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Beyoncé’s ‘Run the World (Girls)’ Video Offers One Possible Vision for the End-time

According to Harold Camping, the founder of the Christian network Family Radio, the world ends on Saturday. It’s not clear exactly what time, but May 21 is the date on which, after some intensive Bible study, he’s firmly landed. Anyway, if everything does fall apart this weekend, as Camping plans, hopefully Sunday looks at least a little bit like Beyoncé’s new video.

As previously mentioned, the much-hyped clip for “Run the World (Girls)” revolves around a postapocalyptic dance battle. There’s Beyoncé and her team, under an overpass, squaring off against the bad guys: Things start off with some restraint — Bey plus just two others dancers, echoing “Single Ladies,” punching out moves — and gradually build until we get pixelated middle fingers, hyenas on leashes, and an entire crew of terrified riot police being danced up on. (Arab Spring protestors: do not try this at home. Or, alternately, do try this at home.) In other words: funpocalypse! So will this salvage “Run the World (Girls)” from the lower bowels of the "Hot 100"? Not necessarily: If anything, the video just furthers the feeling that Beyoncé released a third single — on which she’d be allowed to get this weird — before a first single. So that means the next single will either maintain the established aesthetic for 4, or veer dramatically back to radio tastes; we’ll find out soon. Meanwhile, Bey can take some pride in the fact that "The Skorpion Show" — the world’s most noted critics of “Run the World (Girls)” — are onboard with the video: They feel that Beyoncé "fucking killed it.”