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AV Bi-weekly﹕Years of collapse; years of insanity

【明報專訊】"IN THE YEAR 2525", an unusual song released in an unusual year, foretells a corrupt future we are witnessing today. While millions of global citizens are enjoying material comfort and the benefits of advances in technology, we are also suffering from the self‑destruction caused by people becoming corrupt and being indulged in innovations, as prophesied by the Bible.

Zager and Evans (Denny Zager and Rick Evans) enjoyed short‑lived popularity in the music scene with "In the Year 2525", their signature hit. The song, released in 1968, reflected people's unease over the late 1960s when the world was in awe of cutting‑edge advances. 1969 saw the first lunar landing and the debut of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet, for example.

Written by Evans of the folk‑rock duo, the song sends three main warnings. First, people will have to pay the price for being dependent on technology. Second, we must be held accountable for ruining our own planet. Third, in the postmodern world, the human race falls because we are losing our moral compass. Everything around us is evidence of the collapse of sanity — kowtowing of local ministers, degeneration of the government, and people forsaking universal values. We are perhaps singing our swansong in unison.

■In the year 2525

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

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 hanging limp at your sides

Your legs got nothing to do

Some machine doing that for you

In the year 6565

Ain't gonna 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‑coming, he oughta make it by then

Maybe he'll look around himself and say

Guess it's time for the judgment 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 ...

Now it's been ten thousand years

Man has cried a billion tears.

For what he never knew

Now man's reign is through ...

■Quiz

Part I Find a word from the last paragraph to complete the sentence:

1. The passage implies that by ____________, most Hong Kong government officials turn a blind eye to citizens' opinions and interests.

Part 2 Study the lyrics and answer the questions below:

2. The lines in red suggest that ...

a) people are becoming cold‑hearted and their morals are declining.

b) people are saddened by not getting what they desire.

3. The lines in purple suggest that ...

a) people are happy having machines and gadgets to do everything for them.

b) overdependence on technology results in people's loss of independent thinking and physical ability.

■Glossary

(be) indulged in 沉溺於

unease 憂慮

in awe of 對……敬畏

cutting‑edge 尖端的

kowtow 叩頭

degeneration 墮落

forsake 摒棄

in unison 一起

■Audio: link.mingpao.com/14262.htm

By Venny Lai, a former Language Instructor at the PolyU and an experienced teacher of English Language and Literature

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