At times we do believe that there is, in fact, a collective unconscious at work in the deep background of the universe. Sometimes the world itself has a mood, a feeling, a thought process, a mania, a madness. There may even be practitioners of the esoteric arts who have developed a sensitivity to this cosmic emotion, but they likely either live high in the Himalayas as prayer-flag waving navel gazers, or are sequestered beneath the Arctic ice in lairs appropriate for super-villainy. Either way, they’ll not likely drop by Café No Sé at anytime soon for a chat, so we’ll just have to go with our guts on this one.
We can’t be sure, but it seems that things around the world are getting weird. Have you felt it? Have you woken up in any of the recent days wondering if all hell is about to break loose in your little corner of the sphere? We have. And for the past few months, we’ve mentioned it to one another over a bottle of mezcal. But it wasn’t until we started receiving submissions from our writers that it became so crystal clear.
People have disaster on the brain.
Maybe it’s the earthquakes cropping up in the most unusual of places. Shit-poor Haiti expects to receive its daily quanta of boots to the head, but a terremoto that levels fucking everything, including the presidential mansion? That’s just not right.
Then, with far less drama or destruction, even the East Coast of the United States took a ride on the planetary rollercoaster. No one was killed, but you can be sure that several million heads peered out of high-rise windows over the horizon and wondered what hell is slouching towards Washington to be born.
Add to that the biblical floods and the brain-boggling hurricanes putting this hemisphere into the spin cycle. Mix in a measure of political irrationality not seen since Nero noodled his lute, and you get a very nervous, very dark Cogitatio Populi.
And don’t even get us started on the asshats running for high office in both Guatemala and parts further north, other than to say that we hope the cosmic wisdom sees fit to flatten their sorry egos long before it does ours. Or yours, for that matter!
It seems that we here at La Cuadra are just going to surf that wave. This issue starts with a thoughtful, possibly even profound, reflection on the tragedies of September 11, 2001 ten years later. That piece is followed up by some crack (and decidedly not crazy) reporting on a recent spate of violent crimes in our humble town of La Antigua. We then give you a brief break of pure beauty with an extended spread of our featured artist, Brielle DuFlon, before plunging you back into the belly of the beast with Joe Bageant’s last lonely ride into the misery of the permanent American underclass. Después de, there is a tale of misguided decisions in an attempt to help a friend drive a boat to El Salvador that almost ended with an extended stay in prison by the inimitable Logan Clark.
We round out the issue with some poetry from World War I, and (we are so happy to announce) the RETURN OF KEVIN PETRIE who once again takes readers on one of his stoned adventures — this time through civil-war- and tsunami- wracked Sri Lanka with his (possibly mythical) traveling partner, Uncle Money.
So, with all this shit coming down upon the world at once, we can think of nothing better to do than to invite you all down to Café No Sé where we might toast the beginning of the end the way any God or Goddess worth their salt would have intended: Half in the bag, and with one another. Frost opined that “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” We don’t bother with any of that kind of prognostication, and who knows, maybe we’re plain wrong. Maybe the world just has a bad case of gas. Whatever, we will still light your smoke and keep your drink chilly as we toast whatever the hell is coming down the pike.
MJT and JPR
One thought on “Letter From the Editors – September / October 2011”
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cafe No Se and discovering La Cuadra on my virgin tour of Guatemala. Kudos to all the drunken philosophers for providing interesting, insightful and downright hilarious content for restless travelers to read. I have to admit,I’m a wanna-be barfly, I enjoy the mixed unrestrained company of the bar but I’m such a light weight I really cannot hold my liquor. Here’s my little story from Cafe No Se: wandered into the book store, bar wasn’t open yet but they let us in through the secret door, proceeded to settle in with a cold frosty Gallo while perusing La Cuadra and watching new barmaid-in-training. Soon progressed to “Ok, maybe I’ll have one shot of that Ilegal Mezcal” at the bartender’s prompting. After the 3rd or 4th shot and who knows how many beers later,my memory starts to get a little fuzzy. But according to my dear friend, who thankfully did not abandon me, we proceeded to stumble our way across the uneven cobbled stones of Antigua to Hector’s fine dining establishment. I don’t remember what I ate, I’m sure it was really good though. The last thing I remember is falling off the high wooden bar chair and hearing the loud clatter as it fell to the floor. When I woke up the next morning I actually didn’t feel too bad, until, to my horror I looked in the mirror and found I was sporting a nice black & blue shiner on my right eye. “Did you punch me last night?” I questioned my roomie, he of course offended I would even ask such a thing didn’t remember how I got it either. As I struggled to recall the moments of last night just before falling into dead-drunk unconsciousness, I had an ever so faint recollection of flailing around the room trying to remove my clothes and bending over violently striking my right eye on a corner of the table. Thankfully I didn’t even feel it at the time. Me and my friend had fun making up stories about how I got the black eye to concerned inquirers for the rest of the trip.