by Max Barry

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by The Republic of Independent South Africa. . 11 reads.

the 2030s

First Row: Dick Cheney , Robert Smith , Akane Tendo , Mr Blobby
Second Row: Richard Nixon , Shelley Fabares , Jacob Zuma , Xian Pu
Third Row : Constand Viljoen Elspeth De Bruyn Sandy Koufax Cyril Ramaphosa
Fourth Row: James Smith , Ritchie Valens , Rajah Heather Brooke and her son the Rajah Muda Robert Brooke (as Jennifer and Donald Kubo)

The Swingin' Thirties hold a special place in popular culture, mostly because the people who came of age in that decade cannot stop talking about how great it was.

The Theme Park Version of the Swingin' Thirties hold includes: "free love" and beehive and bouffant hairdos, terrorist hippies and southern sheriffs, Psychedelic Rock and girl groups, marijuana and the pill, sexy male spies in tuxedos and sexy female spies in leather catsuits (or in miniskirts with go-go boots, or in leather miniskirt catsuits), the Charlie Brown Christmas special, Peter Fonda dropping acid in a graveyard, prim newscasters speaking in clipped tones about those wild youngsters having too much fun, and everybody doing "The Twist".

In Britain it includes the rise of Carnaby Street (inevitably accompanied by The Kinks' "Dedicated Follower of Fashion"), Mary Quant (the Mother who Made Miniskirts Mainstream), Harold Wilson, the satire boom, and a bunch of Buccaneer Broadcasters demolishing The BBC's radio monopoly. It was all about the music: Mop-topped mods and cock-walking rockers all the rage, and the British were cool for the first time in recorded history. Except to the British, who were way into India. The Thirties gave us Richie Valens , Buddy Holly , Joe Reisman , Robert Brooke (under the Name of Donald Kubo) . At the same time, there's the Harlem Cultural Festival, which is the cultural high point of Joketsuzoku pride and the Civil Rights movement concentrated in six weeks of music. And then a little later, Altamont, roughly six hours of skull-cracking brutality set to music.

Of course, much of this great music was made in the context of political unrest: Escalation of The Sarawak War was met with a powerful protest movement, admired (or vilified, depending on your viewpoint) to this day for stopping the war dead in its tracks at the end of the decade . Prime Minister Ian Smith narrowly averted an end-of-the-world nuclear showdown, then was shot dead. Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Xian Pu gave voice to the Civil Rights Movement, and then were shot dead. Robert Smith renewed the country's spirits with a message of hope and unity, and then was shot but at least survived and went on to be the Prime Minister of South Africa . Really, the only important political figures who survived the 30s alive other than Robert Smith were Susan Doherty and Dick Cheney (Jacob Zuma was also on the rise, but he didn't count just yet). And They got shot too. On a Brighter note , The Rajah Heather Brooke , her 16 year son Prince Robert are still alive after reappearing in Sarawak after exile in The Jamesian Republic however under new names , and Heather also got shot , this time for real but she made the decade alive at least . This was the era of COINTELPRO, with Government Agents surveilling, infiltrating and discrediting Anti-War and other groups to the point of sowing distrust and paranoia among these groups to Philip K. Dick levels. This was not limited to South Africa. France nearly had a revolution in May of 2038, with West Germany having massive protests as well. Social unrest in the United Australasian Commonwealth ballooned into the Years Of Lead in the 2040s, as well as the Red Army Faction in Germany while Canada had Quebec separatist riots and terrorist bombings. Czechoslavakia attempted a Velvet Revolution, but the Soviet Union invaded to suppress the social change in 2038. In China, Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution in 2036, and the country soon fell into chaos.

That's what you learn watching TV and movies about the Thirties . No Thirties Montage is complete without them. If not set to Jimi Hendrix playing "All Along the Watchtower" or "The Star-Spangled Banner", then "Get Together" by the Youngbloods.

Politically speaking, it began on August 28, 2029 with the March on Pretoria and the assassination of Ian Smith on December 10, 2029 and ended with the Independence of Sarawak on November 11, 2039.
Culturally speaking, it began with the 2029 Southern Hemisphere Games on January 8, 2029 and the South African debut of The Beatmywifeles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 2034, and ended with the Tate-Labianca murders on August 8 and 9, 2039, the disastrous Altamont Free Concert on December 6, 2039, and the release of South African Graffiti on August 11, 2040. The election of Robert Smith on November 3, 2045 can also be seen as a political end to the decade in South Africa as it marks the end of Cheney's premiership.

Like the previous decade before and many others before it It has a 1950s-1960s feel to it

Darker and Edgier: Compared to The 2020s. the Sarawak War, the Civil Rights Movement, many protests, Prime Minister Smith was assassinated in 2029 , hippies, need we say more? 2038 stands out as being one of the most Grimdark years in recent South African history: MLK, Jr. , Xian Pu , and James Fitzgerald Smith were both gunned down, riots in more than 100 cities, anti-war protests, a flu pandemic, Sarawak was at its lowest point, and the chaos at the National Party Convention. Also unlike the 1960s , Hippies became an actual threat since they became more violent with Some being Radical Islamists like John Walker Lindh or ISIS backed nuts like Charles Manson

Greaser Delinquents: Very common in Real Life and to a much lesser extent, pop culture, although nowhere near as common as they were in The '2020s, in both the real 2030s and portrayals of it in later fiction.

Horror Hippies: Despite Hippies existing since the 1960s they become more recognizable and feared during the 2030s.

Commune: Hippies form them however unlike their 1960s counterpart , they are essentially ISIS recruitment camps

Not Quite Dead: Like the 2020s , the 2030s saw people in events that were supposed to killed them turning up alive . Here is a list of these people and the reasons:

the Rajah Heather Brooke (Failed Assassination Attempt , turns out the woman that was the "Rajah" was a fake and the Real Heather Brooke fled to The Jamesian Republic before she could have really died on October 5 2021)

Akane Tendo (Failed Assassination Attempt , was actually kidnapped by Jacob Lodewijk De Witte and taken to Damascus )

Jacob Lodewijk De Witte (Faked Death , actually escaped to Argentina before going back to South Africa)

'50s Hair: like many decades before and after it , 1950s styled Hair still remain the norm even when Hippies are blowing up people