Look at what the wind blew in … a news story about the arrest of a couple of neo-Nazi creeps who “talked of ‘killing 88 people and beheading 14 African-Americans,” and topping that off with a drive-by of Barack Obama. From the NY Times:
The two men each had “very strong views” about Aryan white power and “skinhead” ideology, the federal officials said, and the numbers 88 and 14 have special significance in the white power movement.
Those details called to mind an unfinished thriller I began writing several years ago about a tabloid photographer who discovers a link between white supremacists and a rock star. Here’s an excerpt:
When the editor of Snoop, pulled up Jerry’s Web site on her laptop, a slide show disclosed items of Nazi paraphernalia …The most striking details were the delicate little numerals tattooed below Rod’s earlobes on both sides of his neck: “83” on the left and “14/88” on the right. …
Rod Bangs wasn’t just a Grammy-winning, platinum-selling rock star with a huge boomer following. He was a White House favorite. He’d done benefit concerts for the president’s election campaign. Two weeks earlier he’d received a medal at the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation’s highest civic award for career achievement in the performing arts. Afterward, at a private reception, the president had singled him out as “a man of the people” and “the very best in American culture,” more or less ignoring the other five honorees. He swaggered over to the roped-off photographers and posed separately with Bangs. He even buttonholed a Washington Post gossip columnist to make certain that his admiration for Bangs was well publicized.
Carlotta tapped her mouse. The clicks enlarged Rod’s tattoos.
“That’s the really cute stuff,” Jerry said.
“What’s so cute about 14/88?”
“Fourteen means the 14 words. They’re a rallying cry: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children. Count ’em: 14. They’re David Lane’s words.”
“Founder of The Order, one of them anyway. Aryan crackpots. They call themselves a resistance group. Based in the Northwest.”
“So remember Alan Berg? The Denver radio host?”
“I don’t have the faintest.”
“Assassinated. 1984. The Order did it. And a synagogue bombing. And a number of bank robberies. And –”
“Where’s Lane now?”
“Prison. 190 years.”
Carlotta took a bite of her Danish and sipped her second cup of morning coffee. “How nice. What’s the 88?”
“Shorthand for Heil Hitler. The eighth letter of the alphabet is H. The 88 stands for HH. Real simple.”
“So 83 is HC?”
“Heil Christ. It’s the greeting used by white supremacists who claim they’re Christian. 83″
“Well, Jesus H. Christ.”
Or as William Burroughs once remarked, “After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.’ ”
Postscript: Oct. 29 — Here’s a twist: White supremacists are for Obama.
PPS: Oct. 30 — Much more credible: Out of the shadows?