The Proud & the Dumb by Bob Freville
A Scathing Satire...But All-Too-Real
The Proud & The Dumb manages to be simultaneously hilarious and depressing, irreverent and poignant. There's a message in Freville's story. Sadly, the people who should benefit from that message are probably just as incapable of reading at the appropriate grade level as Liam, Connie, and Gunther. It's up to the rest of us to enjoy this bitter, sarcastic, and cynical glimpse into an evening amidst a small crew of white nationalists in the midwest. Nothing is quite as it seems, and least of all Curry, the compatriot this trio of imbecilic alt-right gentlemen suspect of being a closet-libtard. Desperate to keep his former associates from killing him in cold blood, Curry talks circles around the other three, calling into question the coherence and consistency of the beliefs they supposedly stand for in their neverending battle against immigrants, homosexuals, and liberals. But is it simple desperation or a more sinister objective pushing Curry to test the limits of the tolerance of his three former friends, as well as their intellects? While there isn't much wit to be found in the characters populating this novelette, from the trio of alt-right fellas to the police who find themselves dealing with this unfortunate assortment of dregs, there's plenty of wit in Freville's storytelling. He expertly showcases examples of the seemingly limitless barrage of inconsistent, incoherent, and--frequently--incompatible beliefs espoused by groups just like those featured in The Proud & The Dumb. Within these few pages, we're exposed to so many contradictory statements from the characters that we can only wish it was satire; but that same duration spent listening to people who travel in these social circles would quickly erase any hope of that being true. The truest absurdity of this tale is that the truth is stranger than fiction.
Funny, Violent, And Entertaining
Disclaimer: I did the cover art and typsetting. This cynical novelette is a hilarious dark satire attacking the rise of the so-called "alt-right" and how its after effects continue to linger like a disease in the body politic. Originally written as a play, Freville has turned it into a entertaining hard-boiled story.