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Fireside Chat: Meet Malcolm Rivera!

Fireside

Today we were supposed to be chatting with Frederick Shepard, another citizen of New Detroit in the future. He cancelled and in his place is no other than the notorious Ice Pimp, Malcolm Rivera!

Ice Pimp lyrics

I haven’t been called the Ice Pimp in years. Malcolm will do.

All right Malcolm.

Let me just say this is such an honor. We don’t get celebrities. Former celebrity. Man and guitar

Your rapping style and lyrics were compared to Tupac. Well, he was my inspiration.

What inspired your activist side? The writings of Malcolm X. I finally embraced what my namesake had to say.

What inspired you the most? “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”

Powerful. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do? There’s no such thing as a day without responsibility. Every day you breathe you are responsible for yourself. If you care about your brother, you’re responsible for him too.

Brother? Fellow man.

What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? Standoffish. It’s how I got the name Ice Pimp.

I would have guessed it had more to do with your eyes and your behavior. [He smiles. It’s chilling.] They played a role.

Rumor has it that you were a notorious player who felt he was above the law. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

Does that include the rumor that you’re the head of a secret organization? Did you hear what you said? Secret, lady. Whether it’s a rumor I can’t confirm it.

What are you most ashamed of in your life? We’re all ashamed of something in life. I hate it took me so long to wake up to the injustice around me and choose to act on it.

Care to explain? The New Order has divided the American Republic. We have two classes of citizens—the haves and the wish I hads. The first group is a select, small percentage. They live in the better sectors, eat richly, and have the best opportunities. The second group makes their homes in buildings which should be condemned. They eat rations of synthetic meat. They work like animals and will never get ahead in life.

How did things get so bad? Citizens voted the New Order in to office, thinking that all the political rhetoric would die. They were tired of politicians not acting in their best interests. So they elected scientists and technologists who promised a better world. Their ‘better’, however, was no different than what we had. The leaders took away subsidy programs. The country suffered after the Revolution, but the leaders chose which areas would be re-established. Cities like New Detroit ended up with huge sectors of despair while one percent of its citizens lived in the lap of luxury.

And the citizens didn’t respond? There’s the issue. When you speak out against the New Order, you’re considered a traitor. Traitors aren’t prosecuted. They’re executed.

You’re very outspoken. Don’t you fear for your life? The leaders know me. They know the extent of my power. Words are powerful. The wrong ones can upset, cause an insurrection. The New Order doesn’t want that to happen.

It’s hard to believe that a world like yours exists. It does. Word to the wise? Prevention. Signs are everywhere. Dictators are waiting to take over. Beware who you put in office. Those who run your country may one day run your life.

Profound. Let’s continue. 

If you could spend the day with someone you admire, who would you pick? Since you have your hand on the time travel button, send me back to 1964. I’d love to sit down with Malcolm X. Learn about the struggle firsthand. I’m sure there are lessons we could use in 2025.

Has your life turned out the way you expected? Has yours? Seriously, though. Expectations are frivolous. Life requires action. Expectations are based on a box someone has constructed. Don’t just step out of the box. Destroy it. Construct your own life. You’ll be happier.

Deep. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it? I’ve lived the life. I had fans and celebrity status. I won awards. I’ve had my share of groupies. What I haven’t done is settle down with the right woman. Somebody who’ll love me unconditionally.

Haven’t found her? Are you applying for the position? [He winks.] 

Maybe that’s why you haven’t found her. Women don’t fill positions. Are you sure about that?

Let’s move on. What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? Back to the personal questions?

Is it safe to ask what is the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? I’ll answer that one. Actually, it was an ingenious action on my part. I needed to locate a piece of technology, so I found a stupid kid to do it for me. I made sure that he had no choice but to do as I requested.

And you’re proud of that? Ingenuity is doing whatever it takes to get something done without implicating yourself.

What are you most afraid of? Nothing. People fear me.

You’re arrogant. Just a word, lady. Just a word.

What’s the most important thing in your life? Loyalty. Be loyal to me, I’ll do right by you.

[I roll my eyes.]

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? I’m good with my life right now. I’m a little tired of the kid I hired. I’m looking for a way to uh… sever my ties with him.

I feel sorry for him. Don’t be. He messed around and fell in love with a girl. She distracted him and jeopardized my life. I can’t have that around me.

This has been an interesting chat.

Frederick Shepard promises to be here for our last Fireside Chat. Have a good week!

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