Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 11

publication. As set forth by a follower of a (fictional) religious sect, the Nicholites, which hopes to spiritually rehabilitate the country by promoting St. Nicholas as God: I keep thinking of a two-year-old when I think of an appropriate metaphor with which to describe this sour, Scroogelike attitude which began with the Scrooge Christmas of ’80…Two years old, that’s what we are, emotionally--America, always wanting someone to hand us some ice cream, always complaining, Santa didn’t bring me this and why didn’t Santa bring me that. (95) Unlike most dystopian fiction, Reed’s multicultural Neo-Hoodooism imagines the rise of neo-fascism in America as closely aligned with racism, nativism and other forms of bigotry. For example, since the figurehead President Clift is incapable of making decisions on momentous national and international issues, he overlooks his own generals’ plot to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Nigeria for its soon-to-be-realized nuclear weapons aspirations, “Operation Two Birds” (evoking the fraudulent rationale for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq). Nigeria will simultaneously be blamed for launching a nuclear attack on New York City, the second target of “Operation Two Birds.” Why New York? Neo-fascists in Clift’s cabinet believe the city has become irredeemably “negrified” by millions of “mud people,” a population that in the novel’s near-future America comprises the large majority of what the elite ”vital people” call “surplus people. A Nazi advisor to the President admonishes Clift’s cabinet: You all ridiculed Hitler, but he was only concerned about you and your future. He warned you about the negrification of Europe and the Jewing of America. And now you’re faced with the mongrelization of America, and it’s your fault. It’s your fault--what you did to that man. You fools, for you to have dishonored this man so. You called him a monster and a devil, but now you need him; you need him to guide you before the Southern Hemisphere creeps over the planet…You persecuted him. This prophet. This great man.” (58) Clift’s media advisor, Bob Krantz, a former mogul at WBC (Whyte Broadcasting Corporation) has become the shadow president, leaving the clueless Clift out of the real decision- making process. Initially Clift has only a vague notion of his feeble status, telling his wife, “Dear, I’ve been thinking. You know I am the President of the United States and they ought to at least tell me what’s going on from time to time…I may not be an intellectual giant, but I’m as smart as the next fellow. If my advisors would give me more responsibility, I’d show that I know 6