Cold Civil War

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Summary

Meet James Edwards. He is at a crossroads in life. Recently, his father passed away, his girlfriend left him, and his dead-end job under a tyrannical boss has gotten worse. Amid his disillusionment, he dreams of writing a novel about America, especially its cultural and political divide. Finally, James, who for so long has held himself back from accomplishing anything, makes a change. He leaves home and his job for a life on the road, seeking inspiration for his novel, especially America's sights, people, and its dynamics. However, what begins as a spiritual journey of self-discovery turns into more than be bargained for. After encountering a group of racist, misogynistic men, he confronts them in a tirade that, unbeknownst to him, is caught on camera. Soon, James' rant goes viral. As James' journey continues and he becomes recognized as an internet celebrity, he learns harsh truths that cause him to question himself and the country he loves. A chain of events post-Chicago leads James into decisions that inspire, anger, and challenge a troubled country and himself. Ultimately, James will commit an act that not only will change him forever, but may live in infamy in American culture.

Genre:
Drama / Adventure
Author:
mattthomasauthor
Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
5
Rating:
4.5 2 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

1 - SAMPLE

Do I regret what happened?

Fuck no!

Well, I’ll put it this way: I don’t regret taking a sabbatical, and I especially don’t regret the stands that I took.

My only hope, as I speak to you in this interview today, is that I can continue to rectify the damage I did to the relationships with my family and my friends, including my mother and my little cousin Nicki. Thank God that little trooper still loves me.

So how did I get to this point? Well, first, I hope you’re keeping an open mind. It’s the only way you may fully understand my story. If you use your cognitive bias to portray my words to your target audience as half-truths, that’s okay. I accept that. I tried to fight such bias for a long time, but I realize now that I can’t control it. Right now, I’ll bet about half of your audience thinks I’m crazy, and the other half thinks I’m a genius.

A couple of weeks ago, I abandoned a comfortable life, with a good family, a job, and some financial security, because I was angry at the world and disillusioned about my life. I needed change. I never told a solitary soul I was leaving home, not even my family, only because I didn’t want interference. A retreat from the harsh realities of this world, and the harsh realities of my life - a life full of missed opportunities, regret, and fond memories long passed, was necessary for my mental health.

Well, what ended up happening was certainly no vacation. It was a journey that changed everything. Not in any literal shape-shifting sense that tipped the Earth on its axis or disrupted the space-time continuum, but in a transgressive, existential sense.

But then, as you know, I went on a pretty epic rant in Chicago that you’ve seen on the invisible wavelengths of information, entertainment, and decadence of the internet. It made me famous to a substantial number of people.

And then, my fame (or infamy) grew, and more insane shit happened.

Finally, a few days ago, this one particular group of degenerates caused me to snap, and I did something virtually the entire world has now seen. Obviously, it’s why you asked me to do this little chat with you today. A few weeks ago, I was just James Matthew Edwards, a simple, hard-working guy from New Jersey. Now, I’m James Matthew Edwards, the internet antihero with the bland name. It’s really astounding how your life can change so quickly in this technology-dependent world.

For you to fully understand why I did what I did, I think it’s important for you to understand my life experience - including my family, the relationships I’ve had, my education in and out of the classroom, the existential battles I’ve fought within myself, and the enlightening and laborious lessons I’ve learned about America. I’ve always been a deep thinker, and my quest for life’s truths have sometimes driven me to madness. That quest centers on a question I had been asking myself for nearly two decades:

How do you want to be remembered?

I had to answer this question. I had to find meaning in it. Unfortunately, to adequately answer it, I had to abandon my insipid existence. Along my journey, a lot of my preconceived notions and lessons I learned about life and living in America, both good and bad, were reinforced and confirmed. Although I ended up pissing off a lot of people, I hope the story I am about to tell you today will not only provide some context, but also inspire your viewers. Most importantly, though, I inspired me. I stopped fighting my existential battles, and I reaffirmed to myself why life is worth living. The tortured, jaded soul buried deep within my flesh and bone was eradicated, and a new man emerged.

How do you want to be remembered?

If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I’d have told you I’d be remembered as nothing. Nada. Zip. People considered ‘something’ in this world are either filthy rich, have won a championship or prestigious award, were the Draconian dictators of a nation, or peacemakers immortalized in urban legends or fairy tales. It’s all a byproduct of a vain, cruel world that will have zero sympathy for you if you either fail to adapt to it or accept it. And I was among those that had failed to adapt.

So, I guess you could say that because of that, I ended up snapping. Why? Well, a big part of the reason was that my disillusionment about America and 21st-century life came to a head when I witnessed a bunch of brainwashed drones reiterate to me why the country I love and have been angry at for quite a while is on the brink of internal destruction. It just happened to manifest itself several times in the last couple of weeks, as I’ll describe to you as my story goes on.

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