"Keep moving, please," the tour guide said. Her voice was cool, assured and a little bored -- it was obvious she'd given this tour many, many times.
"We now enter the 20th Century Room; this century was a little over 1,000 years ago. It is an odd century because science and technology made huge advances, whereas culture and art declined greatly. The 20th Century saw the coming of atomic power, airflight and the internet, but also saw the genocide of tens of millions by totalitarian states and the coming of non-representational art -- that is, art that is not really art because it does not recreate reality. The smears of color on the wall to your right were highly esteemed and valuable paintings in the 20th and 21st centuries. After the 2050's most of the works of that school were destroyed or neglected and finally lost, but these specimens have survived. We believe the large, splattered canvas in the middle was painted by someone called Jackson Pollack, but the other artists have been forgotten.
"In the 1960's what we now call the 'Cultural Dark Age' began. The CDA lasted about 80 years, into the 2040's. It was essentially an egalitarian movement that destroyed all standards. Before the CDA, fashion was quite stylish; after the CDA -- let me direct your attention to the exhibit on the left."
The crowd gasped. One man asked, "Are they cavemen?"
"These are the leaders of the Cultural Dark Age; they are called 'Hippies.'"
"Why do they look like that?" a high school girl asked. "Have they no pride?"
"The appearance of the Hippies is egalitarianism in style. When a culture destroys all standards, this is the result. I shall now play a sample of the primitive music of the Hippies.
The tour guide pressed a button on her belt and the music of the Everly Brothers filled the room. Members of the tour group cringed, grimaced and covered their ears. "Please, turn it off," the mother of three children shouted as her kids grabbed her legs in fear.
The tour guide shut off the music.
"Hard to take, isn't it? This music is called Rockie music. The name probably comes from the Rockie Mountains, where the music is supposed to have originated. This music features a heavy beat with some distorted harmony. The vocals are often screamed. The melodies are undeveloped and primitive. There are no melodic climaxes in which a soprano might show off her high B flat. The music has no sense of beauty, style or intelligence as our music today does."
"Does anyone still listen to that noise?" a voice in the crowd asked.
"Rockie music is listened to only by a small cult known as Deadheads. Deadhead communes can be found in the mountains of California and in the plains of central Canada. The music went out of style, thankfully, with the Neo-Romantic Counter-Revolution of the 2040's, which we will explore further in the 21st Century Room."
"I can't wait to get there!" a man quipped to general laughter.
"Then let us move on through the door ahead to that happier century," the tour guide said. "Keep moving, please."
UPDATE: Changed the artist from Van Halen to the Everly Brothers. Funnier that way.