.
What will not change, however, is the psychological nature of this peculiarly inquisitive, resourceful and yet simultaneously wasteful and violent species. There are no statistical indications that further economic, environmental and social catastrophes will NOT occur in the future.
It is notable that the technological prowess of humans has never been syncopated with the appropriate moral and ethical development required to command such power responsibly. Therein lies their downfall as a species.
It is the year 2039 Common Human Era. This number denotes some 2039 Earth years after the supposed birth of a fictional saviour and prophet in the small nation humans once called Israel. The compassion and forgiveness that ran as a central theme through the ideology he allegedly founded now represents a very ironic footnote.
It is the year 2039. My work here is done. I shall return back to my own people, some 95 million light years away. I’m relieved to report that human beings never quite mastered space travel, although who knows what the future will bring.
Being parasites, naturally they are a very resilient life-form. What a cursed race they are. I do pity them, with their seething reptile brains. It would be a dark day for all life in the universe if this predatory species ever escaped the gravity of their own solar system. We must ensure this never happens.
This concludes my final progress report.