Ed Stamm seems like the perfect dude.
(from The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman)
But he has one little flaw that I’m either reading wrong or doesn’t so much make him a subversive — just a jerk with issues. Not sure why our narrator chooses the word “subversive” but his point is obvious, and laid out in the final paragraph like a punchline: If Ed Stamm can be a jerk then we’re all jerks. Guess so. Regardless of his rather unambitious plotting, Friedman once again proves to be an expert crafter of sentences. Great sentences. Maybe you can read it here.
Rainer Maria, “Terrified”
Ed Stamm is unknowingly a “subversive,” in that he illustrates for the narrator that a homespun, All-American demeanor is no guarantee that a man possesses actual strength of character (no guarantee, in fact, that he is not a hateful lunatic).